How to Write a Dissertation Step by Step Complete Guide

How to Write a Dissertation Step by Step

At times students get confused and interchangeably use both thesis and dissertation for each. The thesis is part of a master’s degree program, while the dissertation is taken up by research scholars during doctoral study. Our guide on how to write a dissertation step by step will clear all confusion.

They both bear similarities and differences from each other. In the thesis, students demonstrate their course knowledge and understanding while in the dissertation scholars contribute to the field of study by conducting research. Here researchers develop new concepts and support them with data.

The aim of the dissertation is to test the independent research skills of students that they have acquired during their educational careers.

In a dissertation, Research Scholars use others’ research as guidance and formulate their own theory or concept. University also assigns a supervisor who navigates them in the research process and keeps track of their performance and progress.

Writing a dissertation is a very complex task. In comparison to the thesis, it demands double or triple work. It follows the fixed format, where all components are stated clearly and in detail.

Types of Dissertation:

There are two types of dissertations that can be taken up by students during their PhD.

Empirical Dissertation

Empirical dissertation based on empirical methods that involve systematic collection and analysis of data. Observations and evidence are central to this kind of quantitative research. It requires fieldwork to collect data authentically. Here students’ keen observational skills play a crucial role.

Non-empirical Dissertation

In Non-empirical research, researchers study other stated data and arguments. While writing students not only describe stated facts but critically analyze the other’s works and draw conclusions on their practical applications. It is not necessarily data-driven but focuses on empirical research literature and methodologies.

Research Proposal

The foremost step in writing a dissertation is a research proposal. Students should choose a topic as per their interests and knowledge. After choosing a topic, prepare a research proposal and get it verified by the supervisor. If the supervisor approved it then go ahead otherwise repeat.

Structure of Dissertation

There is no such universal format to follow. The structure can vary according to the nature of the topic, field of study, and type of study. It is better to check the Departmental guidelines and consult with supervisors to resolve all your confusion regarding the structure of the dissertation.

The following are the elements of the dissertation incorporated into empirical studies like science and social science fields. Here we are discussing components in different heads but some can also be merged together. For example, results and discussion can be grouped together or separately stated in your dissertation.

Components of the dissertation are enlisted below:

  • Title page
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content
  • The core chapters
    • Introduction
    • Literature review
    • Methodology
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Conclusion
  • Reference list
  • Appendices

How to Write a Dissertation Step-by-Step Guide

There are various sets of rules which you will lead you to follow the question of how to write a dissertation step-by-step guide. Here is a guide to how to write a dissertation step-by-step.

Title Page

This is the very first page of your dissertation also known as a cover page. It contains basic information about the document: Dissertation title, student name, type of document, degree program, name of institution, and date of submission. Sometimes it also contains a supervisor’s name and university logo.


In this section of the dissertation, students thank those who help and support him/her to carry out the research: supervisors, participants, friends, and family.


It is the mirror of your dissertation which summarizes your research work. It reflected all major aspects of the dissertation in a compact form. It includes the gist of your research questions and aims, methodology, findings, and conclusion.

Table of Content.

It is a part of the dissertation where you mention all chapters, heading, and subheadings along with page numbers. It gives a sense of completeness and easily locates specific information. Microsoft Word is a tool that can help you to generate automatic lists of content.

Chapter 1– Introduction.

This is the first chapter of the core of the dissertation. It tells what, why, and how investigations take place. It also gives an impression of research aims, methods, scope, and structure. It also makes us familiar with the area of research and why it is conducted.

Chapter 2– Literature Review

This is the second chapter of the dissertation. It includes all previous research and studies done in this particular area. By locating drawbacks in the previous research, students support the reason for conducting their study. It contains a theoretical framework of what is already researched and what needs to be researched.

Chapter 3- Methodology

This chapter talks about how you carry out your research and why the particular methodology is chosen. It includes a detailed work description of the collection and analysis of data. This chapter also showcases and develops students’ research skills.

Chapter 4 – Results

This chapter is descriptive in nature but it is helpful to include tables, graphs, and charts to summarize your find. Here we present the findings of the research using the chosen method and fixed framework for discussion.

Chapter 5 – Discussion

Here we interpret and analyze the results of the data. This chapter discusses the result in relation to your aims, research questions, and existing literature. It also talks about results bearing similarities and differences with the previous research on related areas. It also discusses how far the result fulfils your expectations.

Chapter 6 – Conclusion.

This is the final chapter where you draw the conclusion of your whole dissertation. It includes the gist of all chapters to derive the final conclusion. This section reflects how your findings contribute to new knowledge in the particular field and why your research matters.

Reference List

This part of the dissertation cited all the sources you consulted for the research procedure. It is a list of resources that follow a particular citation format. Generally, there are two most used citation formats i.e. APA and MLA. But there are other citation formats also available, consult your supervisor before enlisting them.


Appendices carry additional supporting data and evidence. It usually contains sets of instruments and tools used in the research process to collect data: interview questions, questionnaires, etc. Researchers also include additional information that has some link with the study but no need to state it in the core chapters.

Professional Dissertation Writing

There are many online websites or platforms that offer professional dissertation writing services. Your doctorate degree is centred around the dissertation, it is wrong to get it done by any outer source. But it is all up to you, whether you carried out it authentically or not. At times, it is helpful too, they help you to give a finishing touch by editing and proofreading your dissertation, essay, research proposal, etc.

Here is a list of some professional dissertation writing resources which bring you quality content at reasonable charges. These platforms have expert researchers and writers who develop your dissertation according to your wish. It provides redrafting services too to bring changes according to the student’s preferences.


  • Academized

  • Dissertation Writers

Online Dissertation Writing Service

  • Phdizone
  • PhD Proposal Thesis Help, Data Analysis & Implementation

Helpful Tools For Dissertation Writing

Here are some useful tools and software which help you in your professional dissertation writing process. These tools will help you to improvise your work easily and give professional touch without much effort. Following are some enlisted tools:

Writing Tools and Software

  • Microsoft Word

  • GoogleDoc

  • LibreOffice.

Referencing Tools and Reference Management Software

  • PaperPile

  • JabRef

  • Zotero

Research Tools and Software

  • Google Scholar.

  • ResearchGate

Grammar Checkers and Sentence Correction Tools.

  • Grammarly

  • MS Word Spelling & Grammar checker

Editing Software.

  • StyleWriter

  • WhiteSmoke

  • ProWritingAid

Dissertation writing is a complex task that requires expert skills in the collection and analysis of data. For PhD scholars, it is the most lengthy account of the research that contains almost 50000 words.

To provide professional help, numerous platforms are available online. These websites charge for their services and hand over a professional piece of writing. Even these websites help you to modify your content by editing and proofreading. There are some tools and software also available online to make your dissertation error-free.

Thus, professional dissertation writing is a central part of your doctoral degree. Working on a dissertation develops expertise in writing, observing, and critically analyzing skills in students or researchers.