How to Write A Dissertation: Tips For Success

Let us talk about the dissertation writing for a university or college. Did you ever think about how to write a dissertation? If you are a high school student or a BA undergraduate student, it may sound theoretical to you, though in some undergraduate degrees a final dissertation may be required.

If you are a Ph.D. student, it is crucial that you perceive how to write a decent dissertation clearly. So here is a dissertation guide for you. Do not just read this article, try to make its advice work for you.

Dissertation Writing Guide to Follow

Do not treat this guide as the only one, or the only right one. This dissertation writing guide may not be the first and the only one you may find when writing your dissertation, and it is probable that you just read it out of interest, and that is it. Take it seriously. It is important that you use it as your little teacher as you do your college dissertation to succeed.

A dissertation is basically any final study and research that a Ph.D. candidate must submit to receive their degree. It must be done correctly. That is not a course essay that most undergraduates do. It is more complicated and demanding and resembles writing a book.

Dissertation Structure In Detail

You should always start with the necessary basics. First of all, you need to learn how to structure a dissertation to do it properly. Your dissertation should have:

  • A page with a name of the work.
  • Brief info about the study.
  • A short preface.
  • Your thanks to those who might help you write.
  • A dissertation abstract or a summary of your paper.
  • The table of your contents.
  • A list of any charts, graphs or numbers you have used as a proof.
  • A list of your abbreviations.
  • Special terms definitions.
  • An intro chapter.
  • A review of the sources as general knowledge on the subject chapter.
  • Your research purpose.
  • The results of your research.
  • A conclusion and a discussion part chapter.
  • What would you recommend?
  • The final word, evaluation or reflection.
  • Any references to the sources you have used.
  • Any additional appendices.

The above is the full structure of any dissertation if it is done properly. Here we will talk about the essential parts of a dissertation: the abstract, the main body arguments and a conclusion.

Do you know how to write an abstract for a dissertation? Here are some handy tips for you. An abstract predetermines explaining the main points of your dissertation. It is read before anything else in your paper. A proper abstract should:

  • Explain your title.
  • Give a brief version of your writing.
  • Provide an overview.

Its length is usually short, no more than 1 page, so that the reviewing committee or any reader could just go over it and see what your thesis in the paper is, what is it about. It should follow the preface and precede the table of contents. It must always be written in the present tense.

Tell about the thesis or the question that you are researching. Tell about how have you conducted your research, which methods you have used, and what have you found. And finally, summarize your conclusions, the meaning of your results, ad any discussion points, briefly.

Now let us look at what should be included in the dissertation body. That is the main part of your arguments. Any proper body of a dissertation is where you put all your claims, proofs, etc. Here you should use chapters in the order shown above. Tell in detail what you have researched, why did you do this research, how you did it, with proofs and figures or diagrams, and what are your results. Use chapters for each part. It should consist of:

  • An intro: an extension and an explanation of your title and your thesis. A short introductory chapter with the main points.
  • A review or survey of literature: a descriptive review of the literature and the most common knowledge you have used. Do not confuse it with the reference list.
  • A summary of your used methods: how did you do the research? What methods did you employ? Show and explain them in detail.
  • Your results: what did your research show? What did you find in your study? Also, give every detail in this chapter.
  • The discussion part: this is close to the review of sources, but it is more evaluative, controversial, as you compare the existing knowledge to your findings.
  • A conclusion part: a dissertation conclusion is the wrap-up of an academic paper, so it is in your dissertation. So make sure to do it right. Writing a conclusion for a dissertation may, though, be tricky. Do not introduce anything new, and do not simply summarize your paper. Did you achieve your aims? Did you prove or disprove yourself? Say it briefly and without any long explanations, no more than a few paragraphs in the chapter.

Dissertation Writing Tips to Ease Your Challenge

Writing a dissertation is more than actually writing skills. It may affect your lifestyle and relations with your family. Here are some more dissertation writing tips for you that may prove useful. So far we have talked about the structure and how to write each part of it. Here is some more advice, concerning the organization, time management, and your health as you write your work.

  • Set your deadlines, but make them flexible. Put yourself some short due dates. For example, finish this chapter by October 4 or by the end of next week. And still, allow for some unexpected changes and emergencies.
  • Request feedback as often as you can. Ask a knowledgeable colleague to review your work and correct you if possible.
  • Know what the committee wants from you, but also have your own say. Do what is required of you, but develop your own position, use your own arguments to prove your thesis. That is your thesis, not your committee's. Do not try to please everybody.
  • Take some time off when needed, but go back to work. You should not work 24 hours a day. Have weekends, attend parties, go for a walk, watch a movie. It is crucial for your sanity that you distract yourself sometimes, and change your occupation.
  • Send away your friends and family when you need to write, but spend some time with them during the short breaks. Taking a rest is essential for your health. Tell your friends and family that you have to write your dissertation, that you should not be interrupted. But do use your break times to spend time with them.
  • Choose your writing time, at least half an hour every day. Do not spend time only writing all day long, and do not procrastinate either. Choose the ideal time when you can write, an hour or two in quiet surroundings and without interruptions. Then save your work and get up from your computer.
  • Forget about excuses, and just write. There are many reasons not to write. A computer is broken, electricity is down, some nightmare in the family, you got sick, etc. These are temporary difficulties and obstacles. You, as a Ph.D. student, have an office, a library or a computer class in your institution at your disposal. Just do not excuse yourself and write.
  • Read useful literature, but write your paper yourself. Read any literature and online articles which might help you write and format your dissertation, but do not rely too heavily on it. Write your own work, and say what you need to say.
  • Reward yourself for small accomplishments, but do not let this stop you. Give yourself some small treats for achieving small goals. Finished a chapter? Take a candy. Defending and getting your degree is important, but small steps towards it too.
  • Remember that you can do it! Take no doubts: you can do it, you can write a dissertation. And just do it. Do not allow doubts to eat you up.

Here are all the crucial tips for you to write a successful dissertation: the structure, the writing process, time management, the attitude, and life balance. Follow this advice and succeed. Good luck with writing!