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
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.
- 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
- 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,
- 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
- 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:
- Subject databases for reliable and relevant e-resources for your topic
- RefWorks for effective management of your references
- Books on dissertation writing:
Last Update: 23 April 2020