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How to write a dissertation: 10 rules to follow

The dissertation is the big writing assignment that students tackle as they approach the end of their advanced-degree-seeking career. After at least 20 years of schooling, students only write one dissertation. This makes it a challenging paper and students can use all the help they can get understand how to complete this lengthy project. Here are 10 rules to follow:

  1. Take advice from those with experience. People who have not written a dissertation might be good cheerleaders, but no one understand the stress like those who have actually written one. Find someone who has written one and ask questions. If you can find an experienced writer to serve as a mentor, consider yourself lucky.
  2. Communicate with your advisor. Your adviser knows what it is like to write a dissertation, so ask questions. It is better to ask questions before you get too attached to a source or a idea.
  3. Communicate with your committee. Your committee is more likely to offer more help if the members know you. Ask questions. (Get the hint? Asking questions is good.)
  4. Schedule regular time. It is easy to find something else to do rather than write, so schedule daily time to work on your project. Find a good spot to work and work for whatever time you have planned on your daily schedule.
  5. Find a good spot to work. Your working conditions are vital to your success. You need a place that is comfortable with good lighting and no distractions.
  6. Keep your sources organized. The most common errors involve sources. Since more dissertation writers use several sources, it is easy to get them confused. Whether you organize your sources on your computer, with sticky notes, in spiral-bound notebooks, or in piles, do what you can to keep everything organized and within reach.
  7. Follow the citation rules. The citation method you are assigned is important, possibly even the most important part of the technical aspect of your dissertation. Without proper documentation and citation of sources, you can be accused of plagiarism.
  8. Find ways to relax. Take a break when you need it. Many writers will make themselves work for a certain period of time, then reward themselves with leisure time.
  9. Use the dissertation database. The database exists, so use it for inspiration, sources, ideas, samples, and whatever else works for you.
  10. Get it done. Dissertations are an immense amount of work. Do not give up. The final outcome will be rewarding.

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