So, How Bad Does a Dissertation Have to Be to Fail?

How Bad Does a Dissertation Have to Be to Fail

How hard is it to write a dissertation? Well, it is pretty difficult to write one because the research takes a long time and you also need to have strong critical and analytical skills to do a good job. Your questions should really be “how bad does a dissertation have to be to fail?”

While a failed masters thesis is not a very big deal, a failed PhD is. You can lose years of research and hard work because your university may not allow you to enroll a second time. However, you will be thrilled to learn that a dissertation should be pretty bad to fail. Read the rest of the article to find out just how bad (as well as what you can do to improve your score)!

Mandatory Parts of a Dissertation

Still in college, many students are starting to research ways to get their PhD. They are looking at the PhD failure rate and at what a dissertation means. Inevitably, you will ask yourself this question: what are the mandatory elements of a good dissertation? Fortunately, most dissertations are structured the same. Here is what you will need to include in your paper:

  1. The dissertation Abstract. This is basically a very short summary of your entire dissertation. A scholar will read it to find out if your paper can help him with his work (or if your paper is going to be of interest).
  2. The dissertation Introduction. The introduction is around two pages long and its main goal is to give your reader an idea of what you will be discussing in your paper. You can also briefly describe the methods you will be using and even present a bit of information about your findings and conclusions.
  3. The Dissertation Methods and Discussion. This part is different from dissertation to dissertation. You will need to provide extensive information about the methods you have used to gather the data and the results of your research. Also, you will need to carefully discuss each result and critically analyze it. You can use an empirical or non-empirical route in this section.
  4. The Dissertation Conclusions. The conclusion should be viewed as the deduction part of your paper. Think long and hard about what you can deduce from your findings. Make assumptions and suppositions. This section is very important because it shows the committee that you have understood the subject and managed to answer the research questions.
  5. The Dissertation References. The references section is the part where you include all the materials you have used to write the paper. Any journals, articles, interviews, etc. should be included here if you’ve used them. Also, every time you cite anything in your text, you should create a reference entry.

Remember to check the requirements of your university to make sure you know what the committee expects to receive. Your university can tell you more about the number of words, which fonts to use, and even if you need to include the acknowledgements before or after the abstract.

Length and Quality of Content

What happens if you fail college? Well, you don’t get a bachelor’s degree. Also, you forfeit any chance of getting a Master’s degree and then a Doctoral degree. However, if you are thinking about a failed PhD, things are a lot easier. You won’t get the Doctoral degree, but you could get a Master’s degree automatically – depending on university rules. So, how can you avoid a dissertation defense failure? Well, one of the very first things you should do is pay attention to the length of your paper and quality of the content. Here are a few hints to get you started:

  • The length of a dissertation can vary from 100 to 300 pages in length.
  • Margins are usually 1 inch on all sides
  • Font size is usually 10-12 points
  • Double spacing is used in the body of text
  • The content needs to be structured in a logical manner and all the sections we’ve talked about above must be included.
  • The content needs to be 100% free of plagiarism and spelling/grammar errors.
  • The content needs to contain original research and a critical analysis of the findings.
  • Referencing a dissertation is not that difficult, regardless of the academic format (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) Make sure you read the style guide and understand the proper way to cite and reference other people’s work.

What Can Go Wrong?

We’ve seen more than one failed masters degree. A dissertation failure is not that different. There are many things that can go wrong when it comes to such a complex academic paper. And remember, the paper is no everything. Here are some of the reasons why you can fail your dissertation:

  • You focus on your grades in grad school. Remember that nobody cares about your grades in grad school. Instead of working on your dissertation every chance you get, you are more worried about low grades.
  • You procrastinate. If you are like most grad students, you like to procrastinate. You think you have more than enough time to research and write the dissertation. Well, the sad truth is that you probably don’t.
  • You ignore the committee and its recommendations. In most cases, you will be asked to change some things during the oral presentation of your dissertation. Failure to implement these changes is a sure way to fail the PhD.
  • You don’t write at least 4 papers that can be published in reputable scholarly journals. This is also a sure way to fail your dissertation. Remember, the committee expects to see these pieces. And they will really read them. This means that you should not, under any circumstance, rush them just to get them done.
  • Not having a clear structure in mind is very risky. Also, not thinking critically is definitely going to hurt your score. Simply analyzing other works is not enough to get a passing score. You need to be able to think critically and come up with original ideas that are supported by well-researched data. A dissertation must present original data that you have uncovered yourself.
  • Not editing and proofreading your work can result in a failure. Poorly written content makes reading the dissertation difficult and can irritate the committee or at least the chair of the committee. This is enough to get you a low score.
  • Waiting for your supervisor to tell you what to do is not an option. You are expected to take charge of your paper and do the necessary research yourself. You should not expect the supervisor to tell you what to do.
  • Your thesis may be deemed not good enough. Keep in mind that your thesis needs to be original and present conclusive findings. If the evaluators think your paper is flawed beyond repair, you will fail.
  • The PhD defense fail. After you submit your thesis to the committee, you will need to defend it. The faculty members will ask you various questions to make sure you have understood the field and that it really is you who wrote the paper. If you are unable to answer the questions, you will fail. You can also be accused of plagiarism, which is not something you want.

