How to Write a Dissertation

How to write a dissertation?

The simple answer to this question is, by typing one word followed by the next word until it’s finished.

But you probably wanted a slightly more detailed answer. Didn’t you?

There are several things you need to consider when thinking about how to write a dissertation.



Planning

How to write a dissertation is something that all students need to learn.

Planning makes everything easier. Take the time to plan your thesis writing. Produce a dissertation outline so that you know what order you want everything in.

Take your time writing the thesis outline. It’s much easier to change the order of the different parts or to plan a different way of presenting your data at the outlining stage than when you’re half way through writing your dissertation.You can start to plan your final dissertation almost as soon as you start to do your experimental work. You’ll have needed to write a dissertation proposal explaining why the research needs doing and what your initial plans are for the work. This can form the basis of your plan for how you’ll write your dissertation.



Write All the Time

Many students only do experimental work, then stop and start to write their thesis. This isn’t the best way to plan your time or write a good thesis.

It’s much better if you’re able to write while also doing your experimental work. You won’t be able to write all of the sections of your thesis while still working in the lab but you should be able to get the introduction, literature review and dissertation methodology sections written and nearly finished while still doing your experiments.

Even if you can get these sections just 75% complete it’ll take a lot of the pressure of you when you’re into the writing up phase.

Many universities have regulations about how long you’re able to spend writing up before you either fail or have to pay more fees. Most students have plenty of time to finish, but enough get close to the deadline that it’s worth getting some writing done sooner rather than later, to reduce your stress levels, if you’re one of those students.



Set a Schedule

Most students doing research enjoy the practical lab work but don’t like the writing part as much, so, often, the writing part of the thesis writing process gets put off for tomorrow. If you do this I’d recommend setting yourself a schedule to help you achieve your writing goals for each week.

  • Decide what you need to do each week to ensure that the writing of your dissertation progresses at a steady constant rate.
  • Think about what time you’ve got free between your experiments and other commitments.
  • Plan how you’ll fit your writing tasks into that time.
  • If they won’t fit decide what other tasks can be rearranged or dropped so you've time to write.

If you write a little bit every week the total amount you’ve written will soon add up. It’s important that you make time to write now. Many students, who get to the end of their experimental work and have to start writing their thesis from scratch, wish that they’d taken to time to write previously. This is an important part of how to write a dissertation.



Write One Word Then the Next One

Even if you do everything else right the question of ‘How to write a dissertation?’ comes down to the answer of ‘One word at a time’.

There’s no substitute for just writing. You can’t proofread your thesis or improve it if you haven’t written it.

So write your first draft. This doesn’t have to be great. It’ll get better as you revise it. No one expects their first draft to be ready to submit. It can only get better as you go back and read it and revise it.

The longer you procrastinate about how to write a dissertation, the less time you’ll actually have to write it in.

Remember that the only person who can write your thesis is you. If you’re tempted to pay for a custom dissertation to be written, don’t. Once you’ve written your thesis I can help you to proofread it and improve it, but you need to put the work in and write it yourself.



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