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Dssertation Writing Guide

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Why Is A Dissertation So Important?

A dissertation is the most important body of work you have to compose in your entire academic life. There are many reasons why writing a dissertation is paramount, and these reasons are why universities have made dissertations an indispensable part of their syllabus. The factors have been discussed below:

  • A dissertation reveals your capacity and skills as a researcher
  • This type of assignment adds to your final grades and has the power of affecting your CGPA
  • A dissertation helps in demonstrating whether you possess certain abilities. It helps display whether you're able to identify your own area of interest, whether you can carry out extensive research on the topic you have chosen, whether you can express yourself clearly through your write-up and whether you have the skills to execute this mammoth task on your own
  • A dissertation helps you to prepare for your career, and a well-written dissertation can land you a really good job.
  • A dissertation is a way of testing your knowledge and your grasp of the subject matter.
  • Dissertations also have a role to play in the pursuing of higher studies and can determine whether you will get admission to the university of your choice.

All in all, a dissertation is one type of assignment that cannot be ignored if you want to have bright future prospects – whether academically or in relation to your career.

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Dissertation Writing Guide

What Are The Main Parts Of A Dissertation?

Let us begin by deconstructing a dissertation. What are the main parts of a dissertation? What to include and what not to include?

A dissertation, as we mentioned before, is a formal piece of writing of considerable length which consists of the following parts:

1. Abstract

An abstract is a short summary of the entire dissertation. It consists of the research question along with chapter outlines and the conclusion. This is the first thing that a person is going to read in your dissertation, so write it well.

2. Research Question

The next important component is the research question. It is the fundamental question that defines your research and forms the crux of the research. This should come in the introduction, preferably in a separate section. Additionally, this portion should be written well since people would be drawn towards the rest of the dissertation by your research question. The stronger the question is, the likelier it is to evoke curiosity.

3. Literature Review

Another equally important part is to give an overview of all the existing research work done on the subject. This is crucial because it serves two purposes: firstly, it lets your dissertation committee know that you have a good grip on the existing literature on the subject and the questions you should be asking. Secondly, it gives a holistic perspective to the students on the topic of your research and helps them to place your research within the larger area of study.

4. Chapters

Chapters form the main pillars of your dissertation. A well-written dissertation neatly divided into five or more chapters is your best bet. Anything less than three is too short, and anything more than five is a bit too lengthy. Five chapters seem perfect. Each chapter should concentrate on a particular topic and should be written in a manner so that it can make for independent reading.

5. Bibliography

Many students think bibliography is an unnecessary imposition on the student community already reeling under the pressure of writing a dissertation. A bibliography is a tabular list of the names of the authors who have been consulted by a student while writing the dissertation. All the sources of direct and indirect influences should be mentioned. Although it might seem like an imposition, it is important that you write full-length bibliography.

Let’s guide you on how each component of the dissertation should be framed if you are composing a 10000-word long dissertation. Here is a standard dissertation framework.

Proposed Title of the Dissertation

Basic components

Proposed Distribution of Word (%)

Total Word Count




Chapter 1:Introduction

Research Aim

Research Objectives


1000 Words

Chapter 2:Literature



2500 Words

Chapter 3:Research


Research Approach

Research Design

Data Collection


Data Sources:

Primary and Secondary

Or Both

Qualitative: Specific

Model{Thematic and

Interview etc.}

Quantitative: Specific


ANOVA, T test,Z test,etc}

Or Both

Population and Sample:

Sampling Technique:

please specify}

Sample Size:

{Please specify}


2000 Words

Chapter 4:Analysis



Chapter 5:Conclusion




{Count and Style}






Ethical Form



Now let us understand the finer aspects of each component of the dissertation.

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How To Hunt For Dissertation Topic?

We have tried to summarize point-wise the essentials you need to follow through this Dissertation Writing Guide. The first thing that you will need for writing a dissertation is an interesting topic to work upon. Students in grad schools spent a large part of their PhD coursework flitting from one topic to another. Others drop the very idea of doing research. Many change their supervisors midway because of the changes done on the dissertation topic. All these have dreadful consequences for the dissertation project as a whole. Here are 10 killer tips on how to choose a dissertation topic, how to stick to that topic, and what not to do while choosing a topic.

