Thesis & Dissertation Writing





Writing a dissertation is not difficult if you have done it systematically. You will find it easier than you imagined. The quick guide below addresses the task of writing a dissertation. It aims to help you to feel confident in the construction of an ideal dissertation. The PDF Version is available for download here.

Stage 1: Information Collection and Review
Stage 2: Content and Structure Development
Stage 3: Presentation and Formatting


Stage 1: Information Collection and Review

1.1 Evaluate the Sources:

  • The sources I found are valid (library database and other reliable sources were used).
  • The sources I found are up-to-date (if currency matters to my topic).
  • The sources I found are relevant to my research topic.

1.2 Read Critically:

  • I could identify the main ideas.
  • I could identify the underlying theories and models.
  • I could identify the connections between text and context.
  • I have paid attention to the solution of a work by other scholars.
  • I have already taken notes for further research.

1.3 Formulate a Research Question:

  • The Question is well elaborated in terms of consistency and simplicity.
  • The Question is open-ended. (cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no” response)
  • The Question that can be answered with the knowledge I have right now.


Stage 2: Content and Structure Development

2.1 Structure:

  • The primary argument was introduced, it was debatable.
  • The argument and counter arguments were well presented in the body of the paper.
  • The significance of my argument was highlighted in the concluding statement.

2.2 Support by Reference:

  • My argument is supported by evidence, facts, and definitions with citations.
  • My paper is enhanced by relevant tables, figures, graphs or charts, and/or other important information,

2.3 Logical Flow:

  • I addressed one point at a time in a reader-friendly, logical sequence.
  • I used transitions naturally to connect paragraphs together.
  • My ideas are unified to create a more in-depth understanding/ message.


Stage 3: Presentation and Formatting

3.1 Formatting:

  • My paper meets general formatting requirements of assignment outline, e.g. font style and size, spacing.
  • My paper is easy to read – it has a clear structure with a consistent format of description and presentation for all headings, paragraphs, lists, tables, etc.
  • My paper follows the appropriate citation style.

3.2 APA Style – In-text Citation:

  • I used “&” within parentheses instead of “and”, e.g. (Smith & Jones, 2012).
  • I used double spacing instead of single spacing.
  • I used (n.d.) if the source is not dated.

3.3 APA Style – Constructing a References List:

  • I have only listed what I have used, not what I have read.
  • No quotation marks ” “ was used for article titles.
  • Journal titles and volume numbers were italicized or underlined.
  • Middle name and first name of authors were given as initials.
  • All references were organized in alphabetical order of author’s last name/ surname/ family name.
  • No numbering/ bullet was used.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (6th ed.).Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Chodorow, S. (2011). Writing a Successful Research Paper A Simple Approach., Ebscohost ebook collection.

Turabian, K. L. (2019). Student’s guide to writing college papers. University of Chicago Press


The following resources can also facilitate your dissertation writing:

Last Update: 23 April 2020