Writing a dissertation in women and gender studies can be challenging because this final project requires strong organizational and time management skills to complete it successfully. Unfortunately, many students struggle with their final paper mainly because they don’t create a work schedule and don’t follow a plan. All this may have a negative impact on the quality of their work. That’s why we have created this easy guide where we discuss all the essential steps in planning and writing a dissertation in women and gender studies from choosing a topic to making an outline to editing and proofreading. Read our article to learn how to effectively organize your work and succeed in writing a powerful paper that will make a great impression on the committee. If you have difficulties with completing other types of college papers, check out our full guides to all writing assignments out there.
What Is a Dissertation in Women and Gender Studies?
A dissertation in women and gender studies is a final stage of your degree program. Working on this challenging paper, you have a great opportunity to show that you have gained the necessary knowledge and skills to organize and complete a complex research project. You need to define the research area, set the objectives, gather primary and secondary data, critically and analytically analyze them. Besides, you have to come up with the appropriate research methodology and draw conclusions. Sometimes, you may need to provide relevant recommendations and indicate possible areas for further research.
Keep in mind that a dissertation in women and gender studies is a formal academic document and must be written and presented according to the specific rules. It must include specific sections and not just report the situation but analyze it in terms of a bigger picture. You need to look for answers to research questions, provide explanations, compare theories and data, and arrive at generalizations that will contribute to the existing theory.
Select an Impressive Topic for Your Dissertation in Women and Gender Studies
The first step in writing a dissertation in women and gender studies is selecting a good topic. Think about an area that really interests you. You should choose a subject that can contribute to your future career. Writing a dissertation is a long process so you should choose a subject that will allow you to stay motivated and enjoy your work. Make sure that the selected topic is not too broad or too narrow for the required word count. The best approach is to do a thorough investigation and find a logical answer to a small research question instead of failing to find a solution to the problem which is too big to address it.
You may look for topics ideas while scanning scholarly books and articles in scientific journals. To help you get started with finding a subject for your research, we’ve created a short list of interesting topic ideas that reflect different aspects women and gender studies. You may use them for inspiration or as a starting point for your brainstorming.
- What Influences Gender Roles in Today’s Society;
- Solutions to Gender Inequality in Education;
- Impact of Gender and Culture on Interpersonal Relationships;
- Role of Culture in Addressing Gender Inequalities;
- How Gender Stereotypes Impact Behavior;
- Solutions to Women’s Rights in the North Africa;
- Barriers and Bias: The Status of Women in Leadership;
- Difference between Male and Female Speech Patterns;
- How Does Domestic Violence Affect Women’s Health?
- Gender Differences in the Classroom: Physical, Cognitive, and Behavioral;
- Women’s Issues in Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding;
- Differences in Mental Health Symptoms Across LGBT;
- Me Too Movement and Its Influence on Work Culture;
- Impact of RuPaul’s Drag Race on a Feminist View on Prostitution and Pornography;
- How RPDR Set Today’s Female Beauty Standards;
- Gender Significance and Feminism in The Handmaid’s Tale.
Develop a Research Question for Your Dissertation and Create an Outline
Before you start conducting a research on the chosen topic, it’s necessary to develop a research question that will give a focus to your final paper. That’s why you need to do preliminary reading of the existing sources and make an attempt to identify a gap in the knowledge on your subject. Then you should create a list of several possible questions that you are interested in. Evaluate each question to determine whether it is too narrow, too broad or just right. It’s crucial to select a usable research question that is neither too broad nor too narrow. After you’ve come up with your question, you should think about how you are going to give an argument and what sources and evidence you need to support it.
Next, you need to do a thorough reading of a lot of sources on your topic and take notes of interesting ideas that you can use in your dissertation as direct quotes or paraphrases to provide background and justification of your study or to support your argument. When you have gathered enough material, you may start thinking about how to organize your research and outline its presentation.
There are different ways to structure a dissertation in women and gender studies but the basic structure must include such chapters as the introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion. Besides, you need to create references list and include all your sources that you use to support your own ideas. After that, you should create a research proposal that typically includes elements found in such chapters as an introduction, literature review, and methods. A research proposal is an important document that can become your roadmap and will help you stay focused and work to achieve your research objectives. It must be approved by your supervisor.
Write a Draft of Your Dissertation in Women and Gender Studies
Now let’s discuss how to write different chapters of your dissertation in detail. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to start at the beginning. In fact, all introductions are easier to write after you have finished the whole paper when you know exactly how you have developed your argument.
