A Guide on Writing a Dissertation for Dummies


One of the first things the student must do is to come up with a topic for his/her dissertation. They can do this is in one of several ways. Generally what we do in conceptualizing ideas is to take our experiences into account, along with our previous education and employment, and we identify a subject that is meaningful to us. It may be meaningful because we are unusually sympathetic to a social cause, because of a trauma experienced in childhood, early childhood training or education, or possibly we see an unmet need in our lives that we would like to address academically. For whatever reason, we are able to identify a poignant subject that we feel would be of interest to others. If it is of such interest to us, then it may be possible that someone else has asked the same question or had the same experience but was not able to explore it academically other than reading our dissertation.

Gather Information

The next step the student may take is to gather information on their subject. Research over the Internet has streamlined this process immensely in recent years. Due to the many different search engines, such as Google, Bing, Ask; on browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome and others, the propensity for research done in this way is vast. Merely by adjusting the search terms, exploring each website listed, and using references as guides can yield sufficient amounts of information to document and reference the student’s dissertation. The student can go on to buffet his/her research experience by going to the library which always has additional resources which may be unknown to him/her such as journals, digests, encyclopedia, archived information, which may be uncovered by the solicitation of the help of a librarian or library staff.

The student can go on to review, read, and study the material which he has gathered. It is only by the actual perusal of the material that he can gain a concept of his subject. It is desirable to obtain a firm command of the subject before attempting to elucidate about it.

Body of the Dissertation

  • The student can then go on to create a thesis statement. In concise words, he/she should enunciate what it is he endeavors to do in his/her dissertation. He/she would benefit from describing the purpose of their proposition.
  • The student can then go on to write an outline of the work which they proposes to do, based on the thesis statement.

Based on the outline, the student can elaborate on his/her thesis, developing thought with each ensuing paragraph, as they are guided by the topic sentence that begins each paragraph.