How to write an undergraduate university dissertation

Writing a dissertation is a daunting task, but these tips will help you prepare for all the common challenges students face before deadline day.

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Grace McCabe

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Writing a dissertation is one of the most challenging aspects of university. However, it is the chance for students to demonstrate what they have learned during their degree and to explore a topic in depth.

In this article, we look at 10 top tips for writing a successful dissertation and break down how to write each section of a dissertation in detail.

10 tips for writing an undergraduate dissertation

1. Select an engaging topic Choose a subject that aligns with your interests and allows you to showcase the skills and knowledge you have acquired through your degree.

2. Research your supervisor Undergraduate students will often be assigned a supervisor based on their research specialisms. Do some research on your supervisor and make sure that they align with your dissertation goals.

3. Understand the dissertation structure Familiarise yourself with the structure (introduction, review of existing research, methodology, findings, results and conclusion). This will vary based on your subject.

4. Write a schedule As soon as you have finalised your topic and looked over the deadline, create a rough plan of how much work you have to do and create mini-deadlines along the way to make sure don’t find yourself having to write your entire dissertation in the final few weeks.

5. Determine requirements Ensure that you know which format your dissertation should be presented in. Check the word count and the referencing style.

6. Organise references from the beginning Maintain an alphabetically arranged reference list or bibliography in the designated style as you do your reading. This will make it a lot easier to finalise your references at the end.

7. Create a detailed plan Once you have done your initial research and have an idea of the shape your dissertation will take, write a detailed essay plan outlining your research questions, SMART objectives and dissertation structure.

8. Keep a dissertation journal Track your progress, record your research and your reading, and document challenges. This will be helpful as you discuss your work with your supervisor and organise your notes.

9. Schedule regular check-ins with your supervisor Make sure you stay in touch with your supervisor throughout the process, scheduling regular meetings and keeping good notes so you can update them on your progress.

10. Employ effective proofreading techniques Ask friends and family to help you proofread your work or use different fonts to help make the text look different. This will help you check for missing sections, grammatical mistakes and typos.

What is a dissertation?

A dissertation is a long piece of academic writing or a research project that you have to write as part of your undergraduate university degree.

It’s usually a long essay in which you explore your chosen topic, present your ideas and show that you understand and can apply what you’ve learned during your studies. Informally, the terms “dissertation” and “thesis” are often used interchangeably.

How do I select a dissertation topic?

First, choose a topic that you find interesting. You will be working on your dissertation for several months, so finding a research topic that you are passionate about and that demonstrates your strength in your subject is best. You want your topic to show all the skills you have developed during your degree. It would be a bonus if you can link your work to your chosen career path, but it’s not necessary.

Second, begin by exploring relevant literature in your field, including academic journals, books and articles. This will help you identify gaps in existing knowledge and areas that may need further exploration. You may not be able to think of a truly original piece of research, but it’s always good to know what has already been written about your chosen topic.

Consider the practical aspects of your chosen topic, ensuring that it is possible within the time frame and available resources. Assess the availability of data, research materials and the overall practicality of conducting the research.

When picking a dissertation topic, you also want to try to choose something that adds new ideas or perspectives to what’s already known in your field. As you narrow your focus, remember that a more targeted approach usually leads to a dissertation that’s easier to manage and has a bigger impact. Be ready to change your plans based on feedback and new information you discover during your research.

How to work with your dissertation supervisor?

Your supervisor is there to provide guidance on your chosen topic, direct your research efforts, and offer assistance and suggestions when you have queries. It’s crucial to establish a comfortable and open line of communication with them throughout the process. Their knowledge can greatly benefit your work. Keep them informed about your progress, seek their advice, and don’t hesitate to ask questions.

1. Keep them updated Regularly tell your supervisor how your work is going and if you’re having any problems. You can do this through emails, meetings or progress reports.

2. Plan meetings Schedule regular meetings with your supervisor. These can be in person or online. These are your time to discuss your progress and ask for help.

3. Share your writing Give your supervisor parts of your writing or an outline. This helps them see what you’re thinking so they can advise you on how to develop it.

5. Ask specific questions When you need help, ask specific questions instead of general ones. This makes it easier for your supervisor to help you.

6. Listen to feedback Be open to what your supervisor says. If they suggest changes, try to make them. It makes your dissertation better and shows you can work together.

7. Talk about problems If something is hard or you’re worried, talk to your supervisor about it. They can give you advice or tell you where to find help.

8. Take charge Be responsible for your work. Let your supervisor know if your plans change, and don’t wait if you need help urgently.

Remember, talking openly with your supervisor helps you both understand each other better, improves your dissertation and ensures that you get the support you need.

How to write a successful research piece at university How to choose a topic for your dissertation Tips for writing a convincing thesis

How do I plan my dissertation?

It’s important to start with a detailed plan that will serve as your road map throughout the entire process of writing your dissertation. As Jumana Labib, a master’s student at the University of Manchester  studying digital media, culture and society, suggests: “Pace yourself – definitely don’t leave the entire thing for the last few days or weeks.”

Decide what your research question or questions will be for your chosen topic.

Break that down into smaller SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) objectives.

Speak to your supervisor about any overlooked areas.

Create a breakdown of chapters using the structure listed below (for example, a methodology chapter).

Define objectives, key points and evidence for each chapter.

Define your research approach (qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods).

Outline your research methods and analysis techniques.

Develop a timeline with regular moments for review and feedback.

Allocate time for revision, editing and breaks.

Consider any ethical considerations related to your research.

Stay organised and add to your references and bibliography throughout the process.

Remain flexible to possible reviews or changes as you go along.

A well thought-out plan not only makes the writing process more manageable but also increases the likelihood of producing a high-quality piece of research.

How to structure a dissertation?

The structure can depend on your field of study, but this is a rough outline for science and social science dissertations:

Introduce your topic.

Complete a source or literature review.

Describe your research methodology (including the methods for gathering and filtering information, analysis techniques, materials, tools or resources used, limitations of your method, and any considerations of reliability).

Summarise your findings.

Discuss the results and what they mean.

Conclude your point and explain how your work contributes to your field.

On the other hand, humanities and arts dissertations often take the form of an extended essay. This involves constructing an argument or exploring a particular theory or analysis through the analysis of primary and secondary sources. Your essay will be structured through chapters arranged around themes or case studies.

All dissertations include a title page, an abstract and a reference list. Some may also need a table of contents at the beginning. Always check with your university department for its dissertation guidelines, and check with your supervisor as you begin to plan your structure to ensure that you have the right layout.

How long is an undergraduate dissertation?

The length of an undergraduate dissertation can vary depending on the specific guidelines provided by your university and your subject department. However, in many cases, undergraduate dissertations are typically about 8,000 to 12,000 words in length.

“Eat away at it; try to write for at least 30 minutes every day, even if it feels relatively unproductive to you in the moment,” Jumana advises.

How do I add references to my dissertation?

References are the section of your dissertation where you acknowledge the sources you have quoted or referred to in your writing. It’s a way of supporting your ideas, evidencing what research you have used and avoiding plagiarism (claiming someone else’s work as your own), and giving credit to the original authors.

Referencing typically includes in-text citations and a reference list or bibliography with full source details. Different referencing styles exist, such as Harvard, APA and MLA, each favoured in specific fields. Your university will tell you the preferred style.

Using tools and guides provided by universities can make the referencing process more manageable, but be sure they are approved by your university before using any.

How do I write a bibliography or list my references for my dissertation?

The requirement of a bibliography depends on the style of referencing you need to use. Styles such as OSCOLA or Chicago may not require a separate bibliography. In these styles, full source information is often incorporated into footnotes throughout the piece, doing away with the need for a separate bibliography section.

Typically, reference lists or bibliographies are organised alphabetically based on the author’s last name. They usually include essential details about each source, providing a quick overview for readers who want more information. Some styles ask that you include references that you didn’t use in your final piece as they were still a part of the overall research.

It is important to maintain this list as soon as you start your research. As you complete your research, you can add more sources to your bibliography to ensure that you have a comprehensive list throughout the dissertation process.

How to proofread an undergraduate dissertation?

Throughout your dissertation writing, attention to detail will be your greatest asset. The best way to avoid making mistakes is to continuously proofread and edit your work.

Proofreading is a great way to catch any missing sections, grammatical errors or typos. There are many tips to help you proofread:

Ask someone to read your piece and highlight any mistakes they find.

Change the font so you notice any mistakes.

Format your piece as you go, headings and sections will make it easier to spot any problems.

Separate editing and proofreading. Editing is your chance to rewrite sections, add more detail or change any points. Proofreading should be where you get into the final touches, really polish what you have and make sure it’s ready to be submitted.

Stick to your citation style and make sure every resource listed in your dissertation is cited in the reference list or bibliography.

How to write a conclusion for my dissertation?

Writing a dissertation conclusion is your chance to leave the reader impressed by your work.

Start by summarising your findings, highlighting your key points and the outcome of your research. Refer back to the original research question or hypotheses to provide context to your conclusion.

You can then delve into whether you achieved the goals you set at the beginning and reflect on whether your research addressed the topic as expected. Make sure you link your findings to existing literature or sources you have included throughout your work and how your own research could contribute to your field.

