How to Write an Outstanding Dissertation

If you have decided to write a dissertation on your own and not purchase theses on-line using companies like this, you will definitely find this post useful. The key to a really great dissertation is a solid foundation, and a solid foundation begins at the very beginning: a good topic. Whether your major is in mathematics or art history or education, it doesn’t matter what you are studying because a good solid topic will make all the difference in any dissertation. Here are a few ways that you can find a good idea and start making a list to keep track of them:

  • Talk to your peers and friends; ask them what they are doing for their own dissertations, particularly those in the same major as you.
  • Ask any family members or non-school friends that have similar interests or at least understand your interest in your chosen field.
  • One of the best ways is to get in contact with a professional who is already out working in this area and who has done their own dissertation in the past. You can get enormous insight from someone like that.
  • Your thesis advisor and professor should have a few good ideas; they are after all supposed to be looking after you during your dissertation writing process.
  • Consult the internet: try to find previously written examples of other people’s dissertations in the same field as well as lists of ideas online.

So once you’ve made that list and chosen one idea, the next step for a solid foundation is your outline. Now this outline should be so complete and detailed that it practically doubles as your rough draft and your “second draft” will be just filling in the spaces and it will already be a great piece of writing because you’ve carefully structured it right from the start. Include every detail that you can think of, and put everything in order, like you are doing a very long summary. Jot down bullet points and lists and keep them all in one place so that you don’t lose any of your material.

Making the outline should actually take you well over half of your time allotted to write your dissertation, because it’s the most important part and is the framework for the rest of your work. Spending enough time at this stage is crucial to having a finished dissertation that’s truly outstanding. If you happen to be one of those people who work better without any structure or outline and just like to dive in, you might want to still try this.

Helpful resources: Dissertation Tips (University of California, Berkeley)