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Dissertation Writing Guide

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Dissertation Writing Guide

Writing a dissertation is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning, research, and organization. Here are some guidelines to help you write a successful dissertation:


Understand the requirements:

 Familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines and requirements provided by your academic institution or department. Pay attention to the formatting style, word count, structure, and any other specific instructions.


Choose a research topic:

 Select a topic that is both personally interesting to you and relevant to your field of study. Narrow down the topic in a manner that is not general but rather focused to a specific scope of the research and formulate a clear research question. Consider the feasibility and significance of the topic, available resources, and potential contribution to the existing body of knowledge.


Develop a research proposal:

Create a research proposal that outlines your research objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes. This proposal will serve as a blueprint for your dissertation and may require approval from your advisor or committee before you proceed.




Create an outline:

Develop a clear and logical outline for your dissertation. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your writing flows smoothly. Typically, a dissertation includes chapters such as an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion. When creating an outline, you will indicate each chapter and a brief explanation on what the chapters of the thesis will contain.

Conduct thorough research:  

Clearly identify the purpose and goals of your research. Determine the types of sources that are most appropriate for your research. Be sure to critically evaluate the credibility and reliability of the sources you use, gather relevant and credible sources for your literature review and research. Use academic databases, scholarly journals, books, and reputable websites to gather information. Take detailed notes and ensure you properly cite all sources to avoid plagiarism.


An abstract is a concise summary of a research paper or entire thesis. It is an original work, not an excerpted passage. An abstract must be fully self-contained and make sense by itself, without further reference to outside sources or to the actual paper. The abstract of your thesis should contain the context or background information for your research; the general topic under study; the specific topic of your research, the central questions or statement of the problem your research addresses what's already known about this question, what previous research has done or shown.

Write the introduction:

An introduction sets the mood of your research paper. Begin your dissertation with an engaging introduction that provides an overview of your research topic, states your research questions or objectives, and explains the significance of your study. Your introduction should include:

•        Your topic, in context: what does your reader need to know to understand your thesis dissertation?

•        Your focus and scope: what specific aspect of the topic will you address?

•        The relevance of your research: how does your work fit into existing studies on your topic?

Literature review:

This part of your thesis demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the academic literature on a specific topic. It is an overview of the previously published works on a topic and includes a critical evaluation of the materials. In this section Identify key theories, concepts, and previous studies related to your research question, critically analyze and summarize the existing literature and research relevant to your topic. Identify gaps in the knowledge that your research will address. Ensure that your literature review is comprehensive, well-structured ensuring that appropriate subheadings are following each other in a chronological manner and supports your research objectives.


Research methodology is the specific procedures or techniques used to identify, select, process, and analyze information about a topic. In a research paper, the methodology section allows the reader to critically evaluate a study's overall validity and reliability. In this section, you will describe the research methods and procedures you employed to collect and analyze data. Select and describe the research design and methodology appropriate for your study. Define the data collection methods, such as surveys, interviews, experiments, or observations. Discuss the sampling techniques and data analysis procedures you will employ. Justify your chosen methods and explain how they align with your research objectives. This section should be clear and detailed, allowing others to replicate your study if necessary.


Your results section should objectively report your findings, presenting only brief observations in relation to each question, hypothesis, or theme. It should not speculate about the meaning of the results or attempt to answer your main research question. Present your findings in a clear and organized manner. Use tables, graphs, or charts to illustrate your data effectively. Provide an unbiased analysis and interpretation of your results, highlighting their relevance to your research questions.



The discussion section is where you delve into the meaning, importance, and relevance of your results. It should focus on explaining and evaluating what you found, showing how it relates to your literature review and paper or dissertation topic, and making an argument in support of your overall conclusion. Analyze and interpret your findings, comparing them to existing literature. Discuss any limitations or weaknesses of your research and propose areas for future study. Emphasize the significance of your results and their implications for your field.


This is the last step of writing your thesis or dissertation, In this chapter, you clearly state the answer to your main research question. Make recommendations for future work on your thesis or dissertation topic. Summarize your research and reflect on your research process. Restate your main findings, and highlight their significance. Reflect on the limitations of your study and suggest avenues for further research by showing what new knowledge you have contributed to your field. Wrap up your thesis or dissertation by providing a concise and compelling conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.


Proofread and edit:

 Review your dissertation multiple times for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Ensure consistency in formatting, referencing, and citation style. Consider seeking feedback from your advisor or peers to improve the clarity and coherence of your writing.


Formatting and submission:

 Follow the formatting guidelines provided by your institution or department. Pay attention to margins, font size, line spacing, and citation style. Prepare your final document, including the title page, abstract, acknowledgments, and table of contents. Also, ensure that sources are accessible, the in texts and the reference list should also be compatible. Each citation made should appear in the reference list.  Submit your dissertation by the specified deadline.




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