What To Do When Your Dissertation Is Rejected – 5 Steps


Do dissertations scare you too? Do not worry, because you are not the only one.

A dissertation is a very important part of your academic success as a graduate student. Nevertheless, it does not mean that it should be the only thing to be focusing on in life. Though it takes a lot of your blood and sweat, it should not be a reason to get you into depression in case of rejection. Let us face it, dissertations are hard, and they do get rejected sometimes.

All the professors you see teaching you about how to craft an appealing dissertation have faced rejections at some point in their lives as well. But they did not give up, worked hard, and came out stronger. And that is what matters.

If you are also struggling with a bad or rejected dissertation and do not know what to do now, this is the perfect place for you. We have tried to shed light on what makes a dissertation look and sound good, along with ways to cope with such unpleasant circumstances.

First things first, let us see what could some possible reasons for the rejection of a dissertation might be.

Why is a Dissertation Rejected?

Do you know why your dissertation was rejected? Did the professor tell you where exactly the improvements are needed? If yes, great because now you know where to work on and how to make it right. But if you think you did just fine and have no clue where you went wrong, there is no way the changes required in it can be made.

To ease the process, we have come up with some of the causes.

1. No Understanding of the Research Aim

Do you understand the purpose of your research? It is imperative to know why you are researching a particular topic, what could be the possible outcomes, and how you will convey whatever you have deduced. You should also make sure that the content is easily comprehendible to everyone. If you believe it needs some precision and clarity, do that. Similarly, if you believe there are not enough statistics to support the argument, look for more facts.

2. Ambiguous Research Questions

If your research questions fail to elicit reader interest, you may be rejected. The purpose of interesting research questions is not to be fun but rather relevant and interesting. Would you be interested in reading the next chapter of a book that does not pique your interest? You probably would not bother. The same situation could have happened to your work if it did not capture the attention of the examining board.

3. Poor Structure and Format

Many people think the structure and format might not affect, but it is actually the first thing a professor notices even before giving the dissertation a read. Yes, first impressions are not always the last impressions, but the case is a little different here.

You have to be very careful with how many paragraphs you are going with, the fragment breakdown, how many heads and subheads are included while making sure the information is easy to grasp, just like a story. Many people prefer it to get checked by professionals, i.e., an editing and proofreading service, because they make the necessary edits and tell you why specific changes were made. That helps!

4. Unfitting Conclusion

Finally, the failure to state your opinion and arguments at the end of your dissertation is a cause for rejection. Is your conclusion accurate, describing exactly what you have accomplished in the process of your research?

The conclusive part of your research should consider the validity and authenticity of your research. Your research skills and methodology will be covered by the conclusion of your dissertation, so ensure that happens in the best possible way. 

Additionally, you can analyze those areas separately to determine any flaws or the reason they were rejected.

Sometimes you are still confused if the dissertation you have developed is good enough, even after making sure the aforementioned factors are strictly taken into consideration. When that happens, which is pretty normal, you can always seek help from experts in the industry. Search for dissertation writing services, and you will find tons of options.

What To Do When Your Dissertation Is Rejected - 5 Steps 1

5 Ways to Deal with a Rejected Dissertation 

1. Take Some Time Off

Do not be too hard on yourself; it is okay to be rejected sometimes. In order to start, one must stop. Let go.

Reacting instead of responding is important, and this can take time. Put away the rejection letter. Do not answer that email. Do not make impulsive decisions that you will regret later.

You deserve a break. A real one. Whatever you need to do to get rid of the pain, a change of scenery, a bit of exercise. You are not running. The only thing you need to understand is that with time you will be able to handle it better.

You can move on to the next step when you are ready.

2. Time For Some Self Love 

As we said earlier, you are not the only one. It is all temporary and will go away soon. Life is a combination of good and bad days, and this is just a bad day that would not last for long. Sometimes, it’s important to acknowledge that you do not make the decisions.

You cannot control everything happening with or around you, but it is always wise to focus on ways to improve stuff. That is a positive approach to opt for in such a situation. Your chances of success will increase if you improve your application, but that is not a guarantee. Just do everything you can, put your heart and soul, and do not feel guilty if things still do not go in your favour.

3. Time for Honest Assessments 

It is now time for the hard part. Let us try to identify what went wrong.

Realize that success does not automatically equate with failure. Identifying what went wrong is the first step toward improving it. As you improve it, your application will become stronger.

We will now examine the feedback. If you did not get any, you must ask.

Consider compartmentalizing the advice: take on one thing at a time. Be as specific as you can. It does not mean the entire application was bad just because some areas need improvement. If you know where and what went wrong, you will easily be able to fix them.

4. Seek Help

Ask for feedback and input from others without being afraid or ashamed. Many academics are afraid to normalize rejection. The goal is to appear as all-knowing sages incapable of failing. Unfortunately, that is not true. Anyone can fail.

You should talk to someone if you have any questions about how to handle rejection. Each colleague has been there, so they can offer advice. Ask your friends for advice. Do not hold rejection in because maybe from talking, you will discover a partnership you had no idea existed or a new idea you would never have thought of.

You can also get help from dissertation writing services, as mentioned earlier. There is no shame in that as well.

5. Start Working

It is hard to get motivated to go again after being rejected. You can only succeed by trying, trying, and trying again.

And it’s not just a repetition of what’s already been done. You have to think outside the box. Make sure your goals are measurable and achievable. Make sure you are committed to achieving them. There are even successful people who are rejected – the difference is that they aren’t easily discouraged, and they do not give up.

Consider how great it would be to be accepted into a postgraduate program.

Finally, just start working on it again and know that this time you will be accepted.

That is all for this post; we hope you could take some inspiration and courage to get back on the incomplete or rejected dissertation. And this time, you will reach the pinnacle of glory for sure.

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Kate Staples is a career coach from Canada. She specializes in personal development, leadership, and mentoring students, recent graduates, and career changers to create a new career path and define their work skills, values and preferences. She is a blogger, speaker, and long-distance runner.


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