How to Write a Dissertation: Step by Step Guide

Are you working towards a Ph.D.? And perhaps you are looking for tips to help you along the way? If so, we have prepared this guide for you. Typical college students find dissertation writing a daunting undertaking. Even so, you have no reason to despair. Why? Because in this guide, we provide guidelines for completing your dissertation project. But first, let’s define what a dissertation is?

What is a Dissertation?

Do you know which is the final part of a Ph.D. program? Also referred to as a thesis, a dissertation is the final assignment of the Ph.D. studies, which entails a specific research topic. Do you know that until you complete your dissertation, you cannot graduate? Why? The dissertation is an essential part of any graduate program.

In a dissertation project, students choose a unique topic, conduct research using an appropriate methodology, and present their findings to the school committee. Most of the dissertations involve participants who answer unique questionnaires related to the chosen research questions. If you are thinking of undertaking any Ph.D. program, be assured that you will have to complete a dissertation before you graduate. How to Write a Dissertation: Step by Step Guide

How to Choose a Dissertation Topic

If you are thinking of writing a dissertation, you should be aware of choosing a unique topic. An essential aspect of any dissertation is the topic. In all colleges and universities, you are required to choose a research topic that has never been used before. After evaluating all the previous studies conducted within the specific field of study, the student chose the research topic. The research topic has to be approved by the designated professor, who will guide you through the entire process.

The Main Parts of a Dissertation

Before proceeding, let’s discuss a dissertation’s main parts. Typical dissertations are formal pieces of writing consisting of the following parts:


An abstract is a summary of your entire dissertation. It provides audiences with an overview of the research question(s), chapter outlines, and conclusion. Even so, be careful, write it well as it is the first thing people read. 

Research Question

All dissertations include a research question. A research question defines the underlying purpose of a dissertation. Usually, it appears in the introduction section of your dissertation. Hence,  craft compelling research questions to ground your readers. Create provocative questions to evoke curiosity and engagement with your topic.

Literature Review

Use the literature review section to evaluate existing research on your chosen topic critically. Doing so lets you accomplish two objectives. First, it demonstrates your understanding of existing literature on your subject. Secondly, you provide fellow students with a holistic perspective of the research topic while positioning your research within the context of the study area.


Chapters are the building blocks of dissertation projects. So, divide your dissertation into five or more chapters for optimal results. Here is a rule of thumb. But how many chapters should a dissertation have? Submitting a project with three or fewer chapters is inadequate. Ideally,  a dissertation should have five or more chapters. Even so, each chapter should focus on a specific topic. For this reason, develop chapters that make for independent reading.


Some students consider bibliographies irrelevant given the challenges of writing a lengthy dissertation on a complex topic. However, this is not true! Bibliographies are lists of authors consulted during the dissertation writing process. They help you document direct and indirect citations in a paper. Always write full-length bibliographies regardless. Examples of referencing styles include APA, Chicago, Harvard,  MLA, and OSCOLA.


Only include essential details in a dissertation. So, use the appendices section to document external sources that do not fit in your dissertation’s body. Examples of external sources include bar graphs, charts, questionnaires, tables, and transcripts.

Writing Your Dissertation Chapters

Are you struggling to compose your dissertation’s chapters? Remember that chapters are the main body of your papers. Hence, your supervisor will judge based on the quality of the chapters you present. Here are a few tips for composing compelling dissertation chapters:

Tip # 1: Include a minimum of five chapters along with your introduction and conclusion. In addition, do not include unnecessary chapters if you want to impress your dissertation committee.

Tip # 2: Identify appropriate themes and organize them appropriately. Note that you might have to address multiple themes in your projects. For this reason, avoid cramming all your themes into one or two chapters. Instead, divide your themes across several chapters for best results.

Tip # 3: Then, compose short, precise, and compact chapters. Remember, chapters with inordinate lengths might disorient your supervisor or dissertation committee.

Tip # 4: Finally, adopt a writing style that is simple and effective to present your ideas. Make what you have written captivating to your readers.

Use the above tips to craft engaging dissertations!

How to Complete a Dissertation

The process of writing a dissertation is robust and relies on the chapters. In most instances, the university mandates you to complete the dissertation chapter by chapter. After writing a chapter, you are required to forward it to your designated professor and only proceed to the next chapter after the previous one is approved. However, you will only be graded after completing the whole dissertation. How to Write a Dissertation: Step by Step Guide

Edit and Proofread Your Paper

The final step is editing and proofreading your dissertation. Note that submitting a paper with grammatical, spelling mistakes, or typos can result in hefty penalties from your supervisor. Onboard your fellow students, teachers, family, or friends with corrections, improvements, and feedback. In addition, avail yourself of the help of credible plagiarism checkers to ensure your paper is unique and original. This way, you will submit an error-free dissertation project guaranteed to earn you high grades.

Wrap Up

If you find dissertation writing challenging, Reach out to Elite Homework Writers for help. We are a premier writing service provider. Contact us today for high-quality, affordable, plagiarism-free, and timely dissertation writing services. Besides that, we provide online assignments and custom essay writing help. We also have excellent dissertation samples for your preview purposes.  And there you have it! A step-by-step guide for writing your dissertation. Use it appropriately if you want to succeed in your post-graduate program. Good luck!

How to Write a Dissertation: Step by Step Guide


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