A dissertation is the final academic project in your master’s graduation program. Typically, you may not have written papers of such intrinsic level and complex nature before. For this reason, you may find it difficult on how to approach it and write it in the best manner. You will surely want to present a dissertation that will reflect your research, writing and editing skills in the best possible light. Read on the first ten tips in the series of 99 tips for an effective dissertation.

  1. Remain Focused

During the course of dissertation writing and research, it is crucial that you remain focused and do not lose your research base.

  1. Be Positive

Dissertation writing, research and editing may take a toll on you. During the source of your dissertation writing, you may often get frustrated when you may not be able to find the ideal ways to research, write or compile your findings. But remain positive always and you will surely overcome all the obstacles.

  1. Create an action plan

To avoid any confusion, write down the action plan for the coming months. Devote time for each work, including selecting topic, research, result compilation, writing and editing.

  1. Communicate with your guide

Maintain regular communication with your guide and take timely advice from them.

  1. Smartly manage your time

Devote time wisely to ensure that you give enough time for each of the work you need to undertake during the course of your dissertation writing.

  1. Fix the time for your research paper

Maintain a schedule when you are going to work on your dissertation, whether in the morning, evening or night.

  1. Discuss with your peers

You can have a healthy discussion with your peers about your dissertation and get ideas from them.

  1. Take breaks

Do not stress out on your dissertation or constantly worry about it. Instead take timely breaks from dissertation workings and spend quality time with your friends or family members. It will relieve your stress and you can continue with your research work with renewed energy.

  1. Start Writing early

Get on writing your dissertation from the early stages. It will help in avoiding any sort of confusion and you will find your dissertation writing on track and within the time frame.

  1. Research well

Research about the topic which you have chosen over the internet and get relevant matters saved in a document. You can also visit libraries to gather relevant facts related to your topic!


Many research scholars may believe that it is a crazy notion that one can complete their dissertation in just 90 days. But if you are motivated and ready for some hard work, you can easily accomplish the task in such a short timeframe.

Consider some of the following tips that can help you in completing your dissertation in just 90 days.

Fix time for emails
Reading and replying to your emails may significant amount of your time. When you are frequently checking your mails, not only your work pace gets disturbed, but if it is a mail from a loved one or your friend, you may get emotional reading it and your mind may get diverted from your dissertation. So, fix a time for emails like half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening. Check and reply to mails during this time to ensure that you do not get distracted when you are working in your dissertation.

Choose the times to work on your dissertation
Select times when you are highly productive, like in the mornings, evenings or even at nights. You can pick these hours to work on your dissertation and do nothing else. Additionally, choose a place where you want to work, in your bedroom or dining area, or sitting in your working desk. Claim your own private space where you won’t get disturbed by roommates, loved ones or friends. Ensure that you have adequate lighting in the room and all the equipment and materials you require.

Jot down your work routine for the next 90 days
If you do not have a work routine, you may get confused. So, before you start working on your dissertation, you can lay down your working plan, including the time frame you require for completing the introduction, literature review, methodology page, results, evaluation and summary. In this way, you will have a clear idea about the time you need to dedicate for each chapter. This will help you remain focused and complete your dissertation within the specific time frame.

Map out a plan to deal with writer’s block
During these 90 days, you may often face writer’s block. So, decide how you are going to get out of the writer’s block, like going out for a movie with friends, chatting with your loved ones, reading your favorite novel, watching television or doing nothing but simply relaxing.


Prior to undertaking any PhD research project, your research proposal is the first document that you submit to your university for funding purposes. Although the submitted proposal is not expected to be “perfect” in all respect, it must provide clarity on the type of research that you will undertake. Your supervisors or project funder should also learn about the scope of your research and its viability, by reading your proposal.

Listed below are some common mistakes that you can avoid when writing your PhD proposal:

  • Communicate the importance of your project with aggression.
    Most research proposals do not communicate the student’s interest in the selected subject aggressively, neither do they convey the overall importance of the research work.
  • Not more than 1,500 words long.
    Though there is no word limit, do not make your proposal more than around 1,500 words long. Ensure that your proposal should include the proposed project title, abstract, research questions, basic concepts, methodology, and the time scale of your research. Avoid overuse of jargon in your proposal.
  • The subject of your research is ambiguous.
    A common mistake in most proposals is the research subject is either not clear or specific. Your research title must focus on the specific nature of the research.
  • Failure to interest the project funder.
    Most proposed research, though important, fail to raise the interest level of the funder. Ensure that your research topic is of interest to your funder, and is able to convince them on why you are qualified to carry out this research work. Research projects that are out of scope for your overall program or require unrealistic budgets can also get rejected by the funder.
  • Lack of planned time
    Your proposal must also contain the rough timeline of how you plan to complete your research within the deadlines. Include a monthly or quarterly estimate of the tasks that you plan to complete.
  • Poor presentation
    In the case of PhD programs where there are no personal interviews, your submitted proposal is the sole document that will determine the approval or rejection of your proposed research. Submit a neat document with good presentation to reduce the risk of rejection.
    A good research proposal always evolves in its content with the progression of your research. Consider your initial submission as the first draft and be prepared to revise it, based on suggestions and comments provided by your project supervisors.

Writing a PhD thesis or a dissertation can be challenging for students, especially when it includes a number of independent chapters. Additionally, the combination of all these chapters must support and build on your overall research question. Most readers would feel lost going through chapters with around 80,000 to 1,00,000 words.
Irrespective of the chapter content or the research topic, each chapter can have some basic building blocks that writers can use for conveying their information:

  1. Linking to the previous or next chapter.
    You can start (or even conclude) every chapter with a brief of your previous (or next) chapter respectively. Do not make it too lengthy to sound repetitive to the reader. Alternatively, concluding any chapter with a summary of the discussion in the next chapter enables you to start each chapter on a fresh note.
    Additionally, link the discussion in each chapter with the overall research question and how it contributes the overall argument. Links to prior material in your thesis can elaborate how this chapter builds on your arguments in the earlier chapters.
  1. Include the focus point of each chapter.
    Inform your reader on what is the focus of each chapter and its objective. Build an argument of how each topic in your chapter can lead to your discussion in the next topic. The combined set of topics can ultimately contribute to your overall chapter focus.
  1. Break up your chapter into sections.
    Each section of text must have an appropriate heading (and sub-headings) that can indicate the purpose of the section. Do not use redundant headings like “Introduction” or “Overview” in chapter beginnings, as the start of any chapter always serve this purpose.
    Include a paragraph (or two) of a framing text before getting into the main body of the section. Chapters with 8000 to 12000 words can usually have 2, 3, or even 4 sections in the main body.
  1. Provide a summary or conclusion.
    Each chapter must include a substantial summary or conclusion of the discussion points and findings. Assuming that the reader has limited time to read through your entire chapter, the summary can be a brief collection of the key points that you want the reader to remember.
    Chapters with a consistent flow and structure can not only be helpful to readers, but also help you, as a writer, to not navigate away from the central focus point of each chapter.