How To Write A Dissertation: Tips From An Experienced Writer

A dissertation is quite different from anything you have yet to write in your academic career. It is kind of like your initiation into the scholarly community. You are no longer considered a student after you complete a successful dissertation. This type of paper can be extremely intimidating because you are entirely on your own with probably the largest project you have ever undertaken. Your dissertation is actually a defining point in your life. Since it is written at the end of your graduate studies, there will be significant changes in your life after you write this. It is like the grand finale of your academic career and you want it to be eye-opening and jaw dropping. It could be the jump start you need to a job in your career or it could just mark the end of a wonderful era in your life. Once you have decided to create your dissertation, your life will take a dramatic turn. Let me explain to you what is going to happen going forward:

  1. 1. Decide on your topic- Elicit the help of your advisors, peer, family, and friends. You are the final decision maker but listening to them may help. Your topic may affect your life for many years to come. Choose carefully and wisely.
  2. 2. Find funding- Your dissertation is a full time job. You will need to find some way to support yourself while you are writing so you need to search out support in the way of grants or fellowships specifically set aside for this. Loans are also available for this specific purpose.
  3. 3. Make sure you have a place to write. It has to be convenient to libraries, labs, and anywhere else you may need to get data from. You also need peace and quiet.
  4. 4. Plan your paper and prepare your proposal- Seek out the advice of your advisors and present your proposal to your committee. Listen to their advice.
  5. 5. Do your research- Exhaust all of your avenues for research and make sure you keep your sources. This is extremely important.
  6. 6. Write your paper, rewrite your paper, and present your work.

This is probably the most important period of your academic career. You have studied and worked for the past eight to ten years to get to this point. Your dissertation is a culmination of your academic career. You can think of it as the end of your career or the beginning of the rest of your life.