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PhD Writing: Tips And Prompts

How to Write a Prolific Dissertation: An Effective Manual


The amount of work you have to put into your dissertation may seem overwhelming unless you break it into effective steps. Use this brief guide to produce an excellent dissertation with minimal effort.

  • Plan ahead.
  • Your submission deadline may seem far away, but do not let this feeling lull you into a false security. Once you get your dissertation assignment, develop a plan of your work for the following months. Remember that you may have to combine dissertation writing with your working routine or lecture attendance. Ideally, you should have at least a month for research work and another month for actual writing. Double these time estimates if you can.

  • Select a strong topic.
  • Your topic should be of interest to you. Also, it should be broad enough to explore in such a large research paper as your dissertation is, and add a certain value to the existing research in this field. It is important that you get your topic approved by your advisor.

  • Develop a proper outline.
  • Your dissertation structure will heavily depend on your discipline. Consider the specific requirements of your university and course, and follow them strictly. After you complete your outline, get it approved by your advisor. It is much easier to improve your structure at this stage than when you actually start writing.

  • Establish a working routine.
  • Your brain will be more productive if you work on your dissertation at the same time each day. It may either be morning or evening, depending on what you are more comfortable with. Assign an hour or two, and do not use this time for anything else.

  • Use proper language.
  • Things to avoid in your dissertation include contractions, any kinds of slang (except for professional jargon where it is absolutely necessary), informal and regional words, and expressions. If you make a point of avoiding them from the very beginning, it will save you time at the editing stage. Another common enemy of a dissertation writer is indecisive language such as “probably,” “maybe,” “very,” or “many.” Use specific numbers and probabilities instead.

  • Do not forget to cite.
  • Draft your bibliography in the course of your research. If you have a ready reference list when you begin writing, you can use it to insert proper in-text references. As you take notes, include a source name and page number (where applicable) for every citation or piece of evidence. When in doubt of whether you should cite or not, make your choice in favor of citing.

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