Be honest about any limitations or issues you faced during your research and consider any questions that went unanswered that you would consider in the future. Make sure that your conclusion is clear and concise, and sum up the overall impact and importance of your work.

Remember, keep the tone confident and authoritative, avoiding the introduction of new information. This should simply be a summary of everything you have already said throughout the dissertation.

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Dissertation Structure & Layout 101: How to structure your dissertation, thesis or research project.

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) Reviewed By: David Phair (PhD) | July 2019

So, you’ve got a decent understanding of what a dissertation is , you’ve chosen your topic and hopefully you’ve received approval for your research proposal . Awesome! Now its time to start the actual dissertation or thesis writing journey.

To craft a high-quality document, the very first thing you need to understand is dissertation structure . In this post, we’ll walk you through the generic dissertation structure and layout, step by step. We’ll start with the big picture, and then zoom into each chapter to briefly discuss the core contents. If you’re just starting out on your research journey, you should start with this post, which covers the big-picture process of how to write a dissertation or thesis .

Dissertation structure and layout - the basics

*The Caveat *

In this post, we’ll be discussing a traditional dissertation/thesis structure and layout, which is generally used for social science research across universities, whether in the US, UK, Europe or Australia. However, some universities may have small variations on this structure (extra chapters, merged chapters, slightly different ordering, etc).

So, always check with your university if they have a prescribed structure or layout that they expect you to work with. If not, it’s safe to assume the structure we’ll discuss here is suitable. And even if they do have a prescribed structure, you’ll still get value from this post as we’ll explain the core contents of each section.  

Overview: S tructuring a dissertation or thesis

  • Acknowledgements page
  • Abstract (or executive summary)
  • Table of contents , list of figures and tables
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Literature review
  • Chapter 3: Methodology
  • Chapter 4: Results
  • Chapter 5: Discussion
  • Chapter 6: Conclusion
  • Reference list

As I mentioned, some universities will have slight variations on this structure. For example, they want an additional “personal reflection chapter”, or they might prefer the results and discussion chapter to be merged into one. Regardless, the overarching flow will always be the same, as this flow reflects the research process , which we discussed here – i.e.:

  • The introduction chapter presents the core research question and aims .
  • The literature review chapter assesses what the current research says about this question.
  • The methodology, results and discussion chapters go about undertaking new research about this question.
  • The conclusion chapter (attempts to) answer the core research question .

In other words, the dissertation structure and layout reflect the research process of asking a well-defined question(s), investigating, and then answering the question – see below.

A dissertation's structure reflect the research process

To restate that – the structure and layout of a dissertation reflect the flow of the overall research process . This is essential to understand, as each chapter will make a lot more sense if you “get” this concept. If you’re not familiar with the research process, read this post before going further.

Right. Now that we’ve covered the big picture, let’s dive a little deeper into the details of each section and chapter. Oh and by the way, you can also grab our free dissertation/thesis template here to help speed things up.

The title page of your dissertation is the very first impression the marker will get of your work, so it pays to invest some time thinking about your title. But what makes for a good title? A strong title needs to be 3 things:

  • Succinct (not overly lengthy or verbose)
  • Specific (not vague or ambiguous)
  • Representative of the research you’re undertaking (clearly linked to your research questions)

Typically, a good title includes mention of the following:

  • The broader area of the research (i.e. the overarching topic)
  • The specific focus of your research (i.e. your specific context)
  • Indication of research design (e.g. quantitative , qualitative , or  mixed methods ).

For example:

A quantitative investigation [research design] into the antecedents of organisational trust [broader area] in the UK retail forex trading market [specific context/area of focus].

Again, some universities may have specific requirements regarding the format and structure of the title, so it’s worth double-checking expectations with your institution (if there’s no mention in the brief or study material).

Dissertations stacked up

Acknowledgements

This page provides you with an opportunity to say thank you to those who helped you along your research journey. Generally, it’s optional (and won’t count towards your marks), but it is academic best practice to include this.

So, who do you say thanks to? Well, there’s no prescribed requirements, but it’s common to mention the following people:

  • Your dissertation supervisor or committee.
  • Any professors, lecturers or academics that helped you understand the topic or methodologies.
  • Any tutors, mentors or advisors.
  • Your family and friends, especially spouse (for adult learners studying part-time).

There’s no need for lengthy rambling. Just state who you’re thankful to and for what (e.g. thank you to my supervisor, John Doe, for his endless patience and attentiveness) – be sincere. In terms of length, you should keep this to a page or less.

Abstract or executive summary

The dissertation abstract (or executive summary for some degrees) serves to provide the first-time reader (and marker or moderator) with a big-picture view of your research project. It should give them an understanding of the key insights and findings from the research, without them needing to read the rest of the report – in other words, it should be able to stand alone .

For it to stand alone, your abstract should cover the following key points (at a minimum):

  • Your research questions and aims – what key question(s) did your research aim to answer?
  • Your methodology – how did you go about investigating the topic and finding answers to your research question(s)?
  • Your findings – following your own research, what did do you discover?
  • Your conclusions – based on your findings, what conclusions did you draw? What answers did you find to your research question(s)?

So, in much the same way the dissertation structure mimics the research process, your abstract or executive summary should reflect the research process, from the initial stage of asking the original question to the final stage of answering that question.

In practical terms, it’s a good idea to write this section up last , once all your core chapters are complete. Otherwise, you’ll end up writing and rewriting this section multiple times (just wasting time). For a step by step guide on how to write a strong executive summary, check out this post .

Need a helping hand?

tips for writing undergraduate dissertation

Table of contents

This section is straightforward. You’ll typically present your table of contents (TOC) first, followed by the two lists – figures and tables. I recommend that you use Microsoft Word’s automatic table of contents generator to generate your TOC. If you’re not familiar with this functionality, the video below explains it simply:

If you find that your table of contents is overly lengthy, consider removing one level of depth. Oftentimes, this can be done without detracting from the usefulness of the TOC.

Right, now that the “admin” sections are out of the way, its time to move on to your core chapters. These chapters are the heart of your dissertation and are where you’ll earn the marks. The first chapter is the introduction chapter – as you would expect, this is the time to introduce your research…

It’s important to understand that even though you’ve provided an overview of your research in your abstract, your introduction needs to be written as if the reader has not read that (remember, the abstract is essentially a standalone document). So, your introduction chapter needs to start from the very beginning, and should address the following questions:

  • What will you be investigating (in plain-language, big picture-level)?
  • Why is that worth investigating? How is it important to academia or business? How is it sufficiently original?
  • What are your research aims and research question(s)? Note that the research questions can sometimes be presented at the end of the literature review (next chapter).
  • What is the scope of your study? In other words, what will and won’t you cover ?
  • How will you approach your research? In other words, what methodology will you adopt?
  • How will you structure your dissertation? What are the core chapters and what will you do in each of them?

These are just the bare basic requirements for your intro chapter. Some universities will want additional bells and whistles in the intro chapter, so be sure to carefully read your brief or consult your research supervisor.

If done right, your introduction chapter will set a clear direction for the rest of your dissertation. Specifically, it will make it clear to the reader (and marker) exactly what you’ll be investigating, why that’s important, and how you’ll be going about the investigation. Conversely, if your introduction chapter leaves a first-time reader wondering what exactly you’ll be researching, you’ve still got some work to do.

Now that you’ve set a clear direction with your introduction chapter, the next step is the literature review . In this section, you will analyse the existing research (typically academic journal articles and high-quality industry publications), with a view to understanding the following questions:

  • What does the literature currently say about the topic you’re investigating?
  • Is the literature lacking or well established? Is it divided or in disagreement?
  • How does your research fit into the bigger picture?
  • How does your research contribute something original?
  • How does the methodology of previous studies help you develop your own?

Depending on the nature of your study, you may also present a conceptual framework towards the end of your literature review, which you will then test in your actual research.

Again, some universities will want you to focus on some of these areas more than others, some will have additional or fewer requirements, and so on. Therefore, as always, its important to review your brief and/or discuss with your supervisor, so that you know exactly what’s expected of your literature review chapter.

Dissertation writing

Now that you’ve investigated the current state of knowledge in your literature review chapter and are familiar with the existing key theories, models and frameworks, its time to design your own research. Enter the methodology chapter – the most “science-ey” of the chapters…

In this chapter, you need to address two critical questions:

  • Exactly HOW will you carry out your research (i.e. what is your intended research design)?
  • Exactly WHY have you chosen to do things this way (i.e. how do you justify your design)?

Remember, the dissertation part of your degree is first and foremost about developing and demonstrating research skills . Therefore, the markers want to see that you know which methods to use, can clearly articulate why you’ve chosen then, and know how to deploy them effectively.

Importantly, this chapter requires detail – don’t hold back on the specifics. State exactly what you’ll be doing, with who, when, for how long, etc. Moreover, for every design choice you make, make sure you justify it.

In practice, you will likely end up coming back to this chapter once you’ve undertaken all your data collection and analysis, and revise it based on changes you made during the analysis phase. This is perfectly fine. Its natural for you to add an additional analysis technique, scrap an old one, etc based on where your data lead you. Of course, I’m talking about small changes here – not a fundamental switch from qualitative to quantitative, which will likely send your supervisor in a spin!

