Six helpful tips for writing a dissertation

Need to write your college dissertation but don’t know where to begin? Here are six helpful tips to get you started.

Writing a dissertation usually comes after years of research and reading. When approaching the task, you should also engage with your supervisor, committee, and other graduates like you.

Because a dissertation is not like any other assignment you take on in university, you need to ensure that everything is taken care of before sitting down and starting writing. If you have already gone through the stages of getting your dissertation done and need some extra helpful tips, this article should e a good start.

1) Have an agenda

Because you are not going to rush through your dissertation, you need to take time to plan for what you’re writing. Your agenda should direct the steps you wish to take to complete your dissertation. It’s recommended that you set yourself deadlines for when you wish to complete each chapter or section of your dissertation.

You can then find out how much you need to write each day to beat your deadlines. It’s a good idea to assemble your references in an organized fashion first. This is the most time-consuming part, and you may want to use a citation generator to help you.

After this you are ready to start writing. Pick a time of the day when you are most productive and get in as much work as you can. If you are a morning person, start early. If you enjoy writing later in the evening, try to be at your desk early as well to maximize your output.

2) Get on your computer and start typing

Once you have planned your time and how much you need to write each day to finish your dissertation on time, the next thing is to sit down and start writing. There will probably be plenty of reasons to keep delaying this stage, but try and get over them.

You won’t know if you need more research, further reading, or more experiments unless you start writing. Based on the research you have already collected, start writing and formulating arguments within your head. You will have more achieved this way, and your paper will begin to take shape early. Even if there’s more to add, this is probably when you will figure that out.

3) Make drafts that you can later revise

As we’ve just seen, you’ll figure out what direction your paper needs to take when you start writing. But what if you can’t figure out what’s going on even when you have already started writing? Don’t worry; your first draft is rarely your last draft when you are writing a dissertation.

You can always come back and revise your work later. Remember, the idea is to have as much written based on your research as possible. You will then have time to go through your writing, correct the sentences, and improve your arguments. Don’t worry about perfecting your first draft.

4) Don’t linger over introductions

Introductions are probably the most challenging parts of any writing. If you find yourself stuck with an introduction to a section, skip it and get straight to the body of the chapter or section. Once you have covered the body of the section, the introduction will become clear. This tip applies to the main introduction of the dissertation as well.

It’s also wise to seek help with dissertation writing in case you get stuck at any point. If you linger too much in one area, you may not meet your deadlines and your paper may delay even further. There are plenty of resources online that you can go to, or ask for help from peers and your instructor.

5) Don’t beat yourself over a missed deadline

As much as you may want to write a perfect dissertation on time, lapses will happen along the way and you may miss one or two deadlines. Don’t fret. It happens. Many of us get caught in writer’s block and we miss deadlines.

Adjust the deadline and keep writing if you get yourself in a situation where you have missed a deadline. But you can anticipate this problem by setting your deadlines a little earlier than needed. This will give you a little boost in case you find yourself behind on any deadline. 

6) Take breaks

If you expect to finish a good thesis be ready to sit at your desk typing during most of your day. However, don’t burn yourself out by working past your normal productivity hours. Try and take breaks when you need to. Breaks give your brain time to recover and get in fresh ideas so that you can get going again. Even so, do not neglect your writing for too long. Avoid social activities if you can until your paper is done. 

You’re ready to start writing!

Writing a dissertation requires a lot of attention to detail and a lot of writing. If you need to finish your paper on time and also impress your professor, you need to be disciplined as you write. There is a lot to consider before you start, but start anyway. You will never know how much you can do unless you start writing. 

Antony Kutcher is a freelance writer with plenty of experience writing articles, blogs and dissertations. He has contributed to many blogs and student assignment help platforms. He enjoys reading novels, biking and playing guitar.