8 Tips for Crafting a PhD Dissertation on any Topic

Writing your PhD can be a real struggle, but by now you should have a rough idea of how dissertations work. Here are our handy tips to keep you on the straight and narrow and get the PhD done.

  • Brainstorm
  • Plan
  • Write
  • Reward
  • Cite
  • Craft
  • Edit
  • Get Help


Before any writing occurs, always have a big brainstorming session first. Get some pals around, grab a few drinks or coffee, and talk through all the ideas you have.


Once you have your brainstorming done, get to the planning. This is your dissertation’s backbone and it will help you when you get stuck. So make it thorough, make it detailed.


Here’s the easy part. Get those words on paper. Look to your plan to guide you as you go and keep you on topic. If you get stuck, move on to the next idea and come back to that knot later on. Keep going until you have it all down.


Remember to give yourself little goals. Do a few hundred words here, and then reward yourself with a coffee or a walk or a stroll in the park, whatever it is. Lay out different deadlines and goals for you to achieve and beside each one write a little reward you will give yourself.


As you go, keep citing. It’s annoying going back over your work and trying to fill in the blanks. Cite as you write and that way you won’t get accused of plagiarism and your writing will be that much more concrete.


At this level your writing needs to be top notch. Sure, you’re not going for a Pulitzer Prize, but you need to lay low on the adverbs, go steady on the overly descriptive stuff and try to avoid fluff and waffle.


Editing is what makes good writing great. Your first draft might be close, but it will never be perfect. Make sure you edit a good few times in order to bring your work up to standard.

Get Help

If you’re struggling with your editing, get in another pair of eyes. A friend, colleague or even some paid help can make all the difference to your work. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and similarly, if someone comes to you, don’t be so quick to fob them off. Use each other.