Understanding The Process of Writing a Dissertation

Source: Medium

So you want to write a dissertation? Congratulations! This is an exciting time in your life. You will have the opportunity to go deep into your field of study and spend weeks or months thoroughly researching and writing about a potentially fascinating topic. In this guide, we will cover the basics of what is involved in the process of writing a dissertation so that you can be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.

Writing a dissertation is an arduous task. It is a project that requires time and attention to detail. According to, one must take time when writing to ensure they are not overlooking the project’s finer points and missing important details, or worse, misleading themselves. A dissertation is an academic research project that a student presents at the end of his or her formal studies as a way to demonstrate that they possess a particular set of skills and knowledge. It is often the final step for graduate students before they enter the workforce as professionals. Writing your dissertation requires you to take on some specific roles:




Writing a dissertation requires you to think through the entire process and understand the broad strokes that make up the endeavor. Consider all of the steps you need to take, how long it will take, and what resources you will need to complete each step. You should carefully consider which audiences your research will be useful for and how they may benefit from your work.

Writing a dissertation is a lengthy, intricate process that can take months to complete successfully. This guide will help you navigate the pitfalls and roadblocks that may crop up along the way so that you can finish up strong.

Source: Landmark Outreach |

Step 1: Determine the topic

When starting your dissertation, the first thing to do is to create a list of potential topics, or at least some general ideas for topics. From this list, choose your preferred topic and start researching relevant literature to refine it into something more specific.

When choosing a topic, it’s always important to think of how you can answer the research question you have proposed using your work. However, make sure that your research is original; it’s better to choose a common topic than to regurgitate what others have said about it.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing your topic is whether you can answer the questions you have raised. If you don’t think you know enough about a topic, it’s probably not the one for you.

The topic should be clear, unique, and important. Being crystal clear means that you will be in a better position to put into words what exactly you are trying to do. A good topic will elicit interest, and thus, it should be unique. If two people have the same exact idea simultaneously, they will likely end up with similar results. Finally, a good topic should be important since researchers would like to contribute to that research area.

Step 2: Draft your award-winning dissertation proposal

With a solid grasp of your topic and some preliminary research, you can create a dissertation proposal that outlines your research methods, goals, and rationale. It will help later when you finalize your dissertation proposal. It’s important to be clear and concise in this document; make sure that all of the vital information is there. In the end, this proposal will help guide your research and keep you focused on what you need to do to complete the project.

Source: Grand Canyon University

What is the structure of a research proposal?

The structure of the research proposal follows a certain pattern. It usually starts with the title page, followed by the abstract, contents, and table of contents. The main body is divided into chapters: an introduction and a literature review; the rest of the chapters are devoted to specific aspects of the research theme. At last, comes a conclusion that includes recommendations for further research.

Step 3: Conduct your research

You’ve got your topic and your research proposal; now it’s time to do the work. During this step, you will be in the thick of things, conducting interviews with relevant stakeholders or reviewing previous studies on the subject. Choose a method that will allow you to collect the most data possible.

Collecting data can be difficult if you don’t have any support from a team of researchers and students. If this is the case, find a way to ensure that you can collect all of the materials necessary for your research. It may include holding focus groups or traveling to interview certain people.

Source: InfoWorld

Step 4: Organize your findings

Make sure that your research is well organized and easy to follow. If you are going to use some other people’s materials, be sure to attribute them appropriately in an acknowledgment page or the body of your work. Per APA style, you should also make sure that you have included an alphabetized list of references at the end of the document.

You should assess your work and decide whether or not it is as clear and thorough as possible. Take time to check for grammar, spelling, and errors in general. Be sure that all of your sources are up-to-date and correctly referenced. If something seems ambiguous or confusing, it may be a good idea to consult other experts in the field before proceeding with publication.

Step 5: Write and revise

Writing is often a tedious process of editing and revising, editing and revising. It’s important to make sure that you are explaining everything thoroughly but in an easy-to-understand way. To achieve this, you may have to write several drafts before you feel like it’s just right.

Tips for successful writing:

  1. Keep your sentences short and clear; avoid long or complicated sentences.
  2. Use headings and sub-headings to divide the text into logical units.
  3. Ensure that each paragraph has a topic sentence and relates to the text’s main idea as a whole.
  4. Keep it simple. Remember that you are writing for other people who are not as deeply immersed in your field of research.
  5. Get help from another person who can point out any mistakes you might have missed when proofreading your work yourself (and check they did it correctly).
Source: Perl

Step 6: Finalize your research proposal and dissertation

With all of the research you have done, you should have a solid idea of what you will be writing. It’s a good idea to write an abstract that summarizes your work for other people who do not have time or interest to read the whole thing. For this reason, it also helps to check with your advisor before submitting it for final approval.

Step 7: Submit your work

Whether you’re submitting to a university or journal for a Ph.D., it’s important to follow the instructions provided. Double-check everything and be sure that all of the necessary parts are included. Make sure that your writing is formatted correctly; check the submission guidelines. Also, remember that you will need to have several copies of your dissertation proposal and your final dissertation ready for submission. Some journals require them in electronic format as well as on paper.

Source: MasterClass

Step 8: Publication

When submitting your work, you in agreement with the journal or publisher that has agreed to publish it. If you fail to follow their guidelines and instructions or otherwise break the contract, they may refuse to publish your work at all. Even if your submission is accepted, it may be published under certain conditions (such as editing changes or very close deadlines) that you will need to agree to before publication.

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