Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Dissertation

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Dissertation

Students have to do dissertations as part of their undergraduate or master's degree programme. A dissertation is referred as an extended essay or a thesis. The marks attained are added towards the final aggregate. For many students, writing a dissertation is a new experience. They have written essays and assignments but not the dissertation. Some colleges and universities give their students the freedom of choosing a topic from whichever area that interests them. They are assigned a guide or a mentor that sees through the start and end of the project.


Dissertations are important because it helps the student to gain expertise in that particular topic or subject area. It develops research skills and critical thinking. These kinds of projects also help the student to become intellectually independent. They broaden their knowledge and familiarise themselves with research books, reading and data collection. Students have to do the dissertations independently. It is not a group project, but they can seek help from their peers, seniors and teachers. In the beginning, it can be stressful having to spend a lot of time sitting in the library going through books or research, but in the end, it pays off. The result is always fruitful.

Similar to essay writing, students need to utilise their writing skills in the dissertation. They need to organise, plan and examine data. Then they have to work on a draft. Has it checked by the guide or mentor? Once, its approved, they can go on with their final copy. Students should be aware that dissertation cannot be accomplished in a couple of hours or overnight. It requires sincere, hard work and dedication over a span of months.

Mistakes Students Should Avoid

For better grading, there are a couple of errors that students should try their best to avoid. They are:

  • Shallow or Insincere Research - this becomes evident in the paper if the information is not connected, and there's too little date or facts