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The Main Do's And Don'ts Of Writing A Doctoral Dissertation

Your dissertation will likely be the hardest paper that you will have to write. It will prove that you are a scholar in your field and not just a student. It is the assignment that will set the course for the rest of your life. You will need to take it seriously. Here are the do’s and don’ts of writing your doctoral dissertation.


  1. Make a plan. You need to know the sections of your paper before you start writing. You can do this by getting a sample paper to use as a guide or using a template.
  2. Set your paper up first. This will make it easier because you can just keep working on the various sections until you have completed them all.
  3. Read through some samples to get an idea of how your paper should sound. You can get an idea of how to present your information, what tense to use, and some ideas on transitioning from one topic to the next.
  4. Read your paper and the samples out loud. You will tend to find the errors when you read it out loud because it is easier to hear the incorrect tenses. Also, you tend to fix errors automatically when you are reading in your head.


  1. Wait until the last minute. You may have been able to throw every other essay together the day before it is due but I can promise that you won’t be able to do that with this one. You need to plan your time out carefully and make sure that you give yourself enough time for each step.
  2. Don’t start writing until you have done a lot of research. You will need to read a lot of resources before you can even start the writing process. Plus you have to get your topic approved by the board anyways. You won’t be able to start writing until you have done some solid research, developed the focus, created your proposal, and gotten your proposal approved.
  3. Don’t forget to comingle the sections. Even though you may write them separately. The piece has to be cohesive and each piece should interlock with some of the other ones. You can’t just put together a bunch of mini papers and expect to get a good results. Transitions will help you link ideas together so that it makes sense to your audience.

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