How Does a Dissertation Get Approved?

How Does a Dissertation Get Approved?

Have you ever dreamed of seeing “Dissertation Approved” stamped across your magnum opus? While the journey through dissertation purgatory can feel endless, understanding your chair’s key concerns can dramatically smooth the road to graduation.

This article unveils the five core questions your chair will ask of your research, guiding you toward a smoother approval process and celebrating your academic victory sooner than later. So, ditch the endless revisions and grab your pen, for the secrets to dissertation success are about to be revealed!

What are the 5 Core Questions Your Chair Will Ask You About Your Doctoral Dissertation

Few things are worse than never-ending comments on your doctoral dissertation that push graduation further down the road. The dissertation writing process is, no doubt, not for the faint of heart, which is why most students invest in dissertation writing assistance and tutoring.

However, even though each school’s requirements are slightly different and each chair’s preferences may vary, there are certain core aspects of the dissertation writing process that almost all universities and chairs look for.

Therefore, understanding these key concepts – and how to ensure your dissertation addresses them – can help dramatically when getting approval.

Below are five key questions your chair is looking to be answered throughout your dissertation, including:

  • What are your problem and purpose statements?
  • How does your dissertation proposal contribute to existing research?
  • Is your methodology justified?
  • Are your research questions justified?
  • Are you using the correct terminology?

What Are Your Problem and Purpose Statement?

The problem and purpose statements are the fundamental pillars of your entire study, shaping the direction of your research, methodology, and inquiry. Crafting a well-defined problem statement is crucial, rooted in identifying a gap in existing literature. This gap is elucidated by starting the statement with the phrase, “It is not yet known…” followed by a citation.

The specificity of the problem statement is emphasized, exemplified by the contrast between vague and precise formulations in qualitative and quantitative research contexts. Once the problem statement is established, constructing the purpose statement becomes a straightforward process involving careful wording.

Moreover, the purpose statement follows the structure, “The purpose of this study is…” and should be specific, reflecting an intention to contribute to the existing body of research. It mirrors the essence of the problem statement and further refines the focus of the study.

How Does Your Dissertation Proposal Contribute to Existing Research?

After writing your problem and purpose statement, you will likely have a clear idea of how your proposed study will subscribe to existing research (it should contribute to research by filling the “gap” in research your problem statement was derived from). Therefore, the key is to clearly explain how your study intends to fill this gap and make a scholarly contribution.

Some institution’s templates require this to be discussed in a “significance” section. However, others will require it as part of the introduction or within another subheading. Either way, when your chair reads your dissertation, it should be clear how your study will be helpful to researchers or professionals in your industry of focus.

Is Your Methodology Justified?

Your chair will want you to justify why you chose the methodology and research design you are proposing. The two main types of methodologies are quantitative and qualitative methodology. There are also mixed methods studies, but those are less common if it is your first research project.

Your research design involves the tools you will apply to collect and analyze or interpret your data.

In addition, whatever method and design you select, your chair will want you to explain why it is the best way of carrying out your study. Top-tier writing services offering dissertation writing assistance, such as NursingTutorsResearch, can offer examples of this explanation.

Are Your Research Questions Justified?

The methodology you choose for your research is intricately tied to your research questions and should be in harmony. Your research questions play a crucial role in guiding your methodology; conversely, the nature of your chosen methodology influences how you frame your research questions.

Therefore, when formulating your research queries, ensure they fulfill two criteria: first, do they effectively address your overarching research problem? Second, are they articulated in a manner that aligns with your chosen methodology? It’s essential to be mindful of the distinction between quantitative and qualitative research questions.

Quantitative inquiries typically employ phrases like “how many,” “to what degree,” or investigate the existence of a statistically significant relationship, while qualitative questions utilize words such as “how,” “why,” and “what,” often requiring narrative explanation rather than numeric expression. To illustrate, a qualitative question might inquire about the influence of classroom size on elementary school teachers’ job satisfaction, while a corresponding quantitative question would investigate the statistically significant correlation between classroom size and job satisfaction.

Even when dealing with complex research scenarios involving multiple questions, each query should directly relate to the research’s overarching purpose. If unsure about this intricate process, seeking professional dissertation writing help from a qualified service can provide valuable guidance and feedback.

Are You Using the Correct Terminology?

Your dissertation chair will review your writing to ensure you use specific, logical, and consistent graduate-level language throughout your dissertation. For example, you should avoid using contractions, first-person pronouns, and vague pronouns like “it.” Citations to credible research sources must support every claim in your dissertation.

Additionally, use terminology relevant to your research methods and be as specific as possible, avoiding vague words if the referent is unclear. Refer to participants, topics, and other elements consistently; for instance, if you call a group “African Americans” in the introduction, continue to use this term rather than switching to another like “black people.”

Mastering academic language can be complicated when writing a dissertation. If you struggle with high-level writing, services like NursingTutorsResearch that offer advanced dissertation writing assistance can make the process more manageable. Top of Form

What are the Keys to Getting Your Dissertation Approved?

Getting your dissertation approved is a vital milestone in your academic journey. Below are five essential tips to elevate your chances of success, including:

  • Through research
  • Clear structure
  • Original contribution
  • Strong writing
  • Adherence to guidelines

Through Research

Conduct comprehensive and rigorous research to establish a strong foundation for your dissertation. In addition, review relevant literature, employ various research methods, and gather sufficient data to support your findings effectively.

Moreover, as you research your topic, look for a gap in existing literature. A gap is simply something that has not yet been explained. Therefore, use this as inspiration to guide your own study’s purpose. However, if you are stuck or unclear about a gap, consider hiring professional dissertation writing help from a high-quality writing service.

Clear Structure

Organize your dissertation coherently with a clear and logical structure. Use suitable headings, subheadings, and a well-defined introduction, methodology, outcomes, and conclusion. Moreover, ensure your arguments flow logically, making it easy for reviewers to follow your thought process.

Your topic and your purpose statement drive everything else about your dissertation proposal. A great way to clarify your topic is by writing your topic as your purpose statement. For instance, a purpose-driven topic or title may be written as Predictors of job satisfaction among elementary school teachers in Montana.

You can discover a few critical things about this topic statement:

  • It describes the variables being studied (predictors of job satisfaction)
  • It tells the reader who is being studied (elementary school teachers)
  • And it specifies where participants are from (Montana)

Original Contribution

Demonstrate that your research makes a crucial and original contribution to your field. In addition, your dissertation should address a research gap, challenge existing theories, or offer innovative insights that advance the knowledge in your discipline.

Strong Writing

Communicate your ideas effectively through clear and concise writing. Additionally, maintain a formal academic tone, avoid jargon (or explain it adequately), and proofread meticulously for grammatical errors and typos.

Adherence to Guidelines

Strictly adhere to your institution’s guidelines and formatting requirements. In addition, verify that you have followed the prescribed citation style consistently throughout the document, including an inclusive reference list.


Navigating the dissertation gauntlet can be daunting, but understanding your chair’s priorities can pave the way to a smoother graduation. By meticulously addressing their key concerns – the clarity of your problem and purpose, the contribution to existing research, the justification for your methodology and research questions, and the precision of your language – you increase your chances of a triumphant “Dissertation Approved” stamp.

Remember, thorough research, clear structure, an original contribution, strong writing, and strict adherence to guidelines are your dissertation defense allies. Embrace them, refine your work, and prepare to celebrate your academic victory!

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