• Tips from an expert on how to write a doctoral dissertation


    The first stage in writing a PHD dissertation  is to write a proposal, which will be considered by your university committee to see whether it is a  viable project for a dissertation. A dissertation is of 80,000 to 90,000 words and takes years of research and writing.

    The  proposal  must include the following:

    • The title which must be striking and a subtitle.
    • An abstract, which is a short and striking description of the dissertation raising points and indexing and keywords.
    • The introduction outlines the argument and direction of the dissertation. It includes the thesis statement and the ground covered by the dissertation.
    • The objectives of the dissertation.
    • The literature review which is the documentary evidence supporting the dissertation with the author’s name, page number of citation ,publication and date.
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    • Research questions and the importance and significance of the research.
    • Methodology used in the presentation covering the types of research used in the dissertation.
    • A discussion of the results achieved and their significance.
    • The conclusion restating the thesis and supporting research  and concluding arguments with a strong argument for the thesis.
    •  Works cited with references and citations.
    • An appendix, given the size of the work this is likely to be extensive.
    • Keep in regular touch with your tutor and the committee and discuss the development of the dissertation with them especially if any changes of direction have to take place.
    •  Limit your objectives and review your progress weekly.
    • Set yourself target dates for completing different stages of the dissertation.
    • Decide on a date for completing the dissertation and stick to it.
    • Remember that this is your dissertation so take ownership of it and its development. Do not depend on outside help.
    • Keep up with the latest developments in your chosen field and any effects they have on the dissertation.
    • Try to write  part of the dissertation every day leaving revision till later so that you don’t get bogged down in detail.
    • Think positively and limit your daily and weekly targets.
    • Write for 45minutes and then take a break.
    • Start work early in the morning when you are really fresh.

    Keep your long-term dissertation plan in mind and try to think of new angles. Remain disciplined and motivated.

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