Dissertation Writing Process: Step-by Step Tutorial For Newbies

Students who are new to the dissertation writing process will first learn that a main thesis question is to be presented and then answered. A thesis is the most significant piece of graduate work, and an appropriate thesis question that forms the backbone of your project elevates it from the banal to the compelling. Here is a step by step process for writing your thesis.

  • Choose a topic
  • When choosing the subject for your paper, think about what interests you. You are going to spend a lot of time on this subject so it is important that you choose a topic that you are interested in so that you don’t get bored while writing it.

    If you are finding it difficult to make a decision, have a look through papers that you wrote during your graduate studies, and see if there is anything that interests you that you can expand upon.

  • Choose your question
  • Think about the questions that will generate significant research and answers for members of the academic community. Your dissertation must answer the thesis question with clarity and conviction.

    Make sure that the questions and answers that you provide will add something substantial to the body of research that is already available on your subject.

  • Plan your outline
  • Your outline will act as a road map for your entire project. It will also break the thesis up into smaller manageable components so that you are not so overwhelmed by its magnitude. You should confirm with your supervisor before you start your outline but the typical thesis should include the following:

    • Title page
    • Signature page
    • Abstract
    • Table of contents
    • Introduction
    • Body of paper
    • Conclusion
    • Bibliography
    • Appendix
  • The writing process
  • The writing process is the easiest part because you already have all the information you just have to format it. Once you have written the first draft have your supervisor go over it. Students typically rework their dissertation three or four times before it is ready for final marking.

  • Final thought
  • Here are a few more important points that you should take note of to ensure that you are successful when writing your project:

    • Manage your time wisely
    • Prepare a comfortable study environment
    • Get organized
    • Don’t procrastinate
    • Meet with your supervisor as often as possible


You will need to conduct an extensive amount of research in order to answer the central question for your thesis. Conduct experiments, read texts, do whatever is necessary to answer your question. This will provide you with enough information to decide whether or not you want to move forward or not. You might find that there are too many limitations which leads you to change your research question or topic.

Literature review

Spend time reviewing the research and literature that is currently available on the subject that you have chosen. The literature should be extensive to ensure that your thesis is significant. It is essential that your thesis idea is relevant and original. In order to do this, you should familiarize yourself with what has already been documented about the subject and what the overall opinion of the subject is in the academic world.

Manage your citations

Many students make the mistake of waiting until they have completed their thesis before including citations. This creates a lot of unnecessary work as you will need to go back over all your research materials. Instead of doing this, insert your citations as you go along. Use the intext citation format that is relevant to your discipline. You can also use citation management software; an internet search will help you to locate one.

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