Tips For Writing A Postgraduate Dissertation

27th June 2017


Writing a masters dissertation is seen as a herculean task by many, one that should not be taken lightly.

Here we are looking at so many different aspects of dissertation writing to guide you in the process of running your race. And if you have been away from academia for a while our academic writing services might be helpful to you.

Structure of the dissertation

Writing a dissertation is a novel experience, and there is no general agreement on the best way to structure it should be. As a postgraduate student, you will have to decide the kind of structure that suits your research project best after consulting with your supervisor as well as by reading other dissertations of previous postgraduate students.

A standard way of structuring a postgraduate dissertation is to write it in the form of a book consisting of chapters. The number of chapters used depends on the topic chosen and the duration of the course. A dissertation organised into chapters would look like this:

1.    TITLE PAGE - The opening page including all the relevant information about the thesis.

2.    ABSTRACT - A brief project summary including background, methodology and findings.

3.    TABLE OF CONTENTS - A list of the chapters and figures contained in your thesis.

4.    CHAPTER 1 –INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND – An introduction and a description of the rationale behind your project.

5.    CHAPTER 2 - LITERATURE REVIEW - A summary of the literature supporting your project.

6.    CHAPTER 3 - METHODOLOGY - An explanation of the various methods used for conducting your research.

7.    CHAPTER 4 - DATA ANALYSIS and DISCUSSION - A description of the various techniques used in analysing your research data.

8.    CHAPTER 5 - CONCLUSION - Main conclusions based on the data analysis.

9.    REFERENCES - A list of the references cited in your thesis.

10.    APPENDICES - Additional materials used in your research.

When to start writing?

When you should start writing your dissertation depends on the scope of the research project and the course duration. However, regardless of the nature and scope of the research project, you should start writing your dissertation as early as possible, and there are some good reasons for this:

1.    Academic writing is not about talent; it is more about practice. It is an effortful task. Therefore, starting early would help you gear up in

2.    If you do not write things as they are still fresh in your mind, you will have to spend more time writing it later on.

3.    Starting early will help you sharpen your dissertation many times as your first draft is unlikely to be perfect. Also, you will get enough time to get feedback from your supervisor and revise your dissertation accordingly.

Improving your writing skills

The best way of improving your writing skills is to a lot of reading around. Reading academic articles and searching for information on the internet will help you to get used to the academic style of writing and eventually you should be able to do it effortlessly. Most universities have writing centres that offer courses and other kinds of support for postgraduate students. Attending these courses will help you improve your writing skills. Also, you can take help from our dissertation writing services and dissertation writing help.

Keeping track of the bibliography

The best way to keep track of all the articles you have read is to create a database where you can summarise each article/chapter into a few most important bullet points to help you remember their content. Make sure your referencing style is the same as suggested by your university


Plagiarism can cost you your postgraduate degree, and it is important that you avoid it. Plagiarism can happen when you copy/paste specific sections of a journal article you are citing instead of paraphrasing them. Whenever you are presenting something that is not your own idea mention the source and rephrase the sentences.

Dissertation Format

Different universities have different guidelines on how to format your thesis, and it is important that you read these guidelines before submitting your thesis to avoid being penalised.

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