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PhD Writing: Tips And Prompts

5 Tips To Consider Looking For A Free Theses And Dissertations Database

Free dissertation databases are a great source of papers you can use as examples. Many of them contain genuine and high-quality papers. Use this brief guide to find reliable websites.

  1. Begin with your university database.
  2. Many academic institutions store all theses and dissertations that have been submitted to them, both in hard copy and digital form. Browse your online library catalogue to find links to these papers. University databases are 100% free for their students to use. Moreover, using the examples defended on your faculty, you can be sure they have not only proper level of research but appropriate formatting as well.

  3. Check who runs this database.
  4. The most reliable dissertation websites belong to universities or state authorities. See whether the site’s URL has “.edu” or “.gov”. Next, look at the “About us” or “Contacts” section. If this website is just mimicking an educational or governmental one, it will show off. A truly credible website would have the physical address and valid phone number of a respective organization on its contact page. Doing this check, you can separate legal databases from “volunteer” ones that might contain low-quality papers.

  5. Check whether this database provides free access to full texts.
  6. There is no generally accepted definition of a “free” dissertation website. Some resources that claim to be that provide free access only to the several first pages of each paper. To view or download the full document, you will have to pay. To avoid disappointment, check the database’s terms and conditions of use before you start browsing for papers that interest you.

  7. Look for databases that specialize in your discipline.
  8. Most dissertation resources are filled by a certain principle; all papers submitted in a particular state, in a particular university, or on a specific discipline. The latter often have the best selection of papers in your field, including those on rarely explored topics or those submitted many years ago. To get relevant results right away, include the discipline’s name in your search query, e. g. “free economics thesis database.”

  9. Look for user feedback.
  10. When in doubt whether to use a particular dissertation database or not, Google its name to see what other people say about it. Does it have good papers? Does it charge any “hidden” fees or commissions? People on the Web are often willing to share their experiences, both negative and positive. If you discover much more praises for this website than critical remarks, it is probably a helpful one.

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