Caleb S.
Caleb S.

The Ultimate Guide on Dissertation Writing

8 min read

Published on: Sep 19, 2020

Last updated on: May 19, 2023

Dissertation Writing

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Dissertation writing can be an intimidating task for any student. From conceptualizing the research topic to defending the dissertation at the end, it is an arduous journey.

There are many steps involved in writing a dissertation and each one must be taken with care. 

This guide will help you understand what is required of you when writing your dissertation so you can complete your project successfully.

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What is a Dissertation? 

A dissertation is an academic paper that represents the culmination of a student’s research and studies in a specific field. 
A dissertation involves designing a research project, collecting data, analyzing it, making conclusions, and writing up the work. 
Additionally, a dissertation must be based on original research conducted by the student while relying on facts from established authors and experts in the field.
In most cases, successful completion of a dissertation will result in awarding an advanced degree such as a master's or doctorate.

Difference between a Thesis and a Dissertation 

The main difference between a thesis and a dissertation is the scope of the work. A thesis is typically shorter in length than a dissertation and focuses on one major idea or goal. 
Thesis usually requires an extensive literature review and research project, with the end result being an original academic paper that makes an argument or proposes an answer to a question in the field of study. Theses are often published in academic journals.
On the other hand, dissertations are longer and more comprehensive pieces of work that revolve around demonstrating a student's deep knowledge of their specific field of study.
Dissertations require more in-depth research than a thesis, including data collection and analysis as well as the construction of valid and reliable conclusions.
Dissertations are generally only available within library databases or other restricted access locations due to their more lengthy nature.

The Process of Dissertation Writing 

The process of creating a successful dissertation  can be difficult and overwhelming for students. It requires a lot of planning, research, writing and editing to produce a successful dissertation. 
The following process will guide you through the process of writing your dissertation:

Choose Your Topic 

Before you begin the dissertation process, you need to choose a topic. It is important to choose something that interests you and fits with your area of study. 
To help narrow down the options, make sure to consider the following points:

  • Is the topic relevant?
  • Are there sufficient sources available for research?
  • What is the scope for further investigation?
  • How much work will need to be done in order to complete it?

By considering these questions, you will be able to identify an appropriate topic and get started on your project. 
After choosing a suitable topic, it is important to create a thesis statement that will serve as the foundation for your paper. 


Once you have chosen a topic, it’s time to start researching. You will need to conduct an extensive amount of research in order to adequately back up your thesis statement and support your arguments throughout the paper. Make sure that all of your sources are reliable and up-to-date.

Develop a Thesis Statement 

Developing a thesis statement is an essential step when writing your dissertation. It should express the main point of your research and provide the reader with an overview of what the paper is about. 
The best way to craft a successful thesis statement is to clearly explain what you intend to prove in your paper, as well as how you plan on doing it.
This should provide readers with an understanding of what the paper is about and how it will be structured.

Literature Review 

Research forms a major part of any dissertation and requires thorough investigation into relevant literature, theories, and methods related to your chosen topic. 
You need to source reliable materials from credible sources such as academic journals, books, and online resources that will support your argument throughout the paper.

Create an Outline 

Developing an outline of your paper will help you organize all of your thoughts in a logical order and ensure that no important points are overlooked. This should include a list of the topics you plan to discuss, as well as any subtopics you may want to touch on.

Write the First Draft 

After creating an outline, start working on drafting your paper. Aim for about 2-3 pages per day and don’t worry too much about grammar or sentence structure at this point – just focus on getting your ideas down on paper.

Edit & Revise 

Once you have finished writing the first draft, it’s time to go back and edit. Look for any areas where you could improve the paper, such as restructuring sentences or adding more evidence to support your arguments.
Editing should also be done to ensure clarity of thought and expression, as well as accuracy of information.


Once you have successfully completed your research and written up your dissertation, the final steps are to proofread and format it. 
Proofreading involves a thorough check of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting to ensure that the document is error-free.

Formatting should be done according to the guidelines of your program or institution. This includes ensuring that;

  • All chapters are well organized
  • are properly cited in the text
  • Bibliography is included at the end of the paper
  • Any visuals (graphs/tables/diagrams) used in the paper meet certain criteria

After these tasks have been completed satisfactorily, you can submit your dissertation for review by faculty members.

By following these steps and taking your time, you can ensure that your dissertation is well written and meets all of the requirements set by your professor or supervisor.

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Dissertation Writing Steps 

Here are the steps to follow while dissertation writing.

1. Title Page

Most dissertations require a title page that includes the details of your dissertation, including its title, author name, and any institutional affiliations.

2. Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements are an important part of your dissertation, as they give credit to those who have helped or supported you during the process.
This page should thank mentors, colleagues, librarians, and other people who have helped you with your research or in writing the dissertation.

3. Table of Contents

The table of contents should outline the structure of your paper and make it easier for readers to find what they're looking for. It should include the headings and subheadings of each chapter, along with page numbers.

4. List of Figures and Tables

For dissertations that include figures and tables, you should include a separate page to list each of them. This page should also contain a brief description of the figure or table and its source (if applicable).

5. List of Abbreviations

If your dissertation includes a lot of abbreviations, you should provide a page listing them all and their meanings. This will make it easier for readers to understand the text. 

6. Glossary

A glossary is a list of definitions of words and terms used in your dissertation. It can be helpful for readers who are not familiar with the subject matter or who need clarification on certain concepts.

7. Abstract

The abstract should provide a summary of the main points of your dissertation. It should be no more than one page in length and include an overview of the problem being addressed, the objectives of your research, and a summary of your findings.

8. Introduction

The introduction is the first chapter of your dissertation and should provide an overview of the topic, the research question, and your approach to answering the question. It should also include a brief rationale for why this work is important.

9. Literature Review/Theoretical Framework

This section should provide a review of existing literature related to your research question or topic. You should also discuss the theoretical frameworks that you are using for your study.

10. Methodology

The methodology section outlines the approach you took to address your research question and/or topic. It should include an explanation of your research design, data collection methods, and any analysis tools used.

11. Results & Discussion

The results and discussion sections provide an opportunity to present and interpret the findings from your research. 
You should explain how the findings are relevant to your thesis statement, outline any implications for future research, and draw conclusions from the data. 

12. Conclusion & Recommendations

The conclusion should summarize your key findings and provide an overall evaluation of the results. You should also make recommendations for further research or possible applications.

13. References

All sources used in your dissertation must be properly cited using a standard citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago). 
The references page should list all works that were quoted or referenced within the body of your dissertation.

14. Appendices

Any supplemental materials that are necessary to support your argument can be included in the appendix section. This could include images, tables, graphs, questionnaires, surveys, etc. 

With this comprehensive guide on hand, students now have all they need to write their dissertations with confidence. Good luck!

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Caleb S.


Caleb S., Marketing, Law

Caleb S. derives the most satisfaction from helping students reach their educational aspirations. With a Master's degree from Oxford University, Caleb has ample experience in writing that he can use to aid those who request his assistance. Focusing on his client's necessities, he always goes the extra mile to deliver first-rate service.

Caleb S. derives the most satisfaction from helping students reach their educational aspirations. With a Master's degree from Oxford University, Caleb has ample experience in writing that he can use to aid those who request his assistance. Focusing on his client's necessities, he always goes the extra mile to deliver first-rate service.

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