Rejected Dissertation Knocked You Down? Tips to Come Back with a Bang


Rejected Dissertation Knocked You Down?

As a graduate student, your dissertation is quite essential to your success as an academic. However, it doesn’t mean it should be the only thing important thing in your life. Indeed, writing your dissertation takes a lot of time; however, it doesn’t mean that it should not translate to the end of your life or academic sojourn when it is rejected. Many professors you see now had their works rejected at one point or the other in their educational journey, but they never gave up; they came back with a bang to excel in academia.

Below we have highlighted certain ways many graduate students have gotten back from a rejected dissertation and the possible reasons for the initial rejection.

Possible Reasons for Dissertation Rejection

Failure to understand the purpose of your research

It is important to understand the main reason for undertaking that study is to fill up a gap in that field and raise a question. Now go through your work and ask yourself, has your research raised any question? Has it filled a gap? If it has, the next thing to review is conveying the message. Can the dissertation be easily understood by all readers? If you find it difficult to understand the research’s message and purpose, it is advisable to rework it to make it more precise and conscious. In fact, read your dissertation as if you are a beginner in academia.

Failure to understand the research topic

Another reason for your research paper’s possible rejection is the examiners’ failure to understand the topic you have chosen. If you carefully have chosen, defined, and research your topic, and still, people don’t understand your research topic, it would be difficult for the examining board to approve it. The understanding of the base of your research is paramount for the work to be approved. The idea is to pick a manageable topic that can be expanded or narrowed down as per the time frame and write simply for your audience to understand the topic easily. The truth is that your dissertation might have been rejected because he/she did not understand what your topic is all about. 

Watery Research questions

Another reason for possible rejection is the failure of your research questions to elicit your readers’ interests. When we talk about interesting research questions, we don’t mean entertaining, but they should be relevant and interesting to know about. How would you feel if you were asked to read a book that doesn’t arouse your interest in reading the next chapter? You would probably return it without reading it. The same situation might have happened to your work, and the work might not have captured the examining board’s attention.

Broken Research structure

The broken structure of research work can also lead to the work being rejected. When we say broken structure, we mean a literature review written in fragments; with such a structure, it would be difficult for your readers to follow through on your line of thought. Is it fragmented and includes no point of interest and hold the reader? If your literature review is written in fragments, then how would the reader take the full knowledge about it? If you are jumping from one statement to another without explaining the previous one, what would the reader understand? You have to take care that your literature review provides the apt knowledge on the topic without jumping from one point/reference to another, and links directly to the research question. However, you can make it interesting by creating it in a form of story.

Unassertive Conclusion

Lastly, the failure to assert your opinion and arguments at the end of your work is a leeway for your dissertation to be rejected. Is your conclusion authentic with an exact description of what you have attained in the research process? Consider your research’s authenticity and validity in the conclusive part to cover up the whole research process. Checking the conclusion of the dissertation covers up the function of your research skills and methodology as well. Moreover, you can even review those areas alone to scrutinize the flaws and the reason for rejection.

Tips to Avoid Rejection

Write every day

A dissertation usually has more than 100 pages. Now, imagine writing them down, paying attention to all the details, in a short period? This is not ideal. To avoid such inconvenience, write every day. The minimum is at least 200 words daily at the beginning of the dissertation. As the course progresses, production tends to increase, even due to the knowledge level on the topic that expands.

Create a study and writing routine

To write every day, it will be necessary to create a well-defined study and writing routine if you need to combine your dissertation writing with other activities and set schedules for exclusive dedication to graduate school. Some people prefer to study in the morning and others at night. Another important factor is the place of study. A good option is to place with few distractions, quiet and organized. Good music to study also helps to create the most conducive conditions for learning.

Set a date to finish your dissertation

Before the established deadline, set your date to finish the dissertation. After that, set other dates for the completion of the sections or chapters. Even though it is a specific date, it is important to strive to deliver the text in advance for the board’s advisor and members to analyze. So, don’t leave up the time and create your calendar.

Don’t Speculate

Avoid generalities and make use of the data. Generalizations are suitable for bar table conversation. Each statement in your text must be supported by data, information, and interpretations found in articles and books by other authors or in your research.

It doesn’t matter what – or who – you use to support your claims, or whether you explicitly reference each claim, but all claims must be supported in some way. 

Don’t put in your work idea you cannot explain

If you have studied that topic for months, “lived” your work, and wrote the text, do not fully understand what something means; imagine who is reading your work. There is, therefore, an enormous possibility for the examinations board to ask about it.

If it is something essential to work, try to study and master that subject. Otherwise, avoid complicating yourself.

Do not make a “patchwork”

Writing an academic paper is more than just providing information or opinions from other authors. Make a discussion about this information; relate it to your results and other authors’ works. Demonstrate that you have mastered the subject and make the text more pleasant by developing your style.

Do not have just two opinions

Finished writing your work? After two or three readings, you and your supervisor are unlikely to find any more errors. It seems that we “got used” to them. So ask your classmates, your neighbor, your boyfriend, and your aunt to read your work. Each person who reads your book will have a different view of it, based on their life story and knowledge.

Final Thoughts

From the above, it is obvious that having your dissertation rejected is not the end; you can always bounce back and excel. By following these tips we have provided, you are going to overcome rejection.