The dissertation is a special, strictly defined form of scientific work that has a scientific and qualitative character, and is prepared for obtaining a scientific degree. Officially, the following requirements are made in the dissertation proposal:
- Scientific research is carried out personally by the author.
- The dissertation contains a set of new scientific results and provisions.
- The dissertation has inner unity.
- The dissertation testifies to the personal contribution of the applicant to the development of the scientific problem.
- The new solutions proposed by the author are clearly stated, reasoned, and critically correlated with scientific developments known earlier.
- The author’s decisions are indicated by information sources, showing the information they have obtained.
- The results of the dissertation research are submitted by the applicant for public defense.
The dissertation proposal is a special scientific work, and has nothing in common with a lecture, nor with a propaganda report, a report of an official or public figure, an informational message, nor with a popular science book. The dissertation should be a truly scientific work, developing and enriching science in a particular field of knowledge, as a personal contribution of a scientist to science. Therefore, the dissertator must control himself or herself so as not to fall into the wrong genre. Each type of work is vital, but in a certain area.
Writing a dissertation is one of the most common types of scientific work. At the same time, this is the scientific work of a strictly defined genre, which, like any scientific or literary genre, has its own characteristics, rules, and requirements. As a scientific work the dissertation must be logical and integral. The dissertator must control himself/herself so not to fall into another genre.
Writing a dissertation is the work of one person’s personal contribution to science. According to the documents, the dissertation should be a scientific and qualifying work, which gives the scientific branch and science, as a whole, a certain increment in knowledge. This increment of knowledge can have a different form – a new discovery, the creation of a theoretical model, the considerable improvement of existing knowledge, the refutation of existing conclusions, and so on.
In any case, the dissertation contains a set of new scientific results that are put on the defense in front of specialists of high scientific qualification. These new scientific solutions must be deeply argued and critically evaluated on the basis of a comparison with known scientific solutions. At the same time, the dissertator must take into account the fact that new scientific results and previously accumulated scientific knowledge are in dialectical interaction, and that scientific research should give scientific foresight.
In science there can not be only new results, as science can not reject and fail to take into account what was created earlier. Only the totality of what was done before and the new result can introduce the possibility of moving forward. The most outstanding discoveries are born on the existing scientific foundation.
For example, in the studies of the most complicated period of US history, the 1920s-1930s, all results can not be new. Of course, when writing a dissertation for this period, one can not ignore the results of research of predecessors. Therefore, it should be frankly stated in the new dissertation, “individual results are not new.” If the dissertational council evaluates the thesis as deserving of awarding its academic degree to the author, then they are convinced that the applicant, basing himself/herself on previous conclusions, offered new conclusions, which, by their merit, deserve high praise and award of the academic degree.
It is more difficult with the characteristic that follows, “a significant part of the results is not new.” It would seem that such a conclusion leads to a negative evaluation of the dissertation. But again, if the council members believe that in the event that a significant part of the results of the research is not new, this study on its author’s fundamental conclusions is a significant achievement in science, the council has the right to award a scientific degree, and if subsequently it will be required, this decision will be defended when considering a dissertation at the Higher Attestation Commission.
The Secrets of Successful Dissertation Defense
- A dissertation for a doctoral degree must be a scientific and qualifying work in which, based on the research carried out by the author, theoretical positions have been developed, the totality of which can be qualified as a new major scientific achievement, or a major scientific problem has been solved that has an important socio-cultural or economic significance, and either technical, economic, or technological solutions are scientifically substantiated, the implementation of which makes a significant contribution to the development of the economy of the country and increases its defense.
- A dissertation for obtaining the scientific degree of a candidate of sciences must be a scientific work which contains a solution of a problem that is of significant importance for the relevant branch of knowledge, or technical, economic, or technological developments that are of significant importance for the economy are scientifically substantiated, or ensuring the country’s defense capability.
- Each dissertation should correspond to one of the above criteria requirements. Moreover, the dissertation must be consistently verified by the following scientific “instances”: the scientific adviser/consultant, the department, the official opponents, the lead organization, the dissertational council (closed when the academic degree is awarded and open when the council’s opinion on the dissertation is voted on), and the conclusion of an expert council and the decision of the presidium. In this case, all these “instances” make a decision with a certain degree of responsibility. Their assessment is also expressed by unofficial opponents, scientists, and research teams who sent their opinions on the author’s abstract and the dissertation, well-wishers and ill-wishers, but their opinion, so to speak, is advisory, but not decisive, as in the first case.
Thus, a dissertation is a research work that has strictly scientific criteria that must be observed. And if you want to know more about dissertation writing stages, check out our blog for more information, for example, How to Get a Dissertation Fellowship in Simple Words.