What Are the Skills Needed for Writing a Dissertation or Thesis?Now, let's get to the basic question as to whether you need some basic skills while writing a thesis or an essay/research paper. What skills must you absolutely have if you want to write a successful thesis or an effective research paper? Now, suppose I asked you what skills do you think are necessary before you can choose to write your research paper or thesis? Some of the kills that a researcher would identify are writing skills and reading skills.
Do you actually need writing skills to write a thesis or a graduate-level dissertation? Suppose, you do not have writing skills, and only like to read or have reading skills, would you not be able to create a perfect thesis. I am going to tell you here that even if you do not have the writing skills necessary to write a thesis, you can write a thesis if you follow the stages I specify and that is locating your resources, creating an outline and writing your first draft.
Writing your first draft elevates you to the level of writer and no matter how bad or unreadable your draft is, writing your first draft already indicates that you have developed the essential writing skills necessary to write a thesis. So yes, having writing skills is absolutely necessary for writing a thesis, but it is also true that it is possible to develop such skills if you continuously practice writing and focus on the writing process with considerable attention. To write a thesis, develop your reading skills and develop your writing skills. Developing reading skills happens through constantly reading your research material and writing down the points or information available. All research points must be written down and analyzed to help you understand what you read. This will help develop your reading skills. You must read, learn and understand every word of the project you are working on r the book or paper you are reading. When you don't, look up on the internet or the dictionary, encyclopedia or other information resources to learn more about the concepts you don't easily understand. When you have established your significant reading skills by considering all the tools in reading, move over to improve your writing skills. So, focus on reading, read up all your material and then try to write down your ideas and theses or research points.
You can develop your writing skills by practising to continuously write and the practice has to start with the rough draft that you create while writing your thesis. The first outline you must create as you identify your resources and once the outline is created depending on the resources, you can expand as you start writing your research proposal and your rough draft for your thesis. You will probably learn a few writing tricks and also learn some writing skills while you work on your research proposal.
However, if you are at your Master's level and do not have to write a research proposal, but just a rough draft of a thesis, then skip the proposal writing skills and focus on the thesis writing skills straightaway. Proposal writing is however different from thesis writing as you must condense information and focus on the presentation of information in a precise and shortened manner. In a thesis, you obviously go in an opposite direction and learn how to write your research findings and present these in the most elaborate and detailed manner possible. Thus call the long and short of it, but you must learn both, writing shortened versions and writing lengthy or detailed versions of your draft while developing your thesis writing skills. That way thesis writing is a helpful exercise as you must learn all aspects of writing and either write long drafts or short drafts and learn how to present perfect versions of both. This is how a thesis makes you a comprehensive and whole research writer as you learn all aspects of writing and especially learn how to put ideas in paper and present the long and short of a thesis. So, you must learn how to write a 10000 word paper, just as you will learn how to write a 500 word research outline or proposal that will have all the information of the 10000 word thesis.
So, you develop some skills while writing a thesis - you can write a long thesis or a short abridged research proposal, you learn how to write both. You also learn to think fast and write fast according to the information available. You also learn how to read fast while you working on your paper or thesis and locate the resources for analysis. So writing fast, thinking fast, reading fast and analysing fast are some of the fast skills you must develop while writing a thesis. These fast skills will have to be developed quickly while you write your thesis and once you have these four skills of thinking, reading, writing and analyzing, you must be able to interpret quickly and develop your thesis with the help of your new found skills. It is expected that as a research student, you will already have these skills because you will have gone through several stages of intellectual and personal development before becoming a PhD or Masters research student.
However, despite your skills in personal and intellectual development, you must learn the analytical skills and possibly improve your reading and writing skills while doing your thesis. You must also have a fifth skill, listening skills and listening skills are important as you must take advice from your supervisors and fellow researchers to understand where you are going wrong and how you should improve your thesis. Thus I have noted the five absolute skills that make you a good researcher - reading, writing, thinking, analyzing and listening. Maybe you will also need personal communication skills to communicate and interact with the other researchers and develop better insights into your ideas and research direction.
Whatever your research area, these skills are common and all researchers require similar skills to write a perfect dissertation, thesis, or research paper.