In general, writing a dissertation is often an afterthought for research students. This is also true for most UK university students, as the main focus is on completing the research work.
Lack of planning your research dissertation work can lead to undesirable results towards the end of your project, such as major redrafting, proofreading errors, and lack of learning. This is equally applicable to students who are fluent in writing and to those who are not. So, what are some best practises that you can follow for writing dissertations, irrespective of the research topic that you are working on?
To improve your academic writing skills, you do not need to wait till the dissertation time comes along. Get started on writing a variety of other research documents such as research proposals, literature reviews, abstracts, or presentations.
The general approach among both good and poor student writers is to keep delaying the plan for dissertation work. Plan and schedule your dissertation writing as part of your research project work.
Before getting started on your dissertation, check the exact requirements of your dissertation content. These checks can include the maximum number of words allowed, the content, and the chapters and sections to be included.
Prepare a draft outline or structure of your dissertation and get it approved from your department head or supervisor. A typical dissertation can contain headings including Title page, abstract, acknowledgment, introduction, methodology, literature review, and findings.
You can fill the relevant content for each of these headings of your document structure with the gradual progress of your research work. In this way, you can keep your dissertation work in sync with your research.
Rarely does the first draft of your submitted dissertation get approved without any edits. Plan some time for document review feedback and suggestions and for completing the edit changes. Understand the review suggestions thoroughly in order to reduce the rework time and effort.
Before the final submission, proofread your dissertation to check for any errors. If possible, get your document proofread by a senior or a proofreading expert.