Nat Kelly Nat Kelly14 December 2023 Open Science
Organising your thesis

5 Tips To Help You Write Your Dissertation

Writing your dissertation or thesis is both an intellectual challenge and rite of passage in academia. Navigating this successfully requires you to immerse yourself in the literature and be disciplined and proficient at managing time and stress.

In this article, we offer 5 tips to help write a successful dissertation as well as manage and make the most of your time as a student.

Familiarise yourself with the literature

Before you begin writing your dissertation, it is important that you know your subject matter inside out. Writing is a slow and difficult process if you’re uncertain about what you’re saying and research on the go.

Doing the necessary research allows you to be more confident in your arguments and more fluent in your writing. Researching is also of the utmost importance for developing a strong plan and structure. This gives you a good overview of how the ideas fit together on the page.

Reading and summarising articles in your own words, as well as highlighting any research gaps or limitations, will also aid the writing process. This helps consolidate your knowledge and also gives you good notes to refer to for future projects.

Make the most of the resources around you

As a student, it’s easy to forget the value of the resources around you.

However, very rarely will you have access to someone with as much expertise and experience as your supervisor—as well as someone as dedicated to your learning and growth as they are. Make sure to ask them questions, as well as for clarification and feedback, to help you better understand your subject. They are the person best placed to help you succeed.

Also, institutional access is another huge asset whose value can be overlooked. A large volume of research can only be accessed through payment. However, most universities have subscriptions to important journals and even offer paying the charges to access material hidden behind paywalls. Using your institutions resources allows you to access a wealth of material that can benefit your research.

Time management

Managing your time is crucial for productivity. Doing little and often, namely, breaking your work into smaller, measurable chunks, has been proven to be much more effective than doing everything at once. By setting goals and marking your progress, you’re reinforcing what you learn and giving yourself the time to truly get to grips with your research.

Creating a to-do list, listing your tasks in order of importance, and limiting distractions are all solid first steps you can take to organise your workload effectively. Time blocking—dividing your day into blocks in which you work solely on a specific task—is also a great method to ensure you attend to all aspects of your work.

Making a plan for your time before you start your work will ultimately save you time and stress in the long run. Knowing what needs to be done and following a structure both support consistent and sustainable productivity.

Manage stress

Managing your stress may seem an obvious suggestion, but it is often much more difficult than people give it credit for. As a student, your workload and the constant pressure of deadlines can insidiously cause you chronic stress. This is especially the case if you haven’t managed your time effectively.

Dealing with stress is simple in theory, but in practice it can be easy to get swept away in negative thoughts and emotions. Effective management requires constant practice and vigilance, as well as a solid regimen. There is plenty of research on the benefits of mindfulness in terms of reducing stress.

Revise and edit your thesis

Reading and rereading your work can be a very laborious task. It’s often very difficult to see the mistakes in your own work. Thus, you need to make editing a focused and structured effort.

Making sure there are no spelling or simple grammatical errors is a good place to start. Although not always affecting the content, simple mistakes can colour the reader’s impression of your work unfavourably. Eradicating these can improve the perceived quality of your work. Also, ensuring the page and all your references are formatted correctly will prevent you losing marks unnecessarily.

After this, you can assess the structure of your work, and whether the writing is succinct and stays on topic. It’s helpful to leave it a couple of days or week or so until you begin the editing process. This is so that you are reading it with fresh eyes and can better identify any errors and whether your points flow logically on from one another.

Lastly, ask for feedback from your supervisor or anyone else who could provide valuable insights for improvement. Other people’s opinions are invaluable, as they can offer perspectives and ideas you may not have otherwise linked or considered.

Professional language editing for your thesis

In addition to the tips outlined above, language editing services can be utilised to ensure your work is free from any language and grammatical errors. To get your paper ready for submission, language editing removes any language errors that could detract from the quality of the work. Read our previous article on the benefits of getting your thesis proofread.

MDPI Author Services is not just for scholars. We also offer our Regular and Rapid Services to students completing their theses. We provide a comprehensive language edit, correcting grammar, punctuation, and phrasing.

Our team of highly skilled English editors have edited over 60,000 papers, with a 97% author satisfaction rate. Our services are available to both MDPI authors and those publishing with other journals. Visit the link above to get a free quote today.