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Writing a good dissertation or thesis

The Learning Center team is at your disposal to assist you in your documentary research via our research assistance service.


Step 1

Identifying your project

Taking the time to define the right topic is a very important step in the essay process. With the answers to the 3QPOC questions, you will be able to extract the concepts that will define your subject. Mind maps can also help you to have an overview of your project.
In addition, it is essential to review existing research. This should allow you to see if there is enough material to address your topic, if its scope is realistic, and if anyone has already answered your question.

The Learning Center has student papers that have been awarded an A or B grade and are not confidential. From our search portal, select "HEC PhD Theses" or "HEC Dissertations and theses"  in the tab "New items-selections".

Step 2

Preparing your research

To begin, make a list of keywords using dictionaries, thesauri, encyclopedias, manuals, etc. Break down each concept into a series of keywords, search for synonyms or equivalent terms. Once you have defined all your keywords, we recommend that you use Boolean operators to filter the results, combining or excluding specific words from your search "(AND/ET, NOT/SAUF, OR/OU)".

You can conduct your research using the Learning Center's resources (databases, news articles, journals, books and ebooks, dissertations and theses).

Step 3Managing your bibliographic references

Citation management software allows you to keep a database of the sources you use (books, journal articles, websites, etc.) when doing research. You can then select them when you cite your sources in your written work and automatically produce bibliographies from the citations you have included.

The Learning Center offers an article on the use of citation management software: Zotero.

Step 4

Writing your bibliography

The bibliography is a very important part of your thesis. It allows you to confirm your knowledge of the subject and to recognize the people behind the ideas you have developed in your research. It also allows the reader of your work to deepen it by identifying the documents you have consulted.

The Learning Center has produced a guide to help you build your bibliography in a consistent and standardized way.

Step 5

Citing bibliographic references

Plagiarism is presenting someone else's words or ideas as your own without acknowledging the source. Thus, when writing your dissertation or thesis, it is important to indicate the various sources that were used to fuel your thinking. Even when summarizing or paraphrasing information found in books, articles or web pages, you must credit the original author.

To assist you in this process, the Learning Center provides a document on plagiarism and how to cite your sources.