Writing a Dissertation from Scratch: Things to Remember

Writing a dissertation is a big task and it carries a lot of weight with it. While it is often portrayed as a very arduous task, and it can be very involved and stressful before the end, writing a dissertation can be made easier if you can keep some basic tips and pointers in mind throughout the process.

The General Idea:

  1. A thesis is basically nothing more than a hypothesis or assumption that you are attempting to prove through research and your own experiences.

  2. A PhD dissertation can be very lengthy and often is the accumulation of several years of research, writing, and work.

  3. Two important things a dissertation must be is ``unique and ``extensive.'' The research must support all points made in the dissertation and it cannot be filled with fluff. 

  4. This massive paper is based on the scientific method, which means it is based on a hypothesis and then uses research to test that hypothesis and draw conclusions based on that.

  5. The core of a research paper like this is critical thinking so analysis and in-depth review is necessary in order to formulate the points that will be presented in the dissertation.

  6. A dissertation states the things that the student has learned, and does more than simply regurgitate data and facts- it applies them and adapts them to the topic of the paper.

  7. In general, each point made in the paper has to be logical, accurate, and supported by strong evidence or it can weaken the entire scope of the dissertation.

  8. A dissertation does not simply restate or repeat information that is found in the sources used; it takes the data, tells the reader where they came from, and applies them to the paper’s focus. 

  9. Each and every sentence has to be properly structured, free of errors and typos, and the entire paper has to follow a certain grammatical flow and outline in order to be acceptable.

  10. The diction and terminology used in the dissertation must be carefully examined and considered and flowery language, jargon, clichés, and other fluff wording must be avoided.

  11. Each statement has to be strong in a logical and scientific sense. There must never be a divergence from logical thinking and organization throughout the dissertation.

  12. The paper must flow and should be reviewed and edited and worked on multiple times before being submitted to the review committee.