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Organizing your work on a dissertation: an effective strategy

finding a topic

The first step is to find a strong topic to write your dissertation on. You want to make sure that you do some preliminary research to find a topic that really adds to the knowledge pool. It should be a unique topic or one that enhances a previous topic. The topic should be relevant to your studies. It should also be focused enough to make a point broad enough to find supporting evidence.


You should try to obtain an example dissertation to get an idea of how best to set up your paper. The example will show you what sections need to be included and in what order to put these sections. It is an effective tool to have. You can read through the dissertation to get an idea of what tone should be used to write your paper. When looking for an example dissertation, make sure that you know that it is a good and effective one so that you don’t use a bad example.


An effective strategy for writing a great dissertation is to create an outline. The outline will help you stay organized and keep you from adding filler information that does not pertain to the topic that you are discussing. Your outline should be set up using the same topics that you found in your dissertation example and in the same order. That is one of the main things you would use your example for is to set up your paper with the proper headings in the proper order.


One of the important sections of the dissertation will be the section where objectives are listed. This section is unique to this type of paper. Most papers do not include a section that lists the various reasons why the study is being done. Therefore, be sure to provide an overall review of why you are conducting the research and then go more in depth with the specifics that you want to prove.

Research questions

The list of research questions will need to be developed and listed. These research questions should include all questions that need to be asked to get the objectives answered.

Final steps

Literature review

The resources that are used in your dissertation will need to be listed in the literature review section. They will be listed with the resource information and a brief description about the piece.


The hypothesis will be your research question and the point that you are trying to answer through your research. This is the main reason why you are writing the paper and is very important. Be sure to conduct research to come up with the best hypothesis because this is what you will prove through your research and presented in the paper.

This should give you an idea of the best way to set up your dissertation. Don’t wait until the last minute to start writing this paper. You should actually get started during the first part of your senior year so that you have enough time to complete it effectively.

© 2012 RMetzner-GreenEarth

PhD Dissertation - Solving Common And Specific Writing Struggles