Basic Guidelines for Writing a Dissertation

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Writing and submitting a dissertation proposal can be one of the most stressful times of your entire academic career. It is an amalgamation of everything you’ve learned so far, of course, it’s lengthy, time-consuming and draining. But the process doesn’t have to be a total nightmare; you can make it easier through proper organization. There are a few guidelines that you can follow when writing your dissertation to make the process comparatively easy for yourself.


If you’re going to brainstorm, it is best if it’s with ideas you already have a certain level of information about so you don’t have to start with a clean slate. Try to explore your interest further and learn about what you would want to pursue. Watch the news, so you know about current events and can pick something currently relevant as a topic if possible, because it would give you fresh ideas to work on. Make sure it’s something you are passionate about because the research will help you out when you’re ready to pursue it again in the future.

  • Minimize research by picking topics you already know a little bit about
  • Choose something you have a passion for and want to work on in the future

Look at Old Dissertation Proposals

You can get some help from people who have researched on the same topic before you. Look for similar dissertation proposal online. It’s not cheating, because amassive part of being flexible during research and modifying your problems is learning from people who have already done intensive research on what you are about to write. This will help you learn other people’s perspectives on certain things as well.

  • Look at previous dissertation proposal on the same topic
  • Read the implications and work on them

Work in Drafts

As obvious as it may be, this is certainly a step worth mentioning. Write several drafts in order to get the perfect one in the end. It is inevitable to make mistakes the first few times, and a project this extensive and research-driven is bound to have mistakes the first time around.

Always Edit and Proofread

Editing is a huge part of any project, be it a dissertation proposal, the entire dissertation itself or anything else that requires an extensive amount of writing.

What do you Want to Write about?

Think about the things you care about most. This could be anything, from the environment to reading. It depends on the field of study you’re in, so you will have to make a connection to your subject. Writing on topics you feel strongly about is a great way to make your project strong, meaningful and informative. In works like this, your passion shows through your writing, and this way you also know that you will put your heart into it which will automatically make it worth reading and investing in. The only thing you need to steer clear of is controversies. Most trending topics these days (for example, feminism and abortion) are topics people have really strong opinions on. You want to stay unbiased and make your work informative and effective.

  • Choose topics that mean something to you
  • Learn about them through different sources. Make them your own.
  • Try not to be too controversial


Structuring your dissertation properly is very important. After the dissertation proposal and research, you will start writing it and this is what you must remember to include:

  • Title page
  • Acknowledgements

This is where you include professors, supervisors, anyone who you think played a significant part in the completion of your dissertation. This is something of a thank you note.

  • Abstract

It is a summary of your thesis; it tells all about it in a clear and concise manner to let the reader know what the rest of the paper is about.

  • Table of contents
  • Tables

This helps sort out certain bits of information that you would want to stand out.

  • Abbreviation guide

Any abbreviations you might have used can be understood using this guide.

  • Glossary
  • Introduction
  • Literature review

It is a brief assessment of all that you have learned on the topic so far, all the information you have collected from different research pieces. It identifies the research gap, which is the parts of the research that have not yet been addressed so you can do that in your dissertation.

  • Methodology

It gives information on your research methods along with what method you are using for your research (be it qualitative or quantitative).

  • Results
  • Conclusion


Chris Hemmings got his higher education from Auburn University and graduated at the age of 21. He is now a play writer and theater acting teacher, which has always been a passion of his. He loves to read literature and learn about different languages and cultures because she finds it to be therapeutic and mind-opening, he has also worked for Dissertation Proposal in his recent years.

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