7 Dissertation Writing Tips You Definitely Need to Know

When it comes to writing a dissertation, a lot of expertise and professionalism go into the writing process. When you initially enter college, the thought of writing your dissertation might seem far-fetched, until suddenly you realize that time has flown and you are approaching your last year in school, with only a dissertation left to guarantee your graduation.

This article will attempt to offer information on how to write a good dissertation and the tips every student should implement to guarantee good grades.

What is a dissertation?

To better implement the tips you need when drafting your dissertation, it is necessary to have a basic knowledge of what a dissertation is.

A dissertation is a long piece of academic writing that allows students to present their research and findings in response to a question or proposal, as part of their undergraduate or postgraduate degree completion. The word “dissertation” is mostly used interchangeably with the term “thesis.” However, in some countries, a dissertation is used only when referring to the final research work for students currently pursuing their PhD degrees.

How long does a dissertation have to be?

A dissertation’s length varies depending on the subject, research topic, and level of study. An undergraduate dissertation is typically between ten thousand and fifteen thousand words. A master’s dissertation is between fifteen and twenty thousand words. A PhD dissertation is the longest, averaging over seventy thousand words; that is between one hundred and three hundred pages in length.

How long should I write a dissertation?

As earlier stated, the length of a dissertation varies, so the period required to complete one also varies. However, it typically takes between thirteen and nineteen months to finish writing a dissertation. This is approximately a year to a year and a half.

Dissertation writing tips

When thinking of how to start a dissertation, lots of ideas and suggestions are often presented to you by friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and family. Your ability to select the specific tips that work for you will guarantee the success of your writing. Below are some of these tips that you should strongly consider.

  • Pick a topic that is neither too broad or too narrow

Picking a topic is quite a tricky game. Students are often caught between picking a broad topic and one which is narrow. The quickest way to scale through this is by asking certain reflective questions: how objective is your dissertation topic? Is there a substantial amount of research on the subject? And is your research substantial enough to satisfy the reader?

  • Pick a topic you are genuinely interested in

One mistake a lot of students make is picking a topic, either because others are talking about it, or because they believe their lecturer finds the subject interesting. Without genuine interest, it would take a much longer time to complete your dissertation as you do not enjoy what you are writing about.

  • Starting Early

As much as it might seem like there is so much time, there is not. Rather than procrastinate, it is always best to start at the earliest possible date. This enables you to do as much research as you can and brainstorm sufficiently for your thesis.

  • Do your research before writing

Some students make the mistake of writing their first literature review without actual research. This becomes a waste of time as it will certainly be rejected. Always do thorough research to have a firm understanding of your topic before making any first draft.

  • Always cross-reference your chapters

When reading your favorite novel, you will notice how previous chapters are referenced in subsequent chapters. You can do this by comparing your research with those previously highlighted in your literature review.

  • Probe your respondents

A dissertation involves extensive research, and as such, it ought to be approached with the best data analysis technique. When gathering data, ensure that you extensively probe your respondents. Search for their in-depth examination of the questions you ask. Focus on the why of their answer, and not just the what.

  • Seek help

Do not be afraid to ask for professional help. Your instructor is there to support and guide you through the writing process. Requesting help saves you a ton of time and energy.


While many students might unconsciously procrastinate in writing their dissertation, others, who understand the magnitude of the research required to complete this particular academic piece of writing, always start on time. The above tips will help you in your dissertation writing process.

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