Every dissertation needs an abstract. It’s a very brief summary of the content (about 200-350 words in length). Although it may be tempting to write this short section first and forget about it, you shouldn’t do that. The best approach is to write it after you complete the full draft of your dissertation. Then you’ll know very well what your paper is about and work more efficiently. Typically, the abstract should include the following types of information:
- A specific topic and the objectives of your research;
- A research question and hypotheses;
- Methods used during the research;
- Summary of the key findings;
- Conclusions about the significance of your findings.
This section has to set out the background for your study. You need to introduce your dissertation topic, explain the purpose of your paper and its relevance. Tell your readers about the gap in the existing knowledge that your dissertation in women and gender studies addresses. Besides, you have to speak about the structure of your piece of writing and briefly outline the key points of your argument. It’s important to make your introduction engaging to motivate your readers to read the dissertation till the end.
This chapter should show that you have a clear understanding of the current academic work. That’s why you need to describe and critique scholarly literature on your topic, including theories, conceptual discussions, and empirical studies. You should analyze and synthesize the information in your sources and draw connections between them. This chapter should provide a justification for your own research so you need to identify the gap in the existing studies and show how your dissertation advances a theoretical debate or offers a solution to certain problem.
Here you need to describe the research design and do it in a way that will allow your readers to assess the validity of your findings. You need to describe methods you used for collecting and analyzing your data and explain why you have chosen them. You should also provide some details of where and when your study took place. The purpose of this chapter is to accurately report about what you did and convince your audience that you used the best approach to answering the dissertation research question.
In this chapter, you need to present the evidence and the major results of the primary research that you have conducted. Depending on the topic of your dissertation in women and gender studies, you can present some descriptive statistics, case study descriptions, and other qualitative techniques. It’s important to organize all your data in a logical and coherent way. Besides, you may include some relevant pie-charts, diagrams, and graphs but you shouldn’t include any visuals that repeat what you have already written. All of them must present additional information.
Here you need to analyze and interpret your data. You need to explain how they help answer your research question and meet your expectations. If you have achieved some unexpected results, you have to offer reasonable explanations for why it might happen. You should also provide alternative interpretations of your findings and discuss the limitations of your research. Besides, you need to tell how your findings fit with the existing theories and concepts.
In this final chapter, you need to concisely answer the research question and report whether you have achieved your objectives. It’s crucial to emphasize the importance of your findings and show the contribution to the knowledge in the field of women and gender studies. You should also include some suggestions for further research.
Revise, Edit, and Proofread Your Dissertation in Women and Gender Studies
Your writing style is crucial to communicating your ideas effectively. That’s why you should be ready to write, rewrite, and edit the text of your final paper again and again until you are completely satisfied and are sure you can’t improve it any more. Here are some effective strategies you can use to polish your dissertation.
- A good idea is to ask other people to read your dissertation and make comments about the contents and argument, as well as correct mistakes and typos, and to suggest better ways of arranging your paragraphs.
- Although many people prefer to make corrections reading the text on the computer screen, it would be better to work with a printed copy. In this way, you are more likely to notice spelling mistakes and other minor errors.
- You will be able to spot more grammar mistakes and awkward sentences if you read the dissertation chapters aloud.
- Read the text of your dissertation backwards sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph. In this way, you won’t be distracted by the content and will be able to catch more errors.
- Don’t try to proofread the entire text at one time. Take regular breaks when you feel that your concentration begins to wane.
- You should edit your dissertation on several levels: improve the content to ensure that your argument is consistent, improve overall structure and the structure within your paragraphs, and check the clarity, writing style, and citations.
- It’s important to polish your sentences and make them smooth and clear. If you catch too long complex or compound sentences, you should break them into parts. Shorter sentences are easier to read and they are clearer.
- Make sure that your writing doesn’t sound monotonous. Try to use sentences that vary in patterns and lengths.
- As you proofread, try to look for one type of errors at a time.
- Develop a systematic strategy to make proofreading more efficient. Identify specific areas where you typically make mistakes and pay special attention to them.
We hope that now you have a better idea of what type of academic paper a dissertation in women and gender studies is and how you can organize the writing process. But you should keep in mind that any dissertation is an original work so there are no standard ways of writing it. That’s why you should be ready to come up with absolutely new ways of completing your projects. Still, If you follow our simple instructions, and you’ll enhance your chances to effectively cope with your complex final paper.