You’ve now collected your data and undertaken your analysis, whether qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods. In this chapter, you’ll present the raw results of your analysis . For example, in the case of a quant study, you’ll present the demographic data, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics , etc.

Typically, Chapter 4 is simply a presentation and description of the data, not a discussion of the meaning of the data. In other words, it’s descriptive, rather than analytical – the meaning is discussed in Chapter 5. However, some universities will want you to combine chapters 4 and 5, so that you both present and interpret the meaning of the data at the same time. Check with your institution what their preference is.

Now that you’ve presented the data analysis results, its time to interpret and analyse them. In other words, its time to discuss what they mean, especially in relation to your research question(s).

What you discuss here will depend largely on your chosen methodology. For example, if you’ve gone the quantitative route, you might discuss the relationships between variables . If you’ve gone the qualitative route, you might discuss key themes and the meanings thereof. It all depends on what your research design choices were.

Most importantly, you need to discuss your results in relation to your research questions and aims, as well as the existing literature. What do the results tell you about your research questions? Are they aligned with the existing research or at odds? If so, why might this be? Dig deep into your findings and explain what the findings suggest, in plain English.

The final chapter – you’ve made it! Now that you’ve discussed your interpretation of the results, its time to bring it back to the beginning with the conclusion chapter . In other words, its time to (attempt to) answer your original research question s (from way back in chapter 1). Clearly state what your conclusions are in terms of your research questions. This might feel a bit repetitive, as you would have touched on this in the previous chapter, but its important to bring the discussion full circle and explicitly state your answer(s) to the research question(s).

Dissertation and thesis prep

Next, you’ll typically discuss the implications of your findings . In other words, you’ve answered your research questions – but what does this mean for the real world (or even for academia)? What should now be done differently, given the new insight you’ve generated?

Lastly, you should discuss the limitations of your research, as well as what this means for future research in the area. No study is perfect, especially not a Masters-level. Discuss the shortcomings of your research. Perhaps your methodology was limited, perhaps your sample size was small or not representative, etc, etc. Don’t be afraid to critique your work – the markers want to see that you can identify the limitations of your work. This is a strength, not a weakness. Be brutal!

This marks the end of your core chapters – woohoo! From here on out, it’s pretty smooth sailing.

The reference list is straightforward. It should contain a list of all resources cited in your dissertation, in the required format, e.g. APA , Harvard, etc.

It’s essential that you use reference management software for your dissertation. Do NOT try handle your referencing manually – its far too error prone. On a reference list of multiple pages, you’re going to make mistake. To this end, I suggest considering either Mendeley or Zotero. Both are free and provide a very straightforward interface to ensure that your referencing is 100% on point. I’ve included a simple how-to video for the Mendeley software (my personal favourite) below:

Some universities may ask you to include a bibliography, as opposed to a reference list. These two things are not the same . A bibliography is similar to a reference list, except that it also includes resources which informed your thinking but were not directly cited in your dissertation. So, double-check your brief and make sure you use the right one.

The very last piece of the puzzle is the appendix or set of appendices. This is where you’ll include any supporting data and evidence. Importantly, supporting is the keyword here.

Your appendices should provide additional “nice to know”, depth-adding information, which is not critical to the core analysis. Appendices should not be used as a way to cut down word count (see this post which covers how to reduce word count ). In other words, don’t place content that is critical to the core analysis here, just to save word count. You will not earn marks on any content in the appendices, so don’t try to play the system!

Time to recap…

And there you have it – the traditional dissertation structure and layout, from A-Z. To recap, the core structure for a dissertation or thesis is (typically) as follows:

  • Acknowledgments page

Most importantly, the core chapters should reflect the research process (asking, investigating and answering your research question). Moreover, the research question(s) should form the golden thread throughout your dissertation structure. Everything should revolve around the research questions, and as you’ve seen, they should form both the start point (i.e. introduction chapter) and the endpoint (i.e. conclusion chapter).

I hope this post has provided you with clarity about the traditional dissertation/thesis structure and layout. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below, or feel free to get in touch with us. Also, be sure to check out the rest of the  Grad Coach Blog .

tips for writing undergraduate dissertation

Psst... there’s more!

This post was based on one of our popular Research Bootcamps . If you're working on a research project, you'll definitely want to check this out ...

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The acknowledgements section of a thesis/dissertation

36 Comments

ARUN kumar SHARMA

many thanks i found it very useful

Derek Jansen

Glad to hear that, Arun. Good luck writing your dissertation.

Sue

Such clear practical logical advice. I very much needed to read this to keep me focused in stead of fretting.. Perfect now ready to start my research!

hayder

what about scientific fields like computer or engineering thesis what is the difference in the structure? thank you very much

Tim

Thanks so much this helped me a lot!

Ade Adeniyi

Very helpful and accessible. What I like most is how practical the advice is along with helpful tools/ links.

Thanks Ade!

Aswathi

Thank you so much sir.. It was really helpful..

You’re welcome!

Jp Raimundo

Hi! How many words maximum should contain the abstract?

Karmelia Renatee

Thank you so much 😊 Find this at the right moment

You’re most welcome. Good luck with your dissertation.

moha

best ever benefit i got on right time thank you

Krishnan iyer

Many times Clarity and vision of destination of dissertation is what makes the difference between good ,average and great researchers the same way a great automobile driver is fast with clarity of address and Clear weather conditions .

I guess Great researcher = great ideas + knowledge + great and fast data collection and modeling + great writing + high clarity on all these

You have given immense clarity from start to end.

Alwyn Malan

Morning. Where will I write the definitions of what I’m referring to in my report?

Rose

Thank you so much Derek, I was almost lost! Thanks a tonnnn! Have a great day!

yemi Amos

Thanks ! so concise and valuable

Kgomotso Siwelane

This was very helpful. Clear and concise. I know exactly what to do now.

dauda sesay

Thank you for allowing me to go through briefly. I hope to find time to continue.

Patrick Mwathi

Really useful to me. Thanks a thousand times

Adao Bundi

Very interesting! It will definitely set me and many more for success. highly recommended.

SAIKUMAR NALUMASU

Thank you soo much sir, for the opportunity to express my skills

mwepu Ilunga

Usefull, thanks a lot. Really clear

Rami

Very nice and easy to understand. Thank you .

Chrisogonas Odhiambo

That was incredibly useful. Thanks Grad Coach Crew!

Luke

My stress level just dropped at least 15 points after watching this. Just starting my thesis for my grad program and I feel a lot more capable now! Thanks for such a clear and helpful video, Emma and the GradCoach team!

Judy

Do we need to mention the number of words the dissertation contains in the main document?

It depends on your university’s requirements, so it would be best to check with them 🙂

Christine

Such a helpful post to help me get started with structuring my masters dissertation, thank you!

Simon Le

Great video; I appreciate that helpful information

Brhane Kidane

It is so necessary or avital course

johnson

This blog is very informative for my research. Thank you

avc

Doctoral students are required to fill out the National Research Council’s Survey of Earned Doctorates

Emmanuel Manjolo

wow this is an amazing gain in my life

Paul I Thoronka

This is so good

Tesfay haftu

How can i arrange my specific objectives in my dissertation?

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Thesis and Dissertation: Getting Started

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

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The resources in this section are designed to provide guidance for the first steps of the thesis or dissertation writing process. They offer tools to support the planning and managing of your project, including writing out your weekly schedule, outlining your goals, and organzing the various working elements of your project.

Weekly Goals Sheet (a.k.a. Life Map) [Word Doc]

This editable handout provides a place for you to fill in available time blocks on a weekly chart that will help you visualize the amount of time you have available to write. By using this chart, you will be able to work your writing goals into your schedule and put these goals into perspective with your day-to-day plans and responsibilities each week. This handout also contains a formula to help you determine the minimum number of pages you would need to write per day in order to complete your writing on time.

Setting a Production Schedule (Word Doc)

This editable handout can help you make sense of the various steps involved in the production of your thesis or dissertation and determine how long each step might take. A large part of this process involves (1) seeking out the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding specific document formatting requirements, (2) understanding research protocol limitations, (3) making note of deadlines, and (4) understanding your personal writing habits.

Creating a Roadmap (PDF)

Part of organizing your writing involves having a clear sense of how the different working parts relate to one another. Creating a roadmap for your dissertation early on can help you determine what the final document will include and how all the pieces are connected. This resource offers guidance on several approaches to creating a roadmap, including creating lists, maps, nut-shells, visuals, and different methods for outlining. It is important to remember that you can create more than one roadmap (or more than one type of roadmap) depending on how the different approaches discussed here meet your needs.

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7 steps to writing a dissertation

While you may be experienced in revising and writing essays, your dissertation requires careful planning, extensive research, and time management to succeed

Your dissertation is a key part of your degree course and a testament to your ability to conduct research, analyse data, and write a clear argument. Dissertations can be challenging, but they are also rewarding experiences that allow you to explore a topic in-depth and make a significant contribution to your field of study.

