Magoosh GRE

How to Write a First Class Dissertation

| October 16, 2011 | 0 Comments

Writing your dissertation is a major task and it is one of the most important documents you will ever write. It gives final proof that you have earned your degree. Your dissertation should demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter, effectively communicate the results of research, and show your ability to use research methods successfully.

Work with your Supervisor

Your academic supervisor or dissertation tutor is there to help you succeed and earn a degree.  Use them to assist you along the way as you write your dissertation. It is a long process, and if you ask them to review and comment periodically you will not go too far down the wrong path.  Many universities limit the amount of time that you can spend with your tutor in order to ensure that your work is original and independent, so prepare thoroughly and make the most of these meetings.

Introduction and Conclusion

The introduction and conclusion are like bookends to your work. Many people make the mistake of not devoting enough time to these aspects of their dissertation, but they are two of the most important sections. The introduction is meant to present your topic and your work to your audience in a broad way, whilst engaging the reader. Be clear and concise. The conclusion requires a similar approach, but instead of leading the reader forward, the conclusion should leave wrap up any loose ends and clarify your results.  


The term thesis is often used interchangeably with a dissertation, but can also refer to a central proposition.  A central proposition defines your work.  It sets out your assumptions and what you intend to prove.  This is one of the most important sections of your work, as it sets the tone for the entire dissertation.

Literature Review and Sources

Conducting a review of the literature and finding appropriate sources may be one of the most essential parts of your dissertation, as these sources will help you to form your central proposition and pinpoint key ideas in your mind.  Make sure that your research is detailed, and that you complete an exhaustive search around your chosen topic before progressing with your proposal.

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Category: Dissertation Writing Guide

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