The primary reason why a scholar spends years preparing a dissertation or thesis is to succeed when he makes a presentation in front of the research review committee. There are some points that need to be ensured before putting the document on the defense table.
- Structure and Format: before starting with the actual task of writing, the scholar must get to know about the format that is accepted by the concerned university. The sequence of chapters must be followed, to ensure logical flow. The widely followed structure contains an introduction, a literature review, research methodology, data analysis, results and discussion and conclusion. There are also an abstract, or a summary, and bibliography at the end.
- Language: Language used while writing plays a vital role in determining the quality of any document. In case of master’s or PhD level research, the language needs to be scholarly. There must be no colloquial language or terms used in the research document. Since it is meant to be examined by learned mentors, the choice of words must be done carefully. A flawless vocabulary and the correct use of jargons will enhance the value of the document. This will also augment the chances for publication of the document by national and international journals.
- Citation: the need to follow a citation style that is prescribed is of paramount importance. There are a number of styles, like APA, Harvard, Chicago, Turabian, and MLA, and the choice will depend upon the university, references used and the publication for which research paper is being written. While APA is the standard followed by most US universities, Harvard style of citation is required by a majority of UK varsities. It is wise to get the citation style checked by an expert who is conversant with the various styles.
- Presentation tools: there are a number of tools that assist the scholar during the presentation. Power point slides, charts, tables, maps, reference list, coloured pens and highlighters must be carried to the viva, as required.
While the scholar can learn the above rules and follow them, he must consult an experienced academician for guidance.