To achieve your academic goals, it is important to act on feedback, use your supervision time to your advantage, and demonstrate a strong knowledge of your subject. Whether you're writing an undergraduate, Masters , or PhD dissertation, these seven steps can help you stay on track.

1. Choose your topic wisely

Selecting the right topic is the foundation of a successful dissertation. It is important to choose a topic that is:

  • Relevant to your academic discipline and interests. This will ensure that you are passionate about your topic and have the necessary background knowledge to conduct meaningful research.
  • Intriguing and thought-provoking . A well-chosen topic will inspire you to ask interesting questions and develop original insights.
  • Specific enough to allow for in-depth analysis, yet broad enough to provide enough research material. A topic that is too narrow may be difficult to research or produce meaningful findings, while a topic that is too broad may be difficult to cover in the allowed time and word count.

Consider your career goals and what topics are relevant to the field you hope to work in after graduation. It's also important to be open to change, as it's common for students to modify their dissertation topic as they explore the subject more.

Once you have identified a potential topic, seek guidance from your supervisor. They can help you to refine your choice, identify relevant sources, and develop a research plan.

2. Check what's required of you

Read your marking criteria carefully. It is also important to consult the module guidelines and follow the instructions on any additional parts to your main assignment, such as a project plan, literature review or a critical reflection.

Neal Bamford, associate lecturer at London Metropolitan University, reports that his marking process always begins by 'distilling criteria to what students need to provide and how many marks this is worth.'

'Several dissertations I mark don't include a project plan in their submission. This is worth 20% of the overall mark, so students lose out on a significant portion of their grade'.

Before you begin to plan, make sure you understand what's expected of you. Find out:

  • what academic writing looks like in your discipline
  • the word count
  • when and where you must submit your dissertation.

3. Conduct in-depth research

Research at this stage in the process is often referred to as a literature review. This is where you are expected to gather relevant sources, articles, and studies from libraries, and online academic resources to identify the existing research on your topic and to develop your own research questions.

'Form your own opinion and argue for it using research. A history of the topic is always helpful, as it shows that you understand how things got to this point in time,' says Neal.

Be sure to take careful notes on each source and organise them for easy reference. You need to critically evaluate and analyse the sources to ensure their credibility and relevance to your research. This will be helpful when citing your sources in the writing stage.

Don't forget to seek guidance from your advisor throughout the research process. They can provide you with valuable feedback, relevant sources, and support.

4. Develop a strong thesis statement

A well-defined thesis statement is a roadmap for your dissertation. It should concisely state your main argument or research question and provide a clear direction for your paper. Your thesis statement will guide your entire writing process, so take the time to fully understand it before you begin to write.

When writing a thesis statement:

  • Be specific and focused - avoid broad or vague statements.
  • Remember that your thesis needs to be arguable - it should be a statement that can be supported or proved false with evidence.
  • Make sure your thesis is realistic - you need to be able to research and write about it in the allotted time and space.

Once you have a draft of your thesis statement, share it with your supervisor and other trusted peers. They can provide you with feedback and help you to refine your statement.

If your research disproves your original statement, it can be a disappointing experience. However, it is important to remember that this is a normal part of the research process.

'Many of my students believe that if they don't find the answer they're expecting, then their work is worthless,' says Neal.

'This is not the case. You don't have to find the answer to produce valuable research. Documenting your process and conclusions, even if they are inconclusive, can help others to avoid repeating your work and may lead to new approaches.'

5. Proofread and edit

After working on your dissertation for such a long time, it can be tempting to end the process once you have finished writing, but proofreading is an essential step in ensuring that it is polished and error-free.

To help with the proofreading process:

  • Read your dissertation aloud . This can help you to catch errors that you might miss when reading silently.
  • Change your environment to see your work with fresh eyes.
  • Focus on one thing at a time such as grammar, spelling, or punctuation to avoid getting overwhelmed.

To edit your dissertation, begin by reviewing its overall structure and flow. Make sure that your arguments are well-organised and that your ideas are presented in a logical order.

Next, check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation carefully. You can use a grammar checker, but it is important to proofread your work yourself to identify stylistic or subject-specific errors.

'Make sure you understand the reference style your university prefers. Formatting and labelling of images, tables etc. is vitally important and will be marked,' says Neal.

You should also ensure that your dissertation is formatted using the correct font, font size, margins, and line spacing.

6. Seek feedback and finalise

Once you have made your final revisions, seek feedback from your advisor or board members.

To get the most out of your feedback, be specific about what you are looking for. For example, you might ask for feedback on the overall structure and flow of your dissertation, the strength of your arguments, or the clarity of your writing.

Be open to feedback, even if it's negative. Remember that your advisor is there to help you improve your work, so it's important to take the time to understand and implement the feedback you receive.

Once you have addressed all the feedback, you can prepare your final submission. It's important to follow the guidelines carefully before submitting. Be sure to hand in your dissertation on time, as late submissions may be penalised or even rejected.

Online hand in is the most common method of dissertation submission, and you will typically need to upload a PDF file to an online portal. Follow the instructions carefully - you may need to provide additional information, such as your student ID number or the title of your dissertation.

Some institutions still require dissertations to be submitted in hard copy. If this is the case, you will need to submit a bound copy of your dissertation to your department office. You may also need to pay the binding fee.

Be sure to check with your advisor or department office for specific instructions on how to submit your dissertation in hard copy. You may have to submit multiple copies of your dissertation, and you be required to to include a title page, abstract, and table of contents.

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  • Dissertation

How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

Published on 9 September 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes.

The introduction is the first section of your thesis or dissertation , appearing right after the table of contents . Your introduction draws your reader in, setting the stage for your research with a clear focus, purpose, and direction.

Your introduction should include:

  • Your topic, in context: what does your reader need to know to understand your thesis dissertation?
  • Your focus and scope: what specific aspect of the topic will you address?
  • The relevance of your research: how does your work fit into existing studies on your topic?
  • Your questions and objectives: what does your research aim to find out, and how?
  • An overview of your structure: what does each section contribute to the overall aim?

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Table of contents

How to start your introduction, topic and context, focus and scope, relevance and importance, questions and objectives, overview of the structure, thesis introduction example, introduction checklist, frequently asked questions about introductions.

Although your introduction kicks off your dissertation, it doesn’t have to be the first thing you write – in fact, it’s often one of the very last parts to be completed (just before your abstract ).

It’s a good idea to write a rough draft of your introduction as you begin your research, to help guide you. If you wrote a research proposal , consider using this as a template, as it contains many of the same elements. However, be sure to revise your introduction throughout the writing process, making sure it matches the content of your ensuing sections.

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Begin by introducing your research topic and giving any necessary background information. It’s important to contextualise your research and generate interest. Aim to show why your topic is timely or important. You may want to mention a relevant news item, academic debate, or practical problem.

After a brief introduction to your general area of interest, narrow your focus and define the scope of your research.

You can narrow this down in many ways, such as by:

  • Geographical area
  • Time period
  • Demographics or communities
  • Themes or aspects of the topic

It’s essential to share your motivation for doing this research, as well as how it relates to existing work on your topic. Further, you should also mention what new insights you expect it will contribute.

Start by giving a brief overview of the current state of research. You should definitely cite the most relevant literature, but remember that you will conduct a more in-depth survey of relevant sources in the literature review section, so there’s no need to go too in-depth in the introduction.

Depending on your field, the importance of your research might focus on its practical application (e.g., in policy or management) or on advancing scholarly understanding of the topic (e.g., by developing theories or adding new empirical data). In many cases, it will do both.

Ultimately, your introduction should explain how your thesis or dissertation:

  • Helps solve a practical or theoretical problem
  • Addresses a gap in the literature
  • Builds on existing research
  • Proposes a new understanding of your topic

Perhaps the most important part of your introduction is your questions and objectives, as it sets up the expectations for the rest of your thesis or dissertation. How you formulate your research questions and research objectives will depend on your discipline, topic, and focus, but you should always clearly state the central aim of your research.

If your research aims to test hypotheses , you can formulate them here. Your introduction is also a good place for a conceptual framework that suggests relationships between variables .

  • Conduct surveys to collect data on students’ levels of knowledge, understanding, and positive/negative perceptions of government policy.
  • Determine whether attitudes to climate policy are associated with variables such as age, gender, region, and social class.
  • Conduct interviews to gain qualitative insights into students’ perspectives and actions in relation to climate policy.

To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline  of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.

I. Introduction

Human language consists of a set of vowels and consonants which are combined to form words. During the speech production process, thoughts are converted into spoken utterances to convey a message. The appropriate words and their meanings are selected in the mental lexicon (Dell & Burger, 1997). This pre-verbal message is then grammatically coded, during which a syntactic representation of the utterance is built.

Speech, language, and voice disorders affect the vocal cords, nerves, muscles, and brain structures, which result in a distorted language reception or speech production (Sataloff & Hawkshaw, 2014). The symptoms vary from adding superfluous words and taking pauses to hoarseness of the voice, depending on the type of disorder (Dodd, 2005). However, distortions of the speech may also occur as a result of a disease that seems unrelated to speech, such as multiple sclerosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

This study aims to determine which acoustic parameters are suitable for the automatic detection of exacerbations in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by investigating which aspects of speech differ between COPD patients and healthy speakers and which aspects differ between COPD patients in exacerbation and stable COPD patients.

