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

PhD Dissertations Provide Training for Communication with Other Scientists

A dissertation is a lengthy research paper that a student in graduate school must complete in order to earn his or her PhD. However, the dissertation is more than just a long term paper, or a hoop that must be jumped through in order to attain a degree. The dissertation is also practice and training in the art of writing a journal article or formalized research paper, which is the main method of communicating results in the sciences.

Why do dissertations matter?

Dissertations demonstrate that PhD students have not only conducted substantial, thoughtful, and well-organized academic research, but that they have also taken the time to make sense of their findings, present their results in a thoughtful manner, and consider the implications of what they have learned for the sciences at large. As such, a dissertation is worth far, far more than the actual scientific experiments that fed into it. A dissertation is greater than the sum of its parts, because it is such a polished and intellectually developed work.

A dissertation is like a journal article

Scientists communicate their findings with one another using peer-reviewed journal articles. These are well-written, organized academic papers that sum up the rationale, method, and results of research that has been conducted. After the article is written, it is submitted to a committee of accomplished scientists who provide feedback and criticism, and who decide whether or not the work is worthy of publication.

This process ensures that the work is vetted, tested, and verified by experts. This is also very similar to the PhD approval and committee review process. Before graduating, a PhD student must submit their final paper to an academic committee for an in-depth review and critique. Eventually the final, edited product is approved by this board of peers. This process of dissertation review and approval is highly similar to the most important task an academic takes part in: writing and publishing journal articles with their research.

A dissertation is a wealth of information

Unlike journal articles, which range from ten to thirty pages on average, a dissertation is a wealth of information with no detail left out, typically spanning over a hundred pages (often much more). All references, methods, analyses, and findings are described, all data is included in meticulous tables, and all lines of inquiry are explored in depth. Even more importantly, most dissertations are kept online in their entirety by the student’s university.

Because they are so detailed, dissertations are an invaluable resource for other scientists who are seeking to learn more about a topic, master a new methodological procedure, or utilize an unfamiliar statistical technique. Dissertations are often cited in ongoing research projects and other journal articles, because they are of such high quality and depth of knowledge.