Dissertation Writing Help: 5 Golden Rules for Successful Writing

How a dissertation is written and presented is one of the most significant factors in how it is received by your committee. You know what needs to be included, you have the research and supporting evidence just waiting to be put on paper, and you are all but finished. Except for the actual writing. Not every student is a born writer, although it is definitely a useful skill. Making it all come together is the final step to academic success, so here are the 5 golden rules for writing a successful paper that looks and sounds professional:

  • Speech patterns: If you are used to seeing certain sayings, metaphors, figures of speech, or similes in things that you read, leave them out of your paper. It sounds easy to do, but it can actually be quite difficult to avoid these common comfort words. There is absolutely no measurable emotional response to common phrases. Therefore, work to find language that invokes powerful and fresh images for the reader.
  • Keep it short when you can: The temptation to use long words can be overwhelming, especially if you believe it will add value into your paper. In certain situations though, this can completely backfire, and make you sound arrogant and pretentious rather than smart and scholarly. Words that are long should be used with skill, not a heavy pen hand.
  • Cut when you can: If a word can be left out of your sentence, and it still sounds logical, get rid of it. Fewer words are always better, as long as they convey the intended meaning. Your writing will be more powerful if it is concise and to the point.
  • Pick active, not passive: Whenever it is possible to do so, write in the active tone of voice. Active writing has more force behind it, and it is usually shorter. For example, the child was scratched by the cat ( passive ). The cat scratched the child ( active ).
  • Say "No" to slang: Basically you want to avoid slang because it looks unprofessional. It is also a good idea to avoid foreign words when there is a translation in your language available, simply so that you will not have to add in unnecessary words to explain what you mean. Essentially, you want the readers to grasp what you are trying to say easily and quickly.

When you have finished your writing and it is time to edit and proofread, speak out loud. While you may feel silly, this will help you to catch any awkward phrasing and words that can easily be left out, so that your dissertation is written successfully.