Excelling in Writing Dissertations: Ten Rules to Follow

Dissertations are a hard project to complete.  Creating one sometimes will make problems for you, the student. You can begin to question why you are pursing something that is so difficult. You may even begin to wonder why you are struggling so hard to push to another degree and title. This doubt is very normal, and if you choose to push through the doubts and self-questioning and continue on with the dissertation, there are a few rules that you should follow to help you stay on topic.


  • Manage your topic. The topic can be altered as needed as the process continues. While it might seem carved into stone, it’s still transformable as you continue down your path.

  • Get help. You are not an island and while you are working on your dissertation it’s very imperative to have help.  As a creator of a dissertation you might have to work a second job to keep financially afloat.  You may have a child to care for.  Whether it’s seeking childcare or a grant, getting help will be beneficial for you when working on the dissertation.

  • Use Time wisely. You’ve always been taught to use time effectively, but now that you’re working on a dissertation that will take a lot of time, it has never been more important. Plan each day, and block out time for the dissertation.  Use what works for you, but make sure that you are not wasting your time.

  • Don’t let procrastination win. The dissertation might not have a definite due date, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop working on it.  Do something for it daily, don’t shelf if for when things slow down for you.

  • Choose a location to work where productivity will ensue. You can’t expect yourself to actually get something done, if you are distracted by outside forces. You need to go to a space that you have found is quiet enough, and good for you to get your project completed.   

  • Work during the time you are at your best. If you are a night owl, and can create your grade A work then, do it.  Work on your dissertation late at night, but if that isn’t the case then work on it during the day.  Do it when you are at your peek.

  • Work when you can. Yes, you know when you work best, but work even if that isn’t’ the time you are in. Give yourself rewards  In order to really make progress, set benchmarks.  Once you have reached a benchmark, give yourself a reward.

  • Find your want. In order to complete the dissertation, you must want to finish it. This may seem like the simplest rule of dissertation writing, but it’s the most important.  If there is a will, there is a way—a tried and true thought that will give you the push you need to get it done.

  • Don’t forget you. You are only one person, and no matter how many hats you might wear, you can’t forget that there is only so much you can do.  Take the time to rest and rehabilitate your body and mind.

Using these rules will help you—the writer—to create an excellent dissertation and stay as calm as you can throughout the process.