How To Write A Dissertation: A Complete Guide

How To Write A Dissertation: A Complete Guide

Written by Animesh Prasad

The journey on which Animesh embarked to become an engineer ended up with him turning into a content writer. As he progressed to his final year, he realized engineering isn't really his forte and pursued his love for writing. He has a deep interest in finance and loves traveling.

May 20, 2021

A dissertation or thesis is a long piece of academic writing based on original research. You are most likely required to submit it as a part of a Ph.D. or master’s, and sometimes as part of a bachelor’s degree. A nagging question many researchers face while presenting their work is how to write a dissertation. It is definitely not something you can do while relaxing with a cup of coffee in your hand. One needs to put in a lot of effort to present your research in a well-documented manner. Now that you have thought of writing a dissertation, let’s dive into the topic quickly.

Dissertation

Your dissertation might be the longest piece of writing you’ve ever done so it will most likely be intimidating at first. It helps to have clarity in your work from the very beginning. It all starts with your research topic. You need to come up with a suitable title for your dissertation. You surely want your dissertation to start with a bang! If you’ve started writing as you are completing the research you need not fret over the content right now. You can keep jotting down the important stuff as you go ahead and later do the editing.

First, decide the structure of the work. Arrange your findings in a methodical manner so as to have a logical flow. The presentation of your work is as crucial as your content. Let’s see how you should structure your dissertation.

Not all dissertations may be the same. It depends on your university, location and discipline. However, the following sections will most likely be required in your dissertation and in the same order. So, align all your content in the following manner.

  1. Title page
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Abstract
  4. Table of contents
  5. List of figures and tables
  6. List of abbreviations
  7. Glossary
  8. Introduction
  9. Literature review / Theoretical framework
  10. Methodology
  11. Results
  12. Discussion
  13. Conclusion
  14. Reference list
  15. Appendices.

Now let’s see how to write a dissertation step by step. We will brush through all the major sections so that you know what to write and how to jot down things. 

How To Write a Dissertation Proposal

This is a concise idea of what you have worked on and how it creates an impact in your field of study. You need to engage the audience with your words so as to showcase the gravity of your work. You might also be interacting with an audience that is unaware of your field of work. A small briefing goes on to help them in a long way. The proposal also includes a brief on the context of your work and the need for study in the subject. 

How To Write An Abstract For Your Dissertation

It is usually a short summary of about 200 words which gives your insights into the problem. This is the part you use to describe the tools you have used or the methods you adopted in your work. The main results of your work will help the reader to gain perspective of the entire work. You can draw conclusions from your work and also talk about what led you to take this particular topic for a detailed study. 

How To Write a Dissertation Introduction

This is the part where you let the reader know what to expect in the rest of the dissertation.

Here you provide some background information on your research topic along with the context of your particular idea. You then narrow down from the proposal to some specifics which might catch the attention of the reader. You then state your objectives and the area of concern that your research dwells into.

Hereafter you will have to dive deep into your topic and produce extraordinary material. The methodology and results will be unique for each and every dissertation. Remember to write a strong impactful conclusion. Make that final attempt to create a cohesive and organised final chapter. If your concluding chapter is unstructured or some sort of ill-disciplined rambling, the faculty marking your work might be left with the impression that you lacked the appropriate skills for writing or that you lost interest in your own work. 

Also Read: A Complete Guide To Study In Europe 

Tips on How To Write a Dissertation

So here are a few tips that you should consider before beginning your dissertation. 

  • Choose your research topic carefully. It’s vital that your research topic is something you find engaging and meaningful. Probably an issue that fits with your career aspirations.
  • Craft a convincing research proposal.
  • Write up a strong introduction chapter.
  • Review the existing literature and compile a literature review
  • Design a rigorous research strategy and undertake your own research
  • The conclusion should discuss the implications
  • Do not forget to critically proofread your dissertation towards the end. 
  • Good writing is essential in a dissertation. However, good writing will not compensate for a paucity of ideas or concepts. Quite the contrary, a clear presentation always exposes weaknesses.
  • Use active constructions and present tense as far as possible. 
  • When considering how to write a dissertation, you’ll actually be far better off writing your introduction, conclusion, and abstract after you have written all the other parts of the dissertation. This way you’ll have a better idea of what should be included in these sections. Also, you can then sum them up better. 

Recommended Reading: Did You Hear About These Postgraduate Scholarships in The UK

Lastly, do ensure that you proofread your submission well. A fresh set of eyes can really help to a great extent. All the best!

Thank you for reading this blog on – How To Write A Dissertation: A Complete Guide. If you enjoyed reading this blog then do check out our following blogs as well. 

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