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Brief characteristics of the dissertation
The dissertation thesis, as well as bachelor, diploma or rigorous thesis, belongs to university theses. This thesis is assigned to students of doctoral studies at university. Its successful processing and defense is one of the conditions for the completion of postgraduate studies and thus for the academic degree, for which reason the highest demands are placed on the dissertation.
Choosing a topic
The procedure for choosing a dissertation topic is, unlike the procedure for choosing a bachelor’s or master’s thesis topic, very different. The student usually chooses his / her supervisor, ie the head of his / her doctoral thesis. When choosing a supervisor, the student must take into account his / her research focus. The topic of the thesis is assigned to the student directly based on his / her research focus or current scientific activity.
The student is obliged to submit a draft of his / her thesis to his / her supervisor. The PhD thesis supervisor consults this annotation and suggests its modifications. The resulting annotation is therefore greatly influenced by the professional opinions and experience of the supervisor and must include the topic of the thesis, the title of the thesis and an approximate list of future professional sources of work from which the student will draw. The task of annotation of research-oriented dissertations is also to outline the student’s future research process. The annotation of the dissertation is therefore very similar to the annotation of the year, bachelor, diploma or rigorous thesis.
Method of submitting a dissertation
The dissertation is awarded to a PhD student at the beginning of his first year of study. The duration of doctoral studies may vary according to the type of individual higher education institutions, but most often the standard length of doctoral studies is four years. Another reason for the high demands placed on the dissertation is therefore the time the student has to process it.
Again, the method of submitting a dissertation differs considerably from the way in which a bachelor or diploma thesis is submitted. First, the student submits the theoretical part of his / her thesis, sometimes even one year before his / her final state examination. The date of submission, as well as the date of submission of the thesis, is set by the seminar supervisor. The theoretical part of the thesis is evaluated by the whole committee of opponents and of course also by the head of the dissertation. This part of the dissertation is then returned to the student with any comments by the opponents or the supervisor, according to which the student has the opportunity to edit his work before final submission.
The method of submitting the final version of the dissertation, as well as the method of submitting the theses, differs according to the type of school where it is submitted. Usually, however, a dissertation is required to be submitted in a hardcover and its electronic copy.
After the dissertation is submitted, its defense follows. The defense of the dissertation is the same as the defense of the coursework, bachelor or diploma thesis. However, the defense of the dissertation takes longer than the defense of the above-mentioned theses. This fact is again connected with the demands placed on this type of work. The student defends his / her work in front of a multi-member committee of opponents. One of the opponents is usually from another university, in order to ensure the maximum degree of objectivity of the student’s work.
The extent of the dissertation varies according to the type of college, but it is usually between one hundred and two hundred pages of text. Therefore, the dissertation is a completely different type of text than eg a paper or seminar work, both in terms of content and form.
Basic parts of the dissertation
The dissertation with its structure resembles a diploma work. The dissertation thesis is usually composed in the same way as diploma, bachelor or seminary work in two parts, namely the theoretical part and the practical part. However, unlike the above-mentioned works, the author of the work does not have to explicitly distinguish between these two basic parts. The theoretical part of the dissertation serves for a precise description of the selected research problem.
The practical part of the dissertation consists of the application of the acquired theoretical knowledge to the given research problem. The practical part of the dissertation thus serves as well as the practical part of the bachelor or diploma thesis to verify the student’s ability to apply theoretical knowledge of his field in practice. However, the research presented in the dissertation must be a precise scientific research with all its essentials and not merely a research study typical of the bachelor’s thesis. The formal part of the practical part of the dissertation is a discussion in which the student reports on the results achieved in his research and compares them with the set hypotheses, then the research objectives, methods of research and description of the research sample.
Formal requirements of dissertation
From a formal point of view, the dissertation must contain an abstract with key words, an introduction, a conclusion and lists of cited literature, tables, abbreviations and appendices. However, the lists of cited literature are usually required even for lower types of university work, ie also in a paper, seminar or credit work. It is also important to note that, as with all types of university work, it is necessary to adhere to the correct citation standards of professional texts.
The specifics of the dissertation
A specific feature of the dissertation thesis is the so-called self-report. The dissertation is a text that summarizes the entire content and achieved results of the dissertation and which the student is obliged to submit during the defense of the dissertation.
Dissertation writing style
The dissertation is one of the most expert of all university qualifications, and therefore the highest scientific level is required. The use of professional language at the level expected from a doctoral student is therefore a matter of course in this type of work. The dissertation can be written in the same way as the seminar, bachelor or diploma work in the first or third person of the singular or in the first person the plural. However, the use of a person must be uniform throughout the work. The dissertation thesis puts great emphasis on the author’s personal opinion on the issue, but this opinion should be supported by a long-term study of professional sources or stem from the results of the author’s research study. The author should therefore be aware of the difference between dissertation and reflection (essay), in which his or her opinion may not be supported by professional sources.
Basic criteria for the dissertation
Formal adjustment is no longer one of the basic criteria for assessing the quality of a doctoral thesis. The PhD student’s ability to hold a dissertation as a scientific scholarly text and its knowledge of correct citation standards is already taken for granted by evaluators. Overall, the demands on the dissertation are very high. Opponents and supervisors usually evaluate the contribution of the dissertation for the given field of science and its originality. The student must use his dissertation and his defense to convince the examining board of his qualities as a researcher. He must prove that he is capable of independent scientific work at the appropriate level and that he is able to defend the contribution of his work to other experts in the field.