Checklist: Introduction

I have introduced my research topic in an engaging way.

I have provided necessary context to help the reader understand my topic.

I have clearly specified the focus of my research.

I have shown the relevance and importance of the dissertation topic .

I have clearly stated the problem or question that my research addresses.

I have outlined the specific objectives of the research .

I have provided an overview of the dissertation’s structure .

You've written a strong introduction for your thesis or dissertation. Use the other checklists to continue improving your dissertation.

The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem
  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an outline of the paper

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.

They summarise the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .

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George, T. & McCombes, S. (2022, September 09). How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction. Scribbr. Retrieved 26 May 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/thesis-dissertation/introduction/

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Essay and dissertation writing skills

Planning your essay

Writing your introduction

Structuring your essay

  • Writing essays in science subjects
  • Brief video guides to support essay planning and writing
  • Writing extended essays and dissertations
  • Planning your dissertation writing time

Structuring your dissertation

  • Top tips for writing longer pieces of work

Advice on planning and writing essays and dissertations

University essays differ from school essays in that they are less concerned with what you know and more concerned with how you construct an argument to answer the question. This means that the starting point for writing a strong essay is to first unpick the question and to then use this to plan your essay before you start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

A really good starting point for you are these short, downloadable Tips for Successful Essay Writing and Answering the Question resources. Both resources will help you to plan your essay, as well as giving you guidance on how to distinguish between different sorts of essay questions. 

You may find it helpful to watch this seven-minute video on six tips for essay writing which outlines how to interpret essay questions, as well as giving advice on planning and structuring your writing:

Different disciplines will have different expectations for essay structure and you should always refer to your Faculty or Department student handbook or course Canvas site for more specific guidance.

However, broadly speaking, all essays share the following features:

Essays need an introduction to establish and focus the parameters of the discussion that will follow. You may find it helpful to divide the introduction into areas to demonstrate your breadth and engagement with the essay question. You might define specific terms in the introduction to show your engagement with the essay question; for example, ‘This is a large topic which has been variously discussed by many scientists and commentators. The principal tension is between the views of X and Y who define the main issues as…’ Breadth might be demonstrated by showing the range of viewpoints from which the essay question could be considered; for example, ‘A variety of factors including economic, social and political, influence A and B. This essay will focus on the social and economic aspects, with particular emphasis on…..’

Watch this two-minute video to learn more about how to plan and structure an introduction:

The main body of the essay should elaborate on the issues raised in the introduction and develop an argument(s) that answers the question. It should consist of a number of self-contained paragraphs each of which makes a specific point and provides some form of evidence to support the argument being made. Remember that a clear argument requires that each paragraph explicitly relates back to the essay question or the developing argument.

  • Conclusion: An essay should end with a conclusion that reiterates the argument in light of the evidence you have provided; you shouldn’t use the conclusion to introduce new information.
  • References: You need to include references to the materials you’ve used to write your essay. These might be in the form of footnotes, in-text citations, or a bibliography at the end. Different systems exist for citing references and different disciplines will use various approaches to citation. Ask your tutor which method(s) you should be using for your essay and also consult your Department or Faculty webpages for specific guidance in your discipline. 

Essay writing in science subjects

If you are writing an essay for a science subject you may need to consider additional areas, such as how to present data or diagrams. This five-minute video gives you some advice on how to approach your reading list, planning which information to include in your answer and how to write for your scientific audience – the video is available here:

A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.

Short videos to support your essay writing skills

There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing, including:

  • Approaching different types of essay questions  
  • Structuring your essay  
  • Writing an introduction  
  • Making use of evidence in your essay writing  
  • Writing your conclusion

Extended essays and dissertations

Longer pieces of writing like extended essays and dissertations may seem like quite a challenge from your regular essay writing. The important point is to start with a plan and to focus on what the question is asking. A PDF providing further guidance on planning Humanities and Social Science dissertations is available to download.

Planning your time effectively

Try not to leave the writing until close to your deadline, instead start as soon as you have some ideas to put down onto paper. Your early drafts may never end up in the final work, but the work of committing your ideas to paper helps to formulate not only your ideas, but the method of structuring your writing to read well and conclude firmly.

Although many students and tutors will say that the introduction is often written last, it is a good idea to begin to think about what will go into it early on. For example, the first draft of your introduction should set out your argument, the information you have, and your methods, and it should give a structure to the chapters and sections you will write. Your introduction will probably change as time goes on but it will stand as a guide to your entire extended essay or dissertation and it will help you to keep focused.

The structure of  extended essays or dissertations will vary depending on the question and discipline, but may include some or all of the following:

  • The background information to - and context for - your research. This often takes the form of a literature review.
  • Explanation of the focus of your work.
  • Explanation of the value of this work to scholarship on the topic.
  • List of the aims and objectives of the work and also the issues which will not be covered because they are outside its scope.

The main body of your extended essay or dissertation will probably include your methodology, the results of research, and your argument(s) based on your findings.

The conclusion is to summarise the value your research has added to the topic, and any further lines of research you would undertake given more time or resources. 

Tips on writing longer pieces of work

Approaching each chapter of a dissertation as a shorter essay can make the task of writing a dissertation seem less overwhelming. Each chapter will have an introduction, a main body where the argument is developed and substantiated with evidence, and a conclusion to tie things together. Unlike in a regular essay, chapter conclusions may also introduce the chapter that will follow, indicating how the chapters are connected to one another and how the argument will develop through your dissertation.

For further guidance, watch this two-minute video on writing longer pieces of work . 

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Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far, they want to know what the essay argues as well as how the writer plans to make the argument. After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, "This essay is going to try to convince me of something. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm interested to see how I might be."

An effective thesis cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." A thesis is not a topic; nor is it a fact; nor is it an opinion. "Reasons for the fall of communism" is a topic. "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" is a fact known by educated people. "The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe" is an opinion. (Superlatives like "the best" almost always lead to trouble. It's impossible to weigh every "thing" that ever happened in Europe. And what about the fall of Hitler? Couldn't that be "the best thing"?)

A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay.

Steps in Constructing a Thesis

First, analyze your primary sources.  Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? What are the deeper implications of the author's argument? Figuring out the why to one or more of these questions, or to related questions, will put you on the path to developing a working thesis. (Without the why, you probably have only come up with an observation—that there are, for instance, many different metaphors in such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)

Once you have a working thesis, write it down.  There is nothing as frustrating as hitting on a great idea for a thesis, then forgetting it when you lose concentration. And by writing down your thesis you will be forced to think of it clearly, logically, and concisely. You probably will not be able to write out a final-draft version of your thesis the first time you try, but you'll get yourself on the right track by writing down what you have.

Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction.  A good, standard place for your thesis statement is at the end of an introductory paragraph, especially in shorter (5-15 page) essays. Readers are used to finding theses there, so they automatically pay more attention when they read the last sentence of your introduction. Although this is not required in all academic essays, it is a good rule of thumb.

Anticipate the counterarguments.  Once you have a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you'll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument—it may be a fact, or an opinion, but it is not an argument.)

This statement is on its way to being a thesis. However, it is too easy to imagine possible counterarguments. For example, a political observer might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a "soft-on-crime" image. If you complicate your thesis by anticipating the counterargument, you'll strengthen your argument, as shown in the sentence below.

Some Caveats and Some Examples

A thesis is never a question.  Readers of academic essays expect to have questions discussed, explored, or even answered. A question ("Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?") is not an argument, and without an argument, a thesis is dead in the water.

A thesis is never a list.  "For political, economic, social and cultural reasons, communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" does a good job of "telegraphing" the reader what to expect in the essay—a section about political reasons, a section about economic reasons, a section about social reasons, and a section about cultural reasons. However, political, economic, social and cultural reasons are pretty much the only possible reasons why communism could collapse. This sentence lacks tension and doesn't advance an argument. Everyone knows that politics, economics, and culture are important.

A thesis should never be vague, combative or confrontational.  An ineffective thesis would be, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil." This is hard to argue (evil from whose perspective? what does evil mean?) and it is likely to mark you as moralistic and judgmental rather than rational and thorough. It also may spark a defensive reaction from readers sympathetic to communism. If readers strongly disagree with you right off the bat, they may stop reading.

An effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim.  "While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of economies played the key role in driving its decline" is an effective thesis sentence that "telegraphs," so that the reader expects the essay to have a section about cultural forces and another about the disintegration of economies. This thesis makes a definite, arguable claim: that the disintegration of economies played a more important role than cultural forces in defeating communism in Eastern Europe. The reader would react to this statement by thinking, "Perhaps what the author says is true, but I am not convinced. I want to read further to see how the author argues this claim."

A thesis should be as clear and specific as possible.  Avoid overused, general terms and abstractions. For example, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people" is more powerful than "Communism collapsed due to societal discontent."

Copyright 1999, Maxine Rodburg and The Tutors of the Writing Center at Harvard University

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10 Top Tips for a Tip Top Undergraduate Dissertation: a Practical Guide

Manage your time effectively

Specify a clear research question

Understand your research methodology

Construct a comprehensive search strategy

Engage critically with the literature

Leave no stone unturned in your search for resources

Think carefully about how to structure your argument

Write with an analytical style

Make the most of Word

Seek help when you need it

What's this guide all about?

