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How To Write A Perfect Dissertation: Suggestions From An Expert

Writing a perfect dissertation—well, that’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself. I had a friend in graduate school and we were talking about the dissertation we both had to write, and I said something to the effect of “I want to write a perfect dissertation and get it published.” Keith said, “Just get it done. Don’t put those kinds of pressure on yourself. Pressure will make you fall apart in the end and you’ll become such a nervous wreck from trying that you’ll drive yourself crazy.

Why not set your goal as writing a really good dissertation, first. Then you can go back and make it as error free, informed, and proof-read as possible.

Some Great Tips for your Dissertation

Make Your Works Cited Chapter as You Go

You’ll be collecting all kinds of books, essays, web articles, journal articles from respected journals, and other kinds of evidence to support your major, overarching thesis in this project.

You’ll want to print all of these – don’t rely on your memory on a project that might take a year and a half – at the least for a four hundred page book.

You’ll also want to get a very large expanded folder to keep everything you collect in.

When You Have to Quote from Books

Sometimes, the best information to back up your argument in a dissertation comes from books. If you’re like me, if you do not write these down now, you’ll end up with stacks of books open everywhere.

So, rather than do that, first, make sure to write down everything you’ll need to cite it and go ahead and paste that into your works cited chapter – you don’t even have to put it into order but sometimes putting it into order will help you to make certain to have each and every element of the citation: the author, the year of publication, the editor, the title of the book, and the publisher and city of publication, all in APA format (or MLA if you are writing a humanities-based dissertation.

This trick will help you eliminate books AND get your works cited composed as you go.

One thing to work on as you go is to remember that all citations are in alphabetical order – so use the highlight and drag or move feature (don’t use cut) you’ll forget—to move it to the proper place.

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