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You are coming to the end of your academic program, and are ready for that final academic work which is a requirement for the award of that degree.

Writing a dissertation can be overwhelming. Most of the time, you need a lot of commitment in other to go through with it. And for you to complete a dissertation, you must have a plan that will guide you to your destination.

For the uninitiated, writing a thesis or dissertation can present some major challenges that can become an impediment to the realization of the research work. These challenges may create unnecessary pressure and nervousness leading to errors and mistakes.

Below are some six guidelines that will help you in your quest to produce a good dissertation worthy of that degree.


Many students fall into the error of joining the bandwagon when it comes to choosing a research topic. There is this tendency of focusing on trending or popular topics or checking out what your friends are writing on.

If you want to get it right from the beginning, then you have to pick a topic that interests you. The best way to impress anyone is to write passionately on a topic of interest.

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While writing your thesis, you will be exposed to an overwhelming amount of data and information. A thesis will help you have a focus that will guide you through the maze of information at your disposal.

Without a working hypothesis, you will be like a sheep without a shepherd wandering aimlessly in the desert.

A thesis will guide you when gathering your materials. It will help you to focus only on relevant facts and ignore other ones that have little or nothing to do with your topic. If you don’t know where to find quality theses, you can consult online resources like


At this stage of research, you need to be methodical and effective. The pool of resources from which you will gather your materials are sometimes enormous and if you are not focused you’ll find yourself reading and gathering irrelevant materials.

One great advantage of gathering your resources before you start is to afford you an opportunity of knowing exactly task ahead of you.

While at this stage of your dissertation, be sure not to make the mistake of reading and gathering everything that has ever been written on the subject of your study. Therefore, limit yourself to a definite area and confine yourself to previous research on the subject.

The places you conduct your research is very important. If your data involves sending out questionnaires, then the earlier you send them out and gather them the better for you.

The library is a great repository of books, magazines, newspapers and atlases that are arranged in alphabetical order according to the authors, publications, and general subjects, making it easy for researchers to find materials. When in difficulty don’t hesitate to ask the librarian to help you locate your materials and also suggest other relevant publications.

Another great source of research is the internet where you have limitless information on virtually every subject matter conceivable. You must, however, be aware of the limitations of the internet as not every information on it is correct.

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The style of an academic question is modelled along those of most argumentative essay. I have discovered that the more controversial a topic, the more argumentative exposition the topic will have.

Even when your topic is not controversial, make sure that the subject is one in which very much is to be said on all sides.

The next step is deciding on which of the sides you want to support in your work. I suggest you settle on the side where your heart is.


Don’t write your dissertation without first drawing out an outline. This is a skeletal drawing of your work that needs to be filled by adding the flesh and blood.

Most research works can be segmented into three parts

Every good research needs a clear beginning which will outline the purpose of your work and give your essay focus and direction.

The beginning must be an introduction that gently leads your reader into the subject and what you intend to achieve at the end of the work.

  1. Middle

The middle of your dissertation will be aimed at amplifying and magnifying the beginning.

Once you have set out a thought-provoking thesis, your reader’s interest is piqued and they would want to see how you go about in proving it.

Note that in organizing the middle of your work, you should master the art of saving your best for the last. Make sure that each successive item of your dissertation is more interesting than the last.

The end will let the reader know the answer or summary of your work.

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I consider revising your work as one of the most important stages of your academic exercise. I recommend that revision should be done when you are freshest and not tired.

The first revision should be done by you before you give it to another person. This is to make sure that what you have written down correctly expresses exactly what you have in mind.

After revising your work, give it to an experienced person in the field of your research to get his opinion and effect the necessary amendments.

Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam writes creative non-fiction and prose fiction. Her works have appeared in Romance Meets Life, Flash Fiction Press, MTLS, Saraba Magazine, Sentinel Magazine and others. Her first novel, Finding Love Again, was published by Ankara Press. She owns and manages Creative Writing News.


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