How to Write a PhD Dissertation or Thesis

How to Write a PhD Dissertation or Thesis

If you strive to get an academic degree or professional qualification, you cannot do without a PhD dissertation or thesis. These are papers aimed at showing your level of knowledge, the ability to research a specific topic, and get answers to non-obvious questions. Any student should understand that such assignments are extremely important and time-consuming. This is why you shouldn't hesitate. Start writing your paper now. There are some basics you should know beforehand.

What Is a PhD Thesis?

Your paper is a ticket to a new world and a confirmation of a springboard for an academic degree. Prepare to be a multi-step assignment of up to 150 pages. This is why you shouldn't waste your time. Start writing your paper as soon as you receive all the instructions. But do not forget that you are facing a responsible task and you should not fail.

What Is a PhD Dissertation?

It is a technical work used to document and set forth proof of the thesis. This paper is very similar to the classic thesis, except for some details and principles of data analysis. In particular, you may need to do more research to validate your position. However, now you will learn about everything in detail.

How to Write a PhD Dissertation & Thesis?

Take a look at the basic set of points and general rules. This is the best way to get the details right and not make basic mistakes. In general, you will have a single foothold and structure for both types of papers. However, you should consult your supervisor in advance. So let's get to the most important part.

Title Page

Prepare that this page will contain your name, degree program, dissertation title, and other information required by your educational institution. That is why you should clarify all the details in advance so as not to make changes at the last moment. Consider this as free dissertation writing advice.


This part is optional for all students. However, you can add a page with the names of all those who helped you make your paper perfect. For example, you might mention your supervisor, friends, and other research participants without whom you would not achieve results.


And here is one of the most important parts of your paper, which should include your main topic, goals, and research methods. Also, here you should summarize the results and briefly describe your thoughts. So many people ask questions like, "How to write a doctoral thesis from scratch?" Never start with your abstract. Instead, collect all the data and complete your research from the beginning.

Table of Contents

And here is the page for all the headings, page numbers, and overall structure. In general, you should include all the points of your paper to make it easier to navigate and find specific sections. Don’t forget that every educational institution has certain standards, rules, and even fonts. Don’t forget to check this information with your supervisor.

List of Figures and Tables

Not all beginners understand the meaning of this part of the paper. Most students ask questions like, "How long does it take to write a PhD dissertation proposal?" Imagine that this task will take you about 4-6 months. Typically, you will be able to accumulate a lot of data. Here's what you should include in this paragraph:

  • figures;
  • tables.

Typically, you will need to create a numbered list and specify all the pages where the graphics you have collected are used. That is why this part of your paper should not be done at the very beginning.

List of Abbreviations

If you link to third-party research and use many abbreviations, you better create a separate page with a detailed description of each term. This step will help your advisor quickly find and identify any word. However, some educational institutions do not require this page to be included in your paper if you provide a detailed description of the abbreviation in paragraphs.


And here is the next step that will help make your paper more user-friendly. Let's say you've decided to explore a highly specialized niche, and you need to include a dozen important terms. Then you need to provide a complete description of each word. This is an important step, and you shouldn't forget about it.


You might be surprised, but most students ask questions like, "How to write a successful PhD dissertation proposal?" Yet, at the same time, no one pays due attention to the introductory part. So your intro is a kind of storefront that helps define some important aspects:

  1. Your topic.
  2. General research context.
  3. Analysis of existing studies and their relevance.
  4. Objectives and key study questions.
  5. A brief description of the general structure.

It is best to look at an example on the Internet to know which structure you should follow. Your introduction sets the tone for the entire assignment, so you should be very careful to describe all aspects.

Literature Review

Before you start writing any paragraphs, you should analyze all the literature and available sources that form your paper's basis. Take a look at scientific articles, books, journals, and research related to your topic.

First, you will be able to build your judgments and research based on well-known facts and dogmas. Second, you can critically evaluate each source and point out the gaps that you intend to close. Finally, you should add all the sources used in your paper in one way or another.


You'd be surprised how many people use search terms like, "How to write a PhD thesis and dissertation?" This is partly the right decision because beginners should understand what a methodology is. In essence, this part of the paper should describe your approach to the research process. What are your methods? Are you going to experiment, find reliable sources, or conduct a focus group interview?

What tools and additional options like apps or the Internet will you use? Are you going to use statistical analysis? All of these questions are extremely important, and you should answer them. In addition, you can point out certain difficulties that you encountered at the stage of data analysis. Finally, you should also describe the effectiveness of your actions and the final result.


The next obvious step is to describe the results. Show what you have achieved and whether you were able to confirm your hypothesis. Don't forget to add all the formulas, figures, and tables to support your claims. Also, you can describe those results that were unexpected and surprised you. However, this part of your paper should be purely a statement of fact. You should not indicate your subjective judgments and alternative interpretations of the data.


Unlike the previous point, here, you can interpret the received data. For example, you can describe the value of your research and why your findings are crucial. How can new data be used for further research and scientific discoveries? Let's say you didn't expect to be able to get a certain result. Explain why you received this data and how you can use it in the future.


This final piece is a mix of the data obtained and your description of the results. In general, you should write about the relevance of the research and provide general guidelines for further steps in the study of a specific area or topic. Again, try to make the most logical connection between your results and further goals for other researchers.

Reference List

You will most likely use books, articles, or other papers as a springboard for your research. Many students use direct quotes to emphasize a particular position or a logical course of action. That is why you should include a list of all the sources that you used to write your paper. And don't forget the correct citation style!


Let's say you used certain sources, data, or copies of interviews to get important information. You can add all third-party data as appendices as this is crucial for your paper. In addition, your advisor will surely appreciate your scrupulousness and commitment to describe all sources and results in as much detail as possible.

Polish Your Paper

Many people devote all their free time to detailed research and data comparison to avoid making mistakes. This is a very commendable endeavor. However, there is one more aspect that you should pay attention to. Are you ready to vouch that you have not made grammar or spelling mistakes? Don't forget that you have a huge amount of work to do. This is why you should spend at least a few days polishing each sentence or section.

Don't be afraid to delete or rewrite parts of your paper. Your goal is to achieve the perfect result. In some cases, you can even read each sentence and analyze the logical structure. Sometimes it is better to rephrase some terms to make the general meaning clearer. In this case, you will achieve the desired result and can count on a high grade.