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Important steps involved in dissertation writing

What is a Dissertation?

A dissertation is a major research assignment that improves your research field that is submitted in support of a candidate’s application for a degree or professional certification and summarizes the author’s research and conclusions. Dissertations are written by graduate students to receive their doctorates.

In some cases, the term “thesis” or a cognate is used to describe a portion of a bachelor’s or master’s course, but the term “dissertation” is typically used to describe a doctorate. The term thesis comes from the Greek word θέσις, meaning “something put forth”, and refers to an intellectual proposition. Dissertation comes from the Latin dissertātiō, meaning “discussion”. The term thesis was defined by Aristotle who was the first philosopher.

Dissertation outline:

A dissertation outline is one of the most crucial early steps in the research process. It helps you to figure out and assemble your thoughts about the field of the research study or topic. Usually, an outline includes information on the different main sections related to research topics.

There are some inter-institutional variations, many outlines follow a pattern that is quite similar.


Steps involved in Dissertation writing:

1. Choose a topic

  • The first step in dissertation writing is to select or choose a topic. It’s seeming like a simple step, but selecting the topic will play a vital role in the victory of your dissertation. In some cases, the topic of your dissertation will be suggested by your advisor. You’ll come up with a topic on your own in other fields.
  • Analyze recent works in your subject to find areas that require more research. Search for gaps in the literature or unanswered questions.
  • Clearly specify what is possible with your resources after generating a few potential study topics or queries. Discuss your ideas with your faculty advisor and consider their feedback.


2. Conduct preliminary research

  • The second mail step is to conduct research based on the field of study. You will need to perform the research before starting a dissertation which could involve going to archives, reading scholarly works, or conducting lab tests, depending on your field.
  • Utilize your early research to focus your query and topic. Make a lot of notes, especially on topics where you can do more study.


3. Read secondary literature

  • A dissertation shows that you are an expert in the subject. You will therefore need to read a lot of scholarly material on your subject. A chapter or section on a review of literature is often included in dissertations.
  • Early on in the process, set up a list of books, papers, and other research work. Keep adding to it. To find important works of literature, consult the cited works. Moreover, take thorough notes to simplify writing.


4. Write a research proposal

  • Before starting your dissertation in the most of PhD programmes, you’ll need to prepare and present a research proposal, which the length and format was depend on your field.
  • In some fields, the proposal will be provided a detailed discussion of the study topic, methods and secondary literature for around 10-20 pages.
  • The research proposal will be turned into a dissertation based on the valuable feedback of your faculty advisor.


5. Research

  • Your study will serve as the foundation for the doctoral dissertation’s original contribution to the subject.
  • Based on your academic field, your research will have a particular format. To comprehend machine learning in computer science, you might investigate a complicated dataset. You might read a poet or author’s unpublished papers in English. In psychology, you might plan a study to examine how people react under stress. And to analyse student experiences in education, questionnaires might be developed.
  • While conducting your research, collaborate closely with your faculty advisor. Your advisor may frequently direct you to helpful sources or suggest areas to look into further.


6. Look for dissertation examples

  • A dissertation can seem like a difficult task. A master’s thesis or seminar papers have been written by the majority of graduate students. Yet doing a dissertation is really similar to creating a book.
  • You can establish reasonable expectations and learn what your field expects from a strong dissertation by studying samples of dissertations. Discuss with your advisor if the department has any recent dissertation examples. You might also look for examples using a database like ProQuest Dissertations.
  • PhD students read several articles and books, but they rarely read dissertations. Reading well-written academic articles, particularly critical academic articles in your subject, may give you an unreasonable benchmark for dissertation writing.


7. Write your body chapters

  • One of the most important steps is to write the body chapters of your dissertation. You have chosen a topic, presented your proposal, performed research and now you can start assembling your work into chapters.
  • The format of your dissertation will vary based on the field of the study. A dissertation guideline to organize your work will be suggested by your department.
  • Choose the chapter that you are most comfortable writing, to begin with. Summarize the field in more detail by expanding on the literature review in your proposal. Analyze the outcomes and describe the methodology of your study.


8. Meet with your supervisor

  • You should interact with your supervisor frequently while working on your dissertation. Send your advisor chapters as you write them for comments. Your advisor can give guidance on how to strengthen your dissertation as well as assist you discover problems.


9. Write your introduction and conclusion

  • Writing your introduction and conclusion last may seem counterproductive, but it’s a smart idea. Describe the scope of your project and your field involvement in your introduction.
  • To visualize your dissertation, ensure you have to provide the background information. And explain your methodology, research aims and results.
  • The conclusion is generally the shortest chapter. Summarize your results in your conclusion and discuss how your dissertation enhances the field.


10. Edit your draft

  • Editing your draft dissertation is one of the crucial step in the dissertation writing. Because, for some PhD students feels the editing process is difficult than researching or writing the dissertation. While editing the dissertation, you can break it down section by section.
  • Proof reading is most important to reduce the grammar and spelling errors and ensure that you communicate precisely and effectively. Many dissertations are between 100 and 200 pages, although some are as long as 300 pages.


11. Incorporate feedback

  • It can be very lonely to write a dissertation. You spend months or years concentrating on a single subject while frequently working alone. Yet, criticism will make your dissertation stronger.
  • Your advisor and the other committee members will provide comments while you write your dissertation. Doctoral candidates frequently share their opinions in peer review groups in several departments and ensure that you address the comments throughout the writing and editing process.

12. Defend your dissertation

  • You’ve successfully reached the dissertation presentation, congrats! Normally, if your adviser doesn’t think you’re going to pass, they won’t let you schedule the presentation. So instead of treating the presentation like a crucial test, think of it as the end of your dissertation process. The format of your presentation may vary based on the various departments.
  • Proceed into your presentation with confidence. You’ll receive your Master’s degree or doctorate once you’ve won the presentation.



Writing a dissertation is a challenging one. Dissertations are a crucial way to show that you can choose a topic of interest to the area, read, analyze, and incorporate the relevant articles into a brand-new research question to be examined. We have explained the important steps involved in dissertation writing in this blog. It would be useful for beginners.