Dissertations

These tips will be of particular relevance to undergraduate students in Social Sciences departments , but anyone writing a dissertation will find them useful.

Be aware that they give general guidance and advice; you should always refer and adhere to the specific guidance provided by your department . You might lose marks unnecessarily if you do not follow the standards and principles which the department expects of your work. In particular make sure that you have read and understood the assessment criteria for the dissertation.

Use the menu on the left or the arrows at the bottom of each tip to find your way around the guide.

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What is a dissertation.

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  • Last Updated: Apr 17, 2024 9:22 PM
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Writing your dissertation: top tips from someone who’s been there, done that!

10 February 2021

Anthony Walker-Cook, UCL English Literature PhD student and Senior Postgraduate Teaching Assistant with UCL's Writing Lab, shares top tips he wishes he'd known before starting his dissertation.

A student wearing a facemask looks at their laptop in the library

So, you’re coming towards the end of your degree and there’s always one project that looms large in your mind: the dissertation! This behemoth might feel threatening but I want to assure you that, with proper planning, this project can be at least manageable and at best (whisper it!) enjoyable.

1. Let’s start at the beginning: picking your topic

Coming up with an idea for a dissertation can itself be a challenge. Think about what modules you’ve really enjoyed from your degree and spend time talking with the academics that led those modules. Were there any questions that you had from a course that were left unanswered? Use those questions and ideas to guide your potential dissertation topic. The most important thing is that you pick a topic that genuinely interests you: you’re going to be spending a significant amount of time on it!

2. Be flexible and allow your project to change as needed

My undergraduate dissertation started off as a study of the representation of dinosaurs in Victorian fiction, but I soon realised there weren't as many dinosaurs as I first thought (I guess you could say they were extinct). But from my research I realised that the contemporary interest in dinosaurs was part of a wider cultural shift that celebrated the emerging concept of the museum. My project thus become an exploration of museums in Victorian fiction, with a chapter on dinosaurs. You never know what direction your research will take you, so be open to change.  

3. Once you’ve picked your topic, spend time on the Library site researching widely in your field

There are two vital points to make at this stage of the process:

Firstly, keep good notes when reading, especially with all the information needed to do your referencing down the line. The last thing you want to be doing when writing is spending hours trying to track down the reference!

Secondly, try not to lose sight of your specific question or topic. You’ll be doing a lot of background reading and you’re intellectually going to be tempted to go down research rabbit holes. Keep your own topic at the forefront of your mind whilst you research. 

4. Don’t let the word count overwhelm you – it disappears quickly

Now, I know the inflated word counts of dissertations can be intimidating. 12,000, 15,000 or even 20,000 words is a far cry from the 2,000 word formatives you completed during your first year! But, once you start dividing the material into chapters that word count will soon disappear. Four or five chapters, an introduction and a conclusion will soon take you up to your limit; suddenly that mountain of words feels manageable. Careful planning will make the project seem not only achievable but also it will help guide and focus your reading. Spending time on a chapter plan early on can really pay off in the long run.

5. Plan in enough time for editing

It’s important to give yourself sufficient writing and editing time. I’d say the latter is almost more important than the former: this is a big piece of work and it will take time to go through it in detail. Ensure you submit sections of your work to your supervisor depending on what your department allows you to submit and act upon their feedback.

6. Have all the guidelines at your fingertips

As you are working, have a copy of your departmental referencing guidelines printed off in front of you and make sure you reference as you go along. Taking time to get the presentation of your thesis to a high standard reflects the significance of the project. Also make sure you firmly understand the project’s regulations, such as deadlines and word counts (double check if footnotes, figures or images contribute towards the final number of words).  

7. Lastly, and perhaps the most important tip, try to enjoy your dissertation.

This is an opportunity for you to both use all of the skills you’ve acquired throughout your degree and for you to engage in an area of work that (should) genuinely interest you. Good luck!

Further information

Practical resources from the Academic Communication Centre

UCL Library support for dissertations and research projects

Anthony Walker-Cook,  UCL English Literature PhD student and Senior Postgraduate Teaching Assistant  

Read more similar articles here

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Journalism and communication menu, journalism and communication, five tips for tackling the undergraduate thesis.

Meg Rodgers

By Becky Hoag and Meg Rodgers

Theses aren’t just for graduate students. Many UO School of Journalism and Communication undergrads write theses for the SOJC Honors Program , for Clark’s Honors College or just to gain research experience. Any of them can tell you that thesis-writing takes a lot of work and can be quite daunting.

Wondering how you would even get started on it?

SOJC media studies alum Meg Rodgers ’18 totally understands how you feel. But she made it happen! She spent her senior year writing an undergrad thesis for the Honors College about TV anti-heroines that was selected for the 2018 UO Undergraduate Research Symposium .

Here are a few lessons she learned along the way:

1. Make use of your thesis advisor.

If you don’t have one assigned to you, find one and make that connection as soon as you can.

“They are the experts in their field, and you are learning how to become an expert,” Rodgers said.

She said her advisor, Assistant Professor Erin Hanna, helped her break down her project into doable steps and approach the research process in a smart manner.

2. Dive into the research.

Collect as much knowledge as you can. Even if some of the sources don’t end up in your final reference list, they will all help develop your overall understanding of the topic.

Rodgers found that about one-third of her process was research, one-third was writing and one-third was editing. It might be surprising and a bit nerve-wracking not to write anything down for the first part of the thesis process, but that’s normal. If you start writing too soon, you might find yourself making more assumptions about what you will find, rather than writing about what you actually found.

3. Start citing sources early.

You’ll thank yourself later. Programs like Mendeley or Zotero can help with this. Make sure you know what citation style to use.

4. Break down your thesis into workable sections.

Looking at the whole thing at once can be overwhelming. What are the individual points you want to cover in your paper? Make a list and start checking them off one at a time.

5. Mentally prepare yourself for lots of editing.

Try not to take it personally when your paper gets torn apart. It just means that it’s getting better. Trust the process and be grateful for feedback.

You can do it! And all the work’s definitely worth it. Rodgers found the thesis-writing process helped her learn about her strengths and weaknesses as a researcher and what work environments are best for her. Sometimes the more challenging endeavors can be the most rewarding too.

Becky Hoag is a senior double-majoring in journalism and environmental science (with a marine focus). This is her second year writing for the SOJC Communication Office. This past summer, she worked as an intern at the  KQED science  desk in San Francisco, producing content for the new program about climate change, “ This Moment on Earth .” She is also a science writer for The Daily Emerald and the student-run environmental magazine Envision Magazine , and a web designer/researcher for marine conservation outreach organization Ocean Everblue . She wants to become an environmental/scientific journalist. You can view her work at  beckyhoag.com .

tips for writing undergraduate dissertation

  • Walden University
  • Faculty Portal

Undergraduate Writing: Top 10 Writing Tips for Undergraduates

Top 10 writing tips for undergraduates.

Most undergraduate students at Walden have been out of high school or college for several years, so academic writing can feel unfamiliar. Just like anything else, though, writing is a skill you will learn to develop with practice. Below are the Writing Center’s top undergraduate writing tips to help you get started.

1. Plan Your Time

Walden courses are fast-paced, often with a paper assignment due every Sunday night. No matter how hard you try, you cannot write a perfect, polished essay at the very last minute. Schedule studying and writing times throughout the week, taking into account your work and family responsibilities. You might find that writing a little bit each day, in chunks, helps manage your assignment load. For more planning tips and tools, see the Academic Skills Center’s page on Managing Time/Stress and the Writing Center’s Assignment Planner .

2. Know the Academic Writing Expectations (AWE)

The Academic Writing Expectations, AWE, document lists the writing expectations for each undergraduate course level. In early courses, you practice writing compelling sentences and paragraphs and integrating evidence. Later on, you learn more about citations and references in APA style, as well as essay-level skills. Consult the AWE comparison document for your current course level.

  • Comparison of AWE Expectations by Course Level (PDF)

3. Use the Assignment Instructions and Rubric

Within your courses, there are several powerful tools to help focus and develop your writing. First, the assignment instructions give you important information about the length of the assignment and the topics you should cover. Use these instructions as an outline as you are writing. Second, the rubric tells you how your work will be assessed. If a certain part of the assignment is worth more points on the rubric, you know you should devote a lot of attention to it. For more tips on writing and revising using your assignment materials, listen to this podcast episode or view our Revising webinar .

4. Get Comfortable With Writing

At Walden, most communication with peers and professors occurs in writing. You are also assessed on your writing via discussion board and essay assignments. This attention to writing can be scary, especially for students who have been away from an academic setting for some time. You might need to start journaling or find a writing buddy to feel more comfortable. See our Writing Through Fear blog post for more tips.

5. Read Your Professor's Feedback

One of the fundamental ways to learn is through the written feedback from your professor. This might seem like a simple statement, but some students do not ever access this written feedback, and so they miss out on a valuable opportunity. When you receive your grades in Canvas, click on the individual assignment title to bring up the professor’s general comments. In those comments, you should see your attached submission with specific feedback embedded. Read our page on Using Feedback for more tips and download a feedback journal as a way to keep track of suggested improvements.

