Dissertation Writing

Writing a dissertation is no easy task. This site is devoted to solving the mystery of writing a perfect dissertation.

Dissertation Editing

Have already written your dissertation? Learn how to polish it up using simple, though valuable tips and tricks.

Dissertation Writing Problems

Dissertation resources

What is a Dissertation Paper and How Should You Approach It?

A dissertation is a required portion of the doctoral process. Once a student completes their coursework and passes a comprehensive exam, he or she must complete a dissertation before obtaining a PhD or other doctoral degree. The goal of a dissertation is to make a new contribution to a field of study and to demonstrate the student’s expertise and knowledge of the field.

This particular final hurdle is also many student’s most daunting task of their graduate education. It requires thousands of hours of training, research, and writing, and represents your study as a student for years after graduation.

The following is an outline of the generally acceptable steps toward completing your dissertation, but it must be noted that your particular program may have specific requirements, so it is advised to also check with your doctoral program to be sure that you have covered all of the necessary requirements and standards set by your institution.

  1. Identify your purpose
  2. The goal of a dissertation is to prepare you to be a professional in your discipline of study. Your paper should be original work in which you have conduct independent and significant research toward your particular field. You should seek to: identify/define problems, generate appropriate or necessary questions, review and summarize literature, apply appropriate methods, collect data, analyze and judge the evidence you discover, discuss findings, produce publishable results, and engage in a sustained research topic or argument.

  3. Write original and significant content
  4. Make sure that the claim you are making is something original. Your dissertation should attempt to present a new finding or discovery, or offer an original perspective that has yet to be explored. You should also strive to make sure that this new discussion is something that is going to significantly affect your field of study, and that it will present findings and pose thoughts that will contribute to the overall study of your topic.

  5. Use proper form
  6. In order to make sure that you are following the guidelines of your institution, you will need to be sure to speak with an advisor about what they mean in terms of overall form (for instance a series of essays or a book) as well as clarification for the proper format for the smaller components of your dissertation. A typical dissertation is comprised of:

    • Introduction
    • Literature review
    • Theory section
    • Method section
    • Results or data analysis section
    • Discussion of these results
    • Conclusion
  7. Helpful Tips
    • Stay honest. Remember that academic integrity is most important when formulating your own hypothesis and engaging in the presentation of your own data analysis. Be aware of plagiarism pit-falls, and avoid them.
    • Improve your writing. There are many ways you can ensure that your final product truly represents your best possible work. Here are a few tips you can utilize during the writing process:
    • Familiarize yourself with good scholarly writing by reading essays/dissertations by authors recommended by your advisors or within your respected field
    • Plan your dissertation by outline and brainstorming your thoughts prior to actually writing. Discuss these plans and outlines with advisors in your academic community before proceeding.
    • Plan the pieces. Once you have your basic thoughts organized, outline the exact order of your content before actually writing.
    • Write and revise separately. After you draft a section, step away from it for a while before going back to revise. You will probably spot more errors after establishing this distance from the work.
    • Follow the rules. There are norms for style and forms of dissertations within your field. Use the proper handbooks and guidelines that educate you on the proper conventions to utilize.
    • Get feedback. Utilize advisors or a coursework writing service to get responses about your work from others. Ask for help on short revisions or join a writing group.
    • Practice your presentation. Take opportunities to practice your oral presentation by yourself or in front of small groups so that you will be comfortable presenting your ideas.

The dissertation process is lengthy, intimidating, and requires much endurance. But you have gotten this far, and by utilizing the right resources already at your disposal, you can achieve the daunting task successfully.