How to write a good dissertation without any plagiarism
For most students, their first dissertation is the most academically and professionally intimidating assignment they’ll have to complete. The temptation to engage in plagiarism can be a strong one. However, there is no reason to do so—one can write a great dissertation without ever having to fall back on plagiarism. Here’s how to do it:
- Have a strong thesis statement.
- Keep research organized.
- Cite sources properly.
Most first time dissertation writers strongly underestimate the importance of having a great thesis statement. A great thesis statement is much more than an intriguing idea—it’s one which can and does provide the student with a firm foundation on which to build their research plan and write their paper. Before committing to any thesis statement, students need to do a bit of preliminary research to ensure that the information they’ll be looking for is actually out there. Students that have a weak thesis statement are often stymied in the process of researching, and that can make the temptation to plagiarize one of the few sources they’ve found almost irresistible. If there are plenty of sources for research, there will be no reason to even consider plagiarizing.
Another issue some students encounter with dissertation assignments is keeping their research organized. Because they haven’t yet worked on a research project of this magnitude, they may be more likely to try and trust their memory and previous research habits, when those are not adequate for keeping the vast amount of information from various sources sorted properly. As soon as the relationship between the research and the thesis statement begins to take shape and different themes or categories are apparent, research should be sorted into these categories as it is recorded. Also, students should maintain a working bibliography and cross reference from their notes. This can be easily done by numbering the working bibliography so that notes can simply be numbered with the appropriate source material.
By following the tip above, this should be very simple. Most word processing programs for students now allow for sources to be maintained and inserted as footnotes, in-text citations, and so forth, very easily. It’s a bit of a hassle entering the sources to begin with, but it will greatly simplify citation and save students from the most unfortunate type of plagiarism—that which is unintentional. With a few clicks, perfectly formatted citations can be entered.