6. Make an Argument

In most assignments, you need to discuss a topic and have a reason for discussing that topic. Rather than just summarizing, you need to analyze and convince your reader of something. For example, if your topic is electric cars, your purpose might be to convince the reader that electric cars are an efficient alternative to gas cars. This means that every paragraph will be part of your overall goal to argue this point. Kayla explores the importance of argument in her blog post Argue Is Not a Dirty Word .

7. Practice Academic Integrity

As an academic writer, you use information from books, journal articles, and trusted websites to support your argument. To present this information ethically and with integrity, you need to give credit to the original source. At Walden, students give credit through APA citations in the text. Citations should accompany any ideas, information, or phrasing from others. You will gain familiarity with citing sources as you progress through your program; for now, see our  Using and Crediting Sources playlist  for an overview.

8. Organize Your Ideas

All of your discussion posts and papers should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. An introduction provides background on the topic and includes your thesis statement. In essence, the introduction prepares the reader for all of the main points you will be making in the body. The body is where you develop your argument, paragraph by paragraph . Your conclusion acts as a summary and helps the reader understand the significance of the information presented.

9. Develop an Academic Voice

A formal, direct, and precise voice is expected in college-level writing. This means that you should avoid informal language such as colloquialisms, slang, metaphors, clichés, and jargon, as well as questions and contractions. Instead of having a conversation with the reader, you are an authority building an argument. The reader needs to trust in you.

10. Revisit Grammar and Sentence Structure

Because the goal of academic writing is to clearly communicate, you should ensure that your writing follows proper American English grammar and sentence structure rules. Otherwise, a reader might become confused. The Grammar page of our website provides explanation on many common grammar concerns. You might also find Grammarly helpful; Grammarly is an automated program that identifies potential sentence errors and offers revision tips.

Didn't find what you need? Email us at [email protected] .

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Dissertation Tips for Students

  • September 1, 2023

tips for writing undergraduate dissertation

Writing your dissertation can feel like a big deal, and it’s easy to put it off. But, by making a plan right at the beginning, you might find that you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and can tackle it face-on. So before you start to put your dissertation plan together, have a read through our top 5 dissertation tips for students so that you can really prepare yourself before you get started. 

Firstly, what is a dissertation?

You might be wondering what all the fuss is about. What is different about a dissertation compared to the kind of essays or assignments you might be used to? Well, a dissertation is often a component of a degree (for most subjects and areas), and it usually is in place of a whole unit or module of your final academic year. Also known as a ‘thesis’, a dissertation is a larger body of work than your regular assignments. It’s a piece of academic writing that tackles a subject relevant to your area of study, often answering a particular question set by yourself, that allows you to add some knowledge and your own research (primary and secondary) to the academic writing that’s available on the subject. 

So, it’s a big achievement and is something to be proud of. You will really have to engage yourself with it, so it’s also a great talking point when it comes to interviews and opportunities outside of university.

Whether you’re studying for your undergraduate degree, Masters degree or a PhD , these tips will help you smash your dissertation:

Choose a topic that really interests you

You will be working on this piece of writing for a while – probably for longer than any other university essay or project. So, bear that in mind when you’re choosing a topic to write about. You’ll also need to pick one that you’ll actually be able to write. It’s particularly important to learn how to be confident when choosing, as one of the most important things to consider is that it should be a topic that you find really engaging. The more interested you are in the subject, the less of a slog it will be to get it finished. There will, of course, be times when it will be a struggle, but if it’s something that’s meaningful for you, it will feel much easier to power on through and get it done.

It should be a topic wide enough for you to have sufficient resources out there to research but narrow enough for you to remain focused on your research. It is easy for your dissertation to be a vague proposition, but it means you will struggle to formulate a well-thought-out answer to the question.

If you’re struggling with ideas, you could spend some time researching your course materials and academic journals to identify current issues that relate to your area and to find some inspiration. Get a big blank piece of paper and start jotting down areas of interest and making connections between them. Mind-mapping in this way (with paper and a pen) allows your ideas to keep flowing, and you tend to explore ideas in a much more abstract way.

Choose the right tutor | Dissertation tips for students

Most universities will have a system in place where you will be linked with a specific tutor or supervisor who will help guide you through your dissertation. As well as choosing your topic, think about the specialist knowledge your tutors have. If you’re lucky enough to be able to choose your dissertation tutor yourself, take some time to research the areas they have worked in. Don’t be afraid to speak to them about what they have specialist knowledge in. 

You will agree on your focus area with them, and so you will be at a huge advantage if you choose something that they will be able to help you with more easily. It makes sense to choose something that means you can really make use of them – but if you are assigned a tutor that has no knowledge of your area of interest, don’t worry.  They’ll still be able to help you with your research methods, structuring your content, timings, referencing etc. The most important thing is that you choose something that you’re genuinely interested in, as that’s what will carry you through to the end.

Familiarise yourself with the requirements

Before you get into the thick of it, avoid making any silly mistakes by giving the brief a good read-through. And continue to keep checking it through each stage of your dissertation. For example, most universities will use the Harvard referencing style – but not all. So double-check requirements like these to ensure you won’t have marks deducted for no good reason. Make sure you know when and where your dissertation needs to be submitted (and in what format). What’s the word count, and how much leeway is allowed?

As well as this, spend some time looking at other dissertations written by previous students and academics. You’ll be able to familiarise yourself with how they’re structured, what you think works well or not so well, what types of source material are used and in what way, and what forms of analysis are used.

Plan and structure your content | Dissertation tips for students

When you’ve finally decided on your topic, you’re then ready to write a dissertation proposal. Your proposal will briefly outline the purpose of your dissertation and how you intend to go about your research. It will help to contextualise your subject area and will demonstrate how it is relevant within your field. Your introduction, literature review and methodology will then become much easier to tackle. 

By laying out a plan at the beginning, including which content falls into which sections, you will help keep yourself on track and remain focussed without getting too overambitious with your research. You’ll be more likely to successfully develop a strong and coherent argument if you keep the points you are making really relevant to the question.  And don’t worry if you find that the reading and research you are doing takes you in a slightly different direction. It’s OK to adjust your plan as you go. Just remember that you need to make sure everything is clear for the reader – so your title, headings, proposition etc, will need to reflect that direction change too.

Planning out your dissertation is a crucial step, so take your time to get it right. Talk through your content plan with your tutor too. The more they understand how you’re going to tackle your piece of writing, the more they’ll be able to help you.  

Harvard Referencing Help: FREE Harvard Referencing Generator  >>

It’s all about time management | Dissertation tips for students

From start to finish, writing your dissertation can be a lengthy process. So as well as planning out your actual dissertation content, take a few moments to make yourself a timings plan of everything that needs to be done, week-by-week. Again, your supervisor can help you with this. 

  • They might make a suggestion on how many weeks they think are needed for the reading and research in the area you’re looking at, for example. 
  • Gathering and analysing data is dependent on the resources you have around you – you could be lucky enough to gather the data in just one session or it might take multiple sittings, depending on your research subjects and the scale and nature of the research.
  • Don’t forget that it will take some time for you to get everything communicated clearly on paper. The redrafting and proofreading stages always take much longer than you think, so you don’t want to rush this part. It would be a shame to have completed all that work and then not have the information written in a clear and understandable way for the reader. A thorough editing process is essential. It will ensure you produce a coherent and well-thought-out piece of writing. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to really engage with your dissertation at each stage (and especially once you get to editing). This will allow you to reassess your logic along the way. Taking a step back and looking at your work regularly, checking against the brief and the goals, will mean you’re continuously keeping yourself on track and not wasting that valuable time. 
  • Finally, make sure to leave sufficient time for your dissertation to be printed . You don’t want to be rushing around on the final day before submission, trying to find a printer that can take on the job. Dissertations all across your university might be due around the same time, so avoid joining a large queue in a panic by getting this done in good time before you submit. 

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May 15, 2024

Tips and Resources for a Successful Summer of Dissertation Writing

By Yana Zlochistaya

Summer can be a strange time for graduate students. Gone are the seminars and workshops, the student clubs, and the working group, that structured the semester and provided us with a sense of community. Instead, we’re faced with a three-month expanse of time that can feel equal parts liberating and intimidating. This double-edged freedom is only exacerbated for those of us in the writing stage of our dissertation, when isolation and a lack of discipline can have a particularly big impact. For those hoping not to enter another summer with lofty plans, only to blink and find ourselves in August disappointed with our progress, we’ve compiled some tips and resources that can help.

According to Graduate Writing Center Director Sabrina Soracco, the most important thing you can do to set yourself up for writing success is to clarify your goals. She recommends starting this process by looking at departmental requirements for a completed dissertation. Consider when you would like to file and work backwards from that point, determining what you have to get done in order to hit that target. Next, check in with your dissertation committee members to set up an accountability structure. Would they prefer an end-of-summer update to the whole committee? A monthly check-in with your chair or one of your readers? Setting up explicit expectations that work for you and your committee can cut through the aimlessness that comes with a major writing project.

