How to Write a Dissertation in a Nutshell

How to Write a Dissertation in a Nutshell
Table of Contents
  1. How to Write a Dissertation in a Nutshell
  2. Step 1. Writing a Proposal
  3. Step 2. Outlining the Structure
  4. Step 3. Conducting Research
  5. Step 4. Writing a Dissertation
  6. Step 5. Editing and Proofreading
  7. Edit Your Work
  8. Proofread the Text

A thesis defense is a copestone of the substantive work and research of a PhD student. Naturally, a dissertation is a set piece of the defense and designates the success of the whole project to a great extent. In this article we will discuss not only how to write a dissertation. There are hundreds of academic disciplines and the requirements to the dissertation may vary, yet, there are five basic steps that are pertinent to any discipline:

  1. Writing a proposal;
  2. Outlining the structure;
  3. Conducting research;
  4. Writing a dissertation;
  5. Editing and proofreading;

Usually, students have months to complete this paper, however, not all manage to finish it in time even if they know well how to write a dissertation. The problem is, this piece of writing should be of a scientific significance and considered to be a strong contribution to the profile discipline. Such work should search for an answer to a specific issue or for a new or unexpected approach to well-known problems.

All papers that students write during the university studies act like a run-up to the working upon a dissertation. However, it is a one-of-a-kind project so no one can be prepared enough to complete this task without additional preparation.

Our professional writers created this guideline to simplify this task highlighting the most important points.

Step 1. Writing a Proposal

It is a short paper that describes the results of your research and proves that the chosen theme is interesting, relevant and valuable for your profile subject. Even if it is not an obligatory task, make and give it to your mentor. What points should be discussed in the proposal?

  • The research problem
  • Its importance for the chosen field of study
  • What methods were used to search for the answers and explain why

You should also discuss the title of your work with your mentor.  Asking the right questions will help you to come up with a workable hypothesis on how to solve the issue or find correct answers.

Step 2. Outlining the Structure

Here is an example of the dissertation structure required at the University of British Columbia. Another one is from the University of Warwick. As you can see, the requirements differ so you will have to stick to the rules of your university. Still, there are some general elements that you should include:

  • Title
  • Introduction:
  • Objectives
  • Literature review
  • Main body:
  • Research section
  • Methodology section
  • Conclusion:
  • Discussion of findings and how is it possible to extend the research in the future

And do not forget to craft a schedule where you determine how much time you are going to spend on each part.

Step 3. Conducting Research

Finding fresh, significant and useful information is crucial if you want to conduct a well-thought-out and in-depth research.

This step of the writing process is quite time-consuming as it is essential to convince the reader that you have a profound knowledge of the topic, worked through the previous researches, and see their limitations.

It is essential to search for reliable data sources. These may be a published article, magazines, books, and the Internet. Using Wikipedia may be tempting, however, it is not the best place to search for the information.

Each source mentioned in the paper should be cited properly so do not forget to jot down all the sources you use. It is advisable to arrange these notes according to the chosen referencing style. 

Once the gathering data stage is completed, you have to make its analysis using the chosen methodological approaches to interpret it. And now it is time to explain the details of the research and the result verbally.

Step 4. Writing a Dissertation

”A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

Thomas Mann

Gather all your notes, research results, sources, and the outline: everything is ready to be turned into words. Remember, even the most in-depth research can be spoiled by poor writing.

These aspects have a great impact on the quality of the text:

  1. Adjust the outline to conducted research
  2. The intro section should identify the research question, provide a brief summary of the literature and state the purpose of the work.
  3. The intro should also suggest the potential result of the research.
  4. Methodology paragraph should focus on the chosen methods of data collection and analysis
  5. All facts mentioned in the research section should be argument-based
  6. Double check the interpretation of the analysis and its results
  7. Conclusions should not repeat the intro
  8. In the end, you should describe the perspective of further research on this issue

Step 5. Editing and Proofreading

When you finish the rough draft of the text, it’s not the time to rest on your laurels. The major part of the work is complete, so it is necessary to add some finishing touches.

Edit Your Work

  1. Check the sequence of facts and poofs
  2. Make sure that the explanations are brief and clear
  3. Exclude all milk-and-water text

Proofread the Text

  1. Look through every word to correct all spelling and grammar errors
  2. Check the connections between paragraphs
  3. Meet the requirements of the referencing style

It is just impossible to cheat here. At this point, you should make sure that the readers can follow your thread of thoughts without interruptions. Thus, the text should be readable, fluent, and logically structured. Hope, we cast some light on the dissertation writing. Now you get insight into the making of the perfect dissertation.

Still, you can confine yourself to theoretical knowledge and entrust practice to professionals. It is a guarantee of the high quality of your paper and will save you loads of time. Take advantage of the proper writing now!