How to Write a Dissertation?

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Studying for a PhD is not a cakewalk! Especially when you have to write down your research into hundreds of pages. One such requirement during the PhD program is a Dissertation. So, what is a thesis? Confused? Well, don’t be! We are here to tell you everything about what is a Dissertation, how it is different from a thesis and how to write a Dissertation.

Also Read: PhD after an MBA!

What is a Dissertation? 

A dissertation is a comprehensive paper that you write during your doctoral programs. The paper is usually on new concepts or research topics that a PhD student must develop during their program. 

Dissertations are compulsory for doctoral programs, and the topics chosen have to be original and worth researching.

Also Read: PhD Scholarships in India

Dissertation vs Thesis 

Before we jump into how to write a dissertation, let’s know how it is different from a thesis.

Parameter Dissertation  Thesis 
Purpose It is done during the doctoral program. It is done at the end of the master’s program.
Methodology You create new research topics based on other people’s research as guidance. You have to choose an existing research topic, use the available information, think critically, provide conclusions and in-depth information. 
Length The length of a dissertation is undefined as it depends upon your research topic. Typically, the length is 2 to 3 times more than a thesis. A typical thesis is around 100 pages long.

Check out blog on Dissertation vs Thesis to know more.

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Structure of a Dissertation 

There is a typical structure that all doctoral students follow while writing a Dissertation. The structure answers your question of how to write a Dissertation completely. A sample dissertation structure is as follows.

  1. TITLE PAGE
  2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
  3. ABSTRACT
  4. TABLE OF CONTENTS 
  5. CHAPTERS OF DISSERTATION
    1. Introduction
    2. Literature Review
    3. Methodology 
    4. Results 
    5. Discussion 
    6. Conclusion 
  6. REFERENCES
  7. APPENDIXES 

Let’s know about each point further in detail.

Structure  Details  
TITLE Title, name of the student, university, date 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Thanking the dissertation mentor and everyone who helped during the dissertation writing 
ABSTRACT Quick overview of the dissertation
TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter’s names, subheadings, page numbers
CHAPTERS OF DISSERTATION
Introduction Introducing the topic of your dissertation
Literature Review Books, articles, and scholarly research that are relevant to the topic
Methodology Methods of research and collecting data
Results Concluding statements derived from research
Discussion Detailed write-up about the results 
Conclusion Summarise and reflect on research
REFERENCE  Sources of contribution to the research
APPENDIXES Interview transcripts, survey questions and other information that didn’t fit into the actual dissertation

Also Read: Dissertation Format in Detail

What is a Literature Review in Dissertation?

You must have heard about the other components of a Dissertation like introduction, acknowledgement, table of contents multiple times before. Nonetheless, Literature Review is a newer and more diverse component.

When you are reading books, citations and other literature surrounding your subject, you often find gaps that can be well-researched upon. That is how you find the topic for your Dissertation. 

A Literature Review is the critical assessment of all the books and material you have read to find your topic. You must include your negative and positive opinions.

Source: YouTube – Grad Coach

Dissertation Examples 

Here are a few Dissertation examples taken from the University of Leeds library that you can use for reference to write a Dissertation. 

Some more examples of Doctoral Dissertations-

Lower Bounds in Communication Complexity and Learning Theory via Analytical Methods (UCLA)

Employment Discrimination: An Efficacy Study of African American Inequities in the California Utility Sector (USC)

Also Read: Dissertation Topic in Finance

Tips to Write a Good Dissertation 

Now that you know how to write a Dissertation, let’s know the tips and important things to keep in mind before you begin your Dissertation. 

  • Check with your mentor the word limit, university guidelines and approved structure for the Dissertation. 
  • Choose your topic wisely and take all the time to do so. 
  • You must have clarity on the topic that you have chosen and what is your goal with the same. 
  • The tone of the Dissertation must be formal and informative
  • A Dissertation is a lengthy paper. Set a word target for each week so that you can meet the submission deadlines. For example, 1000 words each week. 
  • Write your first draft without being critical about the format or other technical aspects of a Dissertation. Once you have the content fixed, you can work on the other aspects in the 2nd or 3rd draft.
  • You must give as much time to editing as you gave to research. Editing is the last time you get to change anything in your Dissertation before it goes out for printing. 

How To Write A Dissertation Or Thesis – 8 Step Tutorial + Examples

How long does it take to write a Dissertation?

Experts suggest that you will take anywhere between 13-20 months to write a good Dissertation. The research stage takes up a large chunk of this time period. 

To avoid any lapse of time or interest, you should divide your time effectively into stages- research, writing, editing, and printing.

Also Read: How to get PhD Funding?

How long should your Dissertation be?

Some dissertations are 50 pages long, while some are 600 pages over. The length is important to consider while learning how to write a Dissertation. 

What to avoid while writing Dissertations?

  • Don’t repeat content throughout the Dissertation.
  • Don’t use informal writing styles or slang.
  • Unnecessary figures and charts should be excluded. 
  • Don’t just read it once! Proofread it various times before you submit it. 
  • Don’t shy away from asking for help from experts. 
  • Avoid confusing the research methodologies. 

Online Tools for Writing a Quality Dissertation 

  • Google Scholar– For Literature Review
  • Cobain– To autosave your Dissertation for backup 
  • Scrinever– For writing the Dissertation or any large writing documents
  • Scribbr– For APA Citation generator in references

Dissertation Topics in Education – M.Ed Dissertation

Hope you enjoyed and understood how to write a Dissertation in this blog! Dissertation is an important part of the PhD journey. Want to know more about PhD programs in UK, USA, Canada and Australia? Call our Leverage Edu experts at 1800-572-000 and book your first counselling session for FREE now!

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