Basic Dissertation Writing Guidelines You Should Follow

A dissertation is an extended research project that you will undertake as a university student. This is a serious writing assignment where you will have to prove your capabilities as a researcher and demonstrate your knowledge of a subject. It is vital that you approach writing this academic paper correctly and consider all important nuances to cope with this laborious and lengthy task well. Make use of the following basic guidelines to succeed:

  • Check out the requirements.
  • Before you set about writing anything substantial, check what specific requirements you should follow. Namely, learn how long your dissertation is supposed to be, what sections your paper should consist of, and what information should be included in each of them. Pay close attention to the structure of your future work. Depending on the discipline, you may be required to structure your paper somewhat differently. The common parts of any doctoral project are as follows: a title page, abstract, acknowledgements, introduction, literature review (or materials and methods), sources and methods (or results), findings (or discussion), conclusions, references, and appendices.

  • Create an outline of what you want to say.
  • Your dissertation should be well-organized, and a preliminary outline is the best way to arrange all your ideas in a logical and consistent order. Write down all chapter headings in the order they will appear, split each heading into several subheadings, and jot down all relevant details in space beneath each subheading.

  • Start writing early.
  • Don’t wait until your research is over. Start writing the chapters that are not based on the research findings or results. By doing so, you will have a large part of your project completed early. Don’t get frustrated that your first drafts aren’t perfect. In any case, your paper will need multiple revisions and it’s better to have them earlier rather than later.

  • Avoid plagiarism.
  • Students often plagiarize unintentionally, borrowing the ideas of other scholars word for word and forgetting to acknowledge them. Don’t do that! Whenever you present someone else’s information, paraphrase it or mention the source.

  • Know when to stop.
  • As soon as the main part of your dissertation is drafted, it’s natural that you will want to lead it to perfection. However, don’t overdo it! If you start feeling that your paper is a complete disaster and it’s better to rewrite it from scratch, take a break. Shift your attention to technical tasks, like arranging your contents page, checking your references, or working on your appendices. This strategy will help you look at your project with fresh eyes and realize that it’s not that bad.