For those early on in their dissertation-writing process, a committee meeting is also a valuable opportunity to set parameters. “One of the problems with the excitement for the discipline that happens post-quals is that it results in too many ideas,” says Director Soracco. Your committee members should give you input on productive research directions so that you can begin to hone in on your project. It is also important to remember that your dissertation does not have to be the end-all-and-be-all of your academic research. Ideas that do not fit into its scope can end up becoming conference papers or even book chapters.

Once you have a clear goal that you have discussed with your committee, the hard part begins: you have to actually write. The Graduate Writing Center offers several resources to make that process easier:

  • The Graduate Writing Community. This is a totally remote, two-month program that is based on a model of “gentle accountability.” When you sign up, you are added to a bCourses site moderated by a Graduate Writing Consultant. At the beginning of the week, everyone sets their goals in a discussion post, and by the end of the week, everyone checks in with progress updates. During the week, the writing consultants offer nine hours of remote synchronous writing sessions. As a writing community member, you can attend whichever sessions work best for your schedule. All that’s required is that you show up, set a goal for that hour, and work towards that goal for the length of two 25-minute Pomodoro sessions . This year’s summer writing community will begin in June. Keep your eye on your email for the registration link!
  • Writing Consultations : As a graduate student, you can sign up for an individual meeting with a Graduate Writing Consultant. They can give you feedback on your work, help you figure out the structure of a chapter, or just talk through how to get started on a writing project. 
  • Independent Writing Groups: If you would prefer to write with specific friends or colleagues, you can contact Graduate Writing Center Director Sabrina Soracco at [email protected] so that she can help you set up your own writing group. The structure and length of these groups can differ; often, members will send each other one to five pages of writing weekly and meet the next day for two hours to provide feedback and get advice. Sometimes, groups will meet up not only to share writing, but to work in a common space before coming together to debrief. Regardless of what the groups look like, the important thing is to create a guilt-free space. Some weeks, you might submit an outline; other weeks, it might be the roughest of rough drafts; sometimes, you might come to a session without having submitted anything. As long as we continue to make progress (and show up even when we don’t), we’re doing what we need to. As Director Soracco puts it, “it often takes slogging through a lot of stuff to get to that great epiphany.”

Yana Zlochistaya is a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Comparative Literature and a Professional Development Liaison with the Graduate Division. She previously served as a co-director for Beyond Academia.

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  1. Tips for Undergraduate Dissertation Writing

    tips for writing undergraduate dissertation

  2. Undergraduate Dissertation Writing Guide and Tips

    tips for writing undergraduate dissertation

  3. How To Write A Dissertation Or Thesis (+ Examples)

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  4. How to Write Your Undergraduate Dissertation: : Bloomsbury Study Skills

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  5. Dissertation Writing Tips: 7 Ideas To Write An Epic Research

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  6. Helpful Tips for Writing a Thesis and Dissertation

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COMMENTS

  1. How To Write A Dissertation Or Thesis

    Craft a convincing dissertation or thesis research proposal. Write a clear, compelling introduction chapter. Undertake a thorough review of the existing research and write up a literature review. Undertake your own research. Present and interpret your findings. Draw a conclusion and discuss the implications.

  2. How to write an undergraduate university dissertation

    10 tips for writing an undergraduate dissertation. 1. Select an engaging topic. Choose a subject that aligns with your interests and allows you to showcase the skills and knowledge you have acquired through your degree. 2. Research your supervisor. Undergraduate students will often be assigned a supervisor based on their research specialisms.

  3. How to Write a Dissertation

    A dissertation or thesis is a long piece of academic writing based on original research, submitted as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The structure of a dissertation depends on your field, but it is usually divided into at least four or five chapters (including an introduction and conclusion chapter).

  4. Dissertation Structure & Layout 101 (+ Examples)

    Abstract or executive summary. The dissertation abstract (or executive summary for some degrees) serves to provide the first-time reader (and marker or moderator) with a big-picture view of your research project. It should give them an understanding of the key insights and findings from the research, without them needing to read the rest of the report - in other words, it should be able to ...

  5. How to Write a Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide

    Dissertations typically include a literature review section or chapter. Create a list of books, articles, and other scholarly works early in the process, and continue to add to your list. Refer to the works cited to identify key literature. And take detailed notes to make the writing process easier.

  6. What Is a Dissertation?

    A dissertation is a long-form piece of academic writing based on original research conducted by you. It is usually submitted as the final step in order to finish a PhD program. Your dissertation is probably the longest piece of writing you've ever completed. It requires solid research, writing, and analysis skills, and it can be intimidating ...

  7. How to Write a Dissertation or Thesis Proposal

    Writing a proposal or prospectus can be a challenge, but we've compiled some examples for you to get your started. Example #1: "Geographic Representations of the Planet Mars, 1867-1907" by Maria Lane. Example #2: "Individuals and the State in Late Bronze Age Greece: Messenian Perspectives on Mycenaean Society" by Dimitri Nakassis.

  8. 7

    Although the introduction comes first in your actual dissertation, you don't have to start there in your writing. You might find it easier to write a brief, draft introduction, then come back to expand on it when you have written more of the rest of the dissertation; you'll then have a better understanding of what you've written as a whole.

  9. How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

    Overview of the structure. To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.

  10. Getting Started

    Thesis and Dissertation: Getting Started. The resources in this section are designed to provide guidance for the first steps of the thesis or dissertation writing process. They offer tools to support the planning and managing of your project, including writing out your weekly schedule, outlining your goals, and organzing the various working ...

  11. 7 steps to writing a dissertation

    Whether you're writing an undergraduate, Masters, or PhD dissertation, these seven steps can help you stay on track. 1. Choose your topic wisely. Selecting the right topic is the foundation of a successful dissertation. It is important to choose a topic that is: Relevant to your academic discipline and interests.

  12. Academic writing: a practical guide

    A dissertation is usually a long-term project to produce a long-form piece of writing; think of it a little like an extended, structured assignment. In some subjects (typically the sciences), it might be called a project instead. Work on an undergraduate dissertation is often spread out over the final year. For a masters dissertation, you'll ...

  13. How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

    Overview of the structure. To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.

  14. Essay and dissertation writing skills

    Tips on writing longer pieces of work. Approaching each chapter of a dissertation as a shorter essay can make the task of writing a dissertation seem less overwhelming. Each chapter will have an introduction, a main body where the argument is developed and substantiated with evidence, and a conclusion to tie things together.

  15. Developing A Thesis

    A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay. Steps in Constructing a Thesis. First, analyze your primary sources. Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication.

  16. PDF A Practical Guide to Dissertation and Thesis Writing

    study for your dissertation/thesis as a research problem. Actively ask critical questions that will build a solid base for the development of your dissertation/thesis. Critically assess the significance of your research problem. Avoid common mistakes made by students when expressing their social science issue as a research problem.

  17. Home

    These tips will be of particular relevance to undergraduate students in Social Sciences departments, but anyone writing a dissertation will find them useful. Be aware that they give general guidance and advice; you should always refer and adhere to the specific guidance provided by your department .

  18. Writing your dissertation: top tips from someone who's been ...

    Anthony Walker-Cook, UCL English Literature PhD student and Senior Postgraduate Teaching Assistant with UCL's Writing Lab, shares top tips he wishes he'd known before starting his dissertation. ... My undergraduate dissertation started off as a study of the representation of dinosaurs in Victorian fiction, but I soon realised there weren't as ...

  19. Five tips for tackling the undergraduate thesis

    4. Break down your thesis into workable sections. Looking at the whole thing at once can be overwhelming. What are the individual points you want to cover in your paper? Make a list and start checking them off one at a time. 5. Mentally prepare yourself for lots of editing.

  20. Tips for Writing Your Dissertation Chapter by Chapter

    TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR DISSERTATION CHAPTER BY CHAPTER Below are some tips and advice for how to write a strong dissertation, whether undergraduate, MA or even a PhD. Students come from all kinds of academic backgrounds of course, from Chemistry to Literature, and while research might look different from one department to another,

  21. Top 10 Writing Tips for Undergraduates

    The Academic Writing Expectations, AWE, document lists the writing expectations for each undergraduate course level. In early courses, you practice writing compelling sentences and paragraphs and integrating evidence. Later on, you learn more about citations and references in APA style, as well as essay-level skills.

  22. Dissertation tips for students

    A thorough editing process is essential. It will ensure you produce a coherent and well-thought-out piece of writing. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to really engage with your dissertation at each stage (and especially once you get to editing). This will allow you to reassess your logic along the way.

  23. Tips and Resources for a Successful Summer of Dissertation Writing

    Once you have a clear goal that you have discussed with your committee, the hard part begins: you have to actually write. The Graduate Writing Center offers several resources to make that process easier: The Graduate Writing Community. This is a totally remote, two-month program that is based on a model of "gentle accountability.".

  24. Thesis Writing Costs: Complete Process & Tips for Budgeting

    The thesis writing service cost can vary significantly based on the topic's complexity, the thesis's length, the level of expertise required, and the timeframe for completion. Master Thesis Price: Generally, the cost of master's theses in the UK can range from £800 to over £3,000. Factors that influence the price include the field of study ...