There are many other things that can happen, including things that are outside your control (like poor health or family problems). However, keep in mind that the PhD completion rate is around 80% in the United Kingdom and around 56% in the United States. This means that you have a very good chance of getting a doctorate degree if you focus on your paper and you do whatever you can to perfect it.

The Process of Grading a Dissertation

What is the process of grading a dissertation? Do professors check sources? The process of grading a dissertation is not overly complex and yes, most professors really do check your sources. It is very important to use authoritative sources and information taken from reputable authors and scholars. Don’t include references just for the sake of having references because they will be checked and you risk failing your PhD. As for the grading process, every school has a different system. However, in most cases, you need to achieve the following to get a top score:

  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of the topic and show originality with the research question and aims.
  • Demonstrate plenty of fieldwork (this can be independent research as well). This means you need to prove that you have analyzed primary published data in-depth (or carry out comprehensive computer-aided research or archival research).
  • Demonstrate that you have used strong critical commentary in interpretative techniques in your methodology and even the design of the research.
  • Your paper has a coherent structure and is very well organized (or even innovatively organized).
  • You show great critical synthesis skills and know how to put your work in context with the wider theoretical framework.
  • Your paper looks professional. This means having a greatly-written bibliography and excellent references.
  • You have a fluent style and there are very few or no spelling or grammar errors. We would advise you to hire a proofreader to proofread your work.

Basically, you will almost certainly get a top score if your dissertation can be published as a journal paper with only minor changes.

How Can You Avoid a Failed PhD?

I think my dissertation is bad, what can I do to make things right? This is one of the most common questions we get. And it’s not easy to give an answer. There are many things that you can do to avoid a failed PhD. Here are some of the most important things you need to do to avoid a fail:

  • Make effective use of your critical reflection skills. Most dissertations fail because of a lack of critical analysis. Being generally descriptive or criticizing other scholars’ work will not do the trick. You need to analyze the subject and come up with original solutions or use your research to bring something new to light.
  • Make sure your paper is coherent. Poorly organizing the dissertation will most likely cause it to fail. Keep in mind that the paper must be coherent in its entirety and not just a bunch of paragraphs thrown together.
  • Make the presentation as good as you can. A poor presentation will have disastrous consequences because it will give the committee the reason to fail you for poorly written content and even a lack of a logical structure. Proofread your work or hire a professional proofreader to do it for you. Make sure it is perfect!
  • Make the changes that have been requested by the committee during the oral examination. You probably won’t fail at the oral examination, but you will surely fail if you don’t make the changes that have been requested. And no, the changes should not be superficial either.
  • Make sure you have at least 4 or 5 pieces of publishable work. Usually, the committee does not expect you to have these published. However, you need to make sure that these pieces can get published in a good scholarly journal.
  • Don’t aim too high. Your research will probably not revolutionize the field and won’t probably lead to the discovery of a cure for cancer. The aim of your dissertation is to show the committee that you are able to do high level research, not to show your best work in your career.

Remember that all the dissertation stress can take a toll on you. You will hit a writer’s block sooner or later, with devastating consequences. To make sure you have the best chance to pass the dissertation and get a top score, you should consider getting some help from a person who already has a PhD and who knows how to write one the right way.

Get Writing Assistance From Our Dissertation Experts

Getting a doctorate degree is very difficult, as you can see. It is a lot more difficult than getting your masters degree. This is why we suggest you to get some writing assistance from our awesome thesis writers. Our experts have been writing dissertations for years. Also, they’ve helped students with any kind of dissertation proposal or defense you can imagine. Bottom line, we have extensive experience writing dissertations that any professor or any supervisor can appreciate.

If you are a graduate or undergraduate student, getting assistance from us is very simple. Get in touch with us and send us a detailed list of requirements. Give our professionals as much information about your project as you can. Also, you could send us some materials if you thing they will help our expert do a better job. We will pair you with our most experienced writers (or you can choose the writers you like). Once you make payment for the paper, our experts start working.

Your dissertation will be ready before the deadline, guaranteed. And remember, it will be perfect. All the information will be sourced from authoritative sources and properly cited and referenced. We will handle the research part ourselves as well. Getting the best dissertation help has never been easier. Let our writers (all of them have at least one PhD degree) work their magic and help you get a top grade on your dissertation. So, can you do my dissertation right away? Sure, just get in touch with us today!


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