Writing a Dissertation: Top Tips from Professionals

Most future PhDs face an enormous challenge when they start writing dissertation. The main purpose of this project is to turn years of studying into a coherent, single work. You are expected to demonstrate the academic background achieved throughout your studying years and compose a difficult project you have never written before. Of course, this is a tough task, so we asked our Ph.D. graduates for some tips. You will find the best pieces of advice below.

The general idea of dissertation writing

  • Make sure to learn the requirements of your university.
    It’s okay to ask your tutor for details. Always specify things with your supervisors. If your professor asks you to write 300 pages, ask him/her whether he/she means double-spaced or single-spaced. Because getting rid or adding 40,000 words within a week before a defense is not a very good idea.
  • Your dissertation is an apprenticeship.
    Remember that your dissertation is not a central work of your academic career, but a chance to learn how to compose chapters, articles and books for publication. Of course, you want your paper to be brilliant, but you should rather focus on the future results of it. Your peers will not read your piece and judge it, but they may read your publications after graduation. So, write dissertation as a text of your professional apprenticeship.
  • Creating introduction is the last thing to do when writing your dissertation.
    Write introduction when your conclusion is already done. It will help you to tie them together and achieve text coherence.
  • When you write a dissertation, don’t forget about the unanswered questions.
    There will always be some issues and questions left without an answer. You shouldn’t ignore them, instead highlight them and include them in your conclusion as issues for the future research. Your tutor will react negatively if you try to obscure the unanswered questions.
  • How to write dissertation without constant checking?
    Nohow! Check your quotations and bibliography, facts and references. When you have no inspiration to write anything – check and you will keep on making progress.
  • Ask for feedback on your dissertation at all stages.
    Ask your tutor to review your chapters when they are complete as well as the whole piece to make sure that it is tied up correctly.
  • Know when it will end.
    When your supervisor tries to cheer you up with words “You are almost there!” Ask hem/her to be more specific. Is it a week away, or do you need six more months to work? This will help you to estimate the quantity of work done.
  • Write in your own style.
    Develop your own writing style and keep up with it. Of course, listen to what your supervisor suggests about the revisions, but make your writing as personal as your scientific area allows. It is interesting to read the works that utilize special writing style because it makes a text more effective and compelling.
  • More is not always better.
    Don’t waste your time trying to make the page count higher. It is about detailed and thoughtful research, not size.
  • Don’t try to make it perfect.
    Nobody is expecting you to create a scientific masterpiece. Pursuing perfectionism will only take your time and make your stressed.

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