  • Relevance is the key. Whether you are choosing on your own or are dependent on the supervisor while choosing a topic, it is advised that your topic should be relevant. Relevance should be judged in terms of the contribution that the research work can make to the broader field of study. You should be up to date on the current developments in your fields. This is particularly true in the field of medicine, genetics, microbiology, IT, and engineering.
  • Your research should attract funding. All researchers know the pain one has to endure while finding financial resources for a research project. As such, try that the topic of your research should be such that it would automatically attract funding. Cutting-edge research work is likely to attract more funding. Projects on cancer research, HIV, genetics, and stem cell are likely to attract both academic and corporate funding.
  • Your topic should not overlap exactly with your peers or any other research works currently being undertaken. This devalues the novelty of your research work.
  • Select your topic in consultation with your supervisor. Your supervisor should be well aware of the field of research you are undertaking. This is due to the fact that the selection of the supervisor should be based to a large extent on the topic chosen.
  • Your supervisor might help you in finding a suitable research topic. Always take his or her help. He or she should be well aware of the current research trends and might suggest a word or two on possible research subjects.
  • Alternatively, you can attend a seminar, workshops, graduate courses, summer schools, and internships to come up with possible research ideas. In higher academia, these are the areas where ideas germinate. You would be talking to other academicians, learning about their research work, and getting inspired. Famous astrophysicist Steven Hawking got the idea of his dissertation from a lecture on Black Holes by the famous English Mathematical physicist Roger Penrose.
  • Talking to your friends can help too. You can have brainstorming sessions where each one of you can come up with an informal presentation on a particular research topic. Alternatively, you can join a reading circle or a student group, which can help you to come up with a research topic.
  • You should never choose a topic that is outdated, overworked, or entirely irrelevant. Your committee is not likely to pass it. Further, you are unlikely to get any kind of research funding for your topic.
  • Do not forget to approve your dissertation topic by the committee and your supervisor formally.
  • Do not forget to approve your dissertation topic by the committee and your supervisor formally.

Finally, do not delay. One cannot harp this point more. The more you spend searching for a topic, the lesser time you have to finish the research work. Our advice is to find a topic as quickly as possible and get down working.

How To Formulate A Research Question

A research question defines your research. The stronger the research question is, the better it is. It shows that you have quite a hold over the existing literature and a good grasp of the research questions which have been previously asked by the scholars in your field. Here is a list of 5 things that you should keep in mind while formulating a research question:

  • A strong research proposal must pass the "so what" test. This means how important your research is to the larger field of research. How relevant it is to the contemporary world, and how is it going to benefit your research field. So if you are researching stem cell therapy, then you must justify your research by suggesting how your research is going to find a cure for people suffering from terminal diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS.
  • Think whether your research question is going to find you funding or not. This, again, is related to the relevance of your research project. You are unlikely to find any funding if your research question is irrelevant and outdated.
  • Keep your research question focused and narrow. So if you are researching substance abuse, then instead of asking how substance abuse occurs, ask what the relationship between early childhood experiences and substance abuse in later years is.
  • Always think of areas of research that have not been touched upon instead of focusing on areas that have already been done to death.
  • Finally, do not forget to mention the scope and limitations of your research. It is understandable that you would not be able to accommodate all the research themes. So try to be realistic and set research goals that would be easily achievable.

What Are The Chief Research Methodologies?

The process used to collect information and data for the purpose of writing a dissertation is called dissertation research methodology. It consists of a number of processes. Here are the 5 top research methods.


An interview is a conversation between two persons (an interviewer and an interviewee) in which questions are asked in order to get information for research purposes. It is quite a popular method for getting qualitative information. It is common in social sciences, marketing and psychology. There are many types of interviews: formal and informal; open and close-ended etc. In formal interviews, the same set of questions is asked to everyone. In an informal interview, the style is conversational. In an open-ended interview, questions are deliberately kept broad and open-ended to elicit responses that can be analyzed more cogently. On the other hand, fixed and closed interviews are based on a set of pre-determined questions and answers where the interviewer has to choose one of the answers given.

Historical Research

This mode of qualitative research has been quite popular in history. There are four key sources for carrying out this kind of information:

  • Archival sources or old historical documents which are preserved in the archives and the museums
  • Secondary sources which include books and journal articles
  • Governmental reports like census data etc
  • And literary sources like autobiographies, memoirs, and recollections.


Among all the methodologies of quantitative research, the survey is the most important. Statistical surveys are undertaken to reveal quantitative results about populations. Some examples of surveys are census, polls, and market research analysis.

Case Study

Being a part of qualitative research methodology, a case study is a research methodology where theories are applied in real-life case scenarios in order to examine whether these theories have validity or not. It is quite a popular methodology in social sciences. However, nowadays, it is majorly used in law and business. In law, a student is given a situation involving a legal dispute, and he is asked to come up with a suitable legal outcome of the dispute. On the other hand, a business case study involves a real or fictive situation of a business enterprise, and the student is asked to come up with some business strategies which would help the company to come out of this situation.

Theoretical Analysis

This method is quite common for theoretical subjects like philosophy, English, comparative literature, cultural studies, film studies, gender, and queer studies, etc. Basically, in this method, we try to apply high philosophical theories to literature, cinema, drama, and contemporary situations, not just as formulas but as critical exercises which would help us to question given assumptions about our human society.

How To Write Chapters For Your Dissertation?

Next, we move on to writing your chapters. They form the main pillars of your dissertation. They make up the main body of your dissertation and you would be judged on the basis of your chapters. Do keep in mind the following tips while writing your chapters.

