PhD writing tips

How To Write A Postgraduate Dissertation: Professional Instructions

Dissertations are a key point of many postgraduate students’ school careers. Regardless of discipline, this may be one of the most important assignments you’ll take on before graduation. But how do you write an effective postgraduate dissertation? Let’s take a look.

Be Mindful of Deadlines

As with any other assignment, you’ll need to be mindful of deadlines. Chances are, this may be your first time writing one. Thus, you’ll need to be careful of due dates and whatever deadline you’ve been provided with. Plan carefully to ensure you can balance the assignment between other school assignments and your work schedule.

Research and Outline

Research is key to writing an effective dissertation. Regardless of whatever topic or subject matter you’re focusing on, ensuring you have effectively researched your topic and have a list of credible sources is key. Understanding the structure of your paper, which we’ll get into in a moment, is also important, hence the importance of drafting a proper outline. Incorporate an introduction, abstract, supporting paragraphs and so on. Keep it simple yet sweet. It’s more so for your own reference over anything else.

Understanding the Right Structure

Most dissertations have a very distinct structure. In fact, many students opt to write their dissertations like a book, with distinct chapters for each supporting points. You’ll want to make sure you include a title page and an introduction. Also ensure that at the end of your paper, you include a bibliography and appendices, which outlines additional resources and materials.

First Draft

Once you have a working outline, it’s time to start on your first draft. Getting started on this as soon as possible is key. Don’t worry too much about writing a polished draft. The main point is getting your ideas down on paper. You’ll have a chance to revise the paper but you won’t know what direction to take your paper until after you get started with it.


Now that you have a working first draft, you’ll be able to revise it easily. Feedback can be valuable so see if you can wrangle a friend or peer to overlook your paper and provide honest feedback. Make sure you’ve had a chance to read it on your own too. Make notes of what needs to be updated and write the next draft.

Don’t Plagiarize

Above all, make sure that everything you produce is original work. While you may opt to quote sources in your paper, always use proper citations throughout and include an effective bibliography.

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