How to Start Writing

Writing a dissertation can be either an exciting experience or a nightmare. But if you have the right tools and enough time, it can be a wonderful and unforgettable time.

Basically, a dissertation contains the same parts as an essay, with an introduction, main body, and conclusions. Since a dissertation is a serious academic work, you will have to include an abstract and methods of research. But overall, it is is just a long essay that is grounded in your own serious research.

Plan Your Activities: Most people find writing a dissertation extremely stressful. To avoid unnecessary worries, plan your activities in detail and in advance. Dedicate enough time to research, to analyze the literature, to perform empirical research, to write the dissertation, and for proofreading. Also remember to book some time to consult with your supervisor. Good planning is 50% of your success.

Research All Possible Sources of Information: Any paper begins by investigating the subject. Your academic library is the first place where you should go. Talk to librarians who can help you to choose the right literature and explore the library catalogue to find good sources.

Read various types of sources like books, newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, academic databases, and reputable online sources. It is quite challenging to read many sources so dedicate substantial time for this stage. The more resources you cover, the wider your dissertation’s breadth will be.

Consider looking at what other scholars have already written on your topic at different times. You can track the subject’s development throughout time and you can see which theories proved to be true, what methods other scholars have used, and what areas need more thorough investigation. The value of any research is the unique outcome you present, your findings, new ideas, and fresh approach to the subject. This is best done in areas that haven’t been researched very much before.

Begin Writing the Parts You Feel Most Comfortable With: While researching, you will probably find some areas of research that are easier to write about so start with these parts. This will give you inspiration to move further and will give you time to prepare yourself to write more complicated sections. Leave writing the introduction till the end because introductions are almost always easier to write in the final stages once you have already presented the research and made conclusions.

Develop a Clear Writing Style: While reading the literature, pay attention to which books are easier to read and which are more difficult to understand. Choose the ones you are more comfortable with and analyze them in terms of style and information. Analyze how the author presents new information, introduces the examples, and proves their points of view. The language you use is vital for the readers to get your idea.

Structure the Text: Avoid long sentences and repetitions that often discuss several ideas at one time. Present each idea in a separate paragraph and give the key points in separate short sentences. Structure the ideas with headings and subheadings because it is visually easier to perceive and read a text that is divided into logical segments. Use lists, diagrams, tables, and highlight key moments.

Indicate the Authors You Refer to: A dissertation requires your own research. Nevertheless, you still need to back up your ideas and arguments with authoritative resources. Be critical while presenting these resources and provide reasons why you think these ideas are worth discussing. State which areas of study are still unexplored and require deeper analysis. Always indicate the sources and ideas you refer to because plagiarism, even accidental, will likely be discovered and is not worth risking your reputation over.

Create an Extensive Bibliography List: Check with your supervisor about what the required number of references is. Also make sure that you have enough resources on your list and that your list includes various types of literature (academic and non-academic). These can include scholarly books, research, web resources, articles, interviews, statistics, and perhaps some TV programs.
Make sure that your dissertation’s referencing style is impeccable because dissertation committees usually pay great attention to this part of the paper. Primarily, they check it to see which literature you covered throughout your research. Any deviations from the standard they are expecting will have a negative effect on the committee’s final decision. Therefore, your dissertation should meet the citation requirements of your academic department and you should study and follow their guidelines carefully.

Pay Attention to Details: Proofread the dissertation several times and ask someone to help you with this. After a while, it can become difficult to see your own mistakes since you’ve already spent so much time writing your dissertation. Be sure that you spell your supervisor’s name correctly and don’t try to change and rewrite the whole dissertation a week before submission. It’s also worth considering to include a paragraph that thanks everyone who has helped you with your research.

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