  1. There should be a minimum of five chapters, including the introduction and conclusion. Anything less than five is unacceptable in a dissertation. On the other hand, a dissertation that runs into several unnecessary chapters is unlikely to impress your dissertation committee either.
  2. Next, let's talk about research themes and how to organize them. It is possible that you would be dealing with multiple themes. Do not cram them into one or two chapters. Try to divide it into several small chapters, each dedicated to a particular research theme. Here is an example:

Suppose your research theme is the banking practices of large global corporations and how they affect poor third world nations, then try to divide this into three separate chapters:

  • Chapter 1:Global financial institutions like IMF and the World Bank
  • Chapter 2:Financial policies of international banks like Citibank, American Express and how they try to arm-twist poor countries to give them unethical tax-cuts which augment their profit.
  • Chapter 3:Chronic poverty of third world nations and how they are forced to accept the terms and conditions of the big banks.
  1. Try to keep the chapters short and compact. An inordinate length of chapters might put your dissertation committee off.
  2. Finally, your writing style should be simple yet effective. Your readers should enjoy what you have written.

How To Do Citations And Bibliography?

Both require special skills and techniques. Citations are acknowledgments of references that you have used in the course of writing your dissertation. A bibliography is a tabular list of the names of the author and their books that you have used. Both are necessary for your research.

Citations: There are four ways to cite your sources. They are dictated by various educational institutions. They are APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago.

  • Harvard follows in-text citation, which is parenthetical in nature. So the name of the author and year of publication should come in the text within parenthesis. Here is an example:
  • John Williams: Finance Accounting, New York, 2001
  • According to Harvard style, it should be written like this:
  • John Williams, 2001.
  • Chicagostyle follows end text citations. They are either written as footnotes or as endnotes. Here is an example:
  • Porter Stephen, Principles of Advanced Accounting, Minnesota, 1989.
  • APAreferencing is the style followed by American Psychological Association. It is followed in science subjects and is more or less the same as other in-text citation styles.
  • Finally, MLA referencing is followed in all humanities-based subjects. It simply states the author's name along with the page number. So if the reference is the following:
  • John Hamilton, Introduction to Literary Theory, London 1996
  • Then simply write,
  • (Hamilton, p. 26)


It is the final step of a dissertation. It lists all the references you have used in alphabetical order. To make it neat and clean, you can further divide them into books, journals, and internet resources.

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Steps To Writing A Dissertation: A Recapitulation

  • The topic is supremely important. The more interesting your topic is, the more likely you are to find a supervisor and funding.
  • Try to formulate a strong research question. It should show a good grasp of your field of study.
  • Your research chapters should be five in number.
  • Each chapter should concentrate on a particular research theme.
  • The writing style should be clear and simple.
  • Do not forget to cite all your references.
  • Do thorough proofreading and copy-editing to make your dissertation error-free.
  • Finally, remember that your dissertation is the final step towards getting a PhD degree. Writing a successful dissertation would ensure a thriving career in the field of higher academia. So write it well.

How Helps In Writing A Dissertation?

Dissertation writing is now made easy by, a premier assignment writing consultation service provider. We have tried to include as many parameters in the above content to serve as a valuable tutoring guide for dissertation writing. We provide impeccable dissertation writing consultation services and unsurpassed tutoring sessions. Our dissertation help resources are 100 percent plagiarism-free, affordable, and always provided instantly. Besides, we also provide guidance through custom essay help and online assignment help sessions. We have plenty of dissertation samples online for the benefit of the students and to give our customers an idea of how we guide you. Log on to our website to avail our dream dissertation tutoring sessions.

Most Frequently Asked Questions By Students

Q1. What is a dissertation?

A dissertation is a lengthy and formal document that presents original research and findings on a specific topic. It is typically written by students pursuing a doctoral degree and is required to earn their degree.

Q2. What is the purpose of a dissertation?

The purpose of a dissertation is to present original research and findings on a specific topic, and to demonstrate the student's ability to conduct independent and in-depth research. It is also an opportunity for the student to contribute to the academic community and make a valuable contribution to their field of study.

Q3. How do I choose a topic for my dissertation?

When choosing a topic for your dissertation, it's important to choose a topic that is interesting and relevant to your field of study. It should also be something that you are passionate about and have a strong interest in. To narrow down your options, you can start by looking at your coursework and research interests, as well as the current research trends in your field. You can also talk to your advisor or consult with other experts in your field to get ideas and feedback.

Q4. How do I structure my dissertation?

A typical dissertation structure includes an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion. The specific structure of your dissertation will depend on your field of study and the requirements of your program. It's important to consult with your advisor and follow your program's guidelines to ensure that you are following the correct structure.

Q5. How long does it take to write a dissertation?

The length of time it takes to write a dissertation varies depending on a number of factors, such as the length of the dissertation, the topic, the student's research and writing abilities, and the availability of resources. On average, however, it typically takes students several years to complete a dissertation. It's important to plan ahead and allow yourself enough time to conduct thorough research and write a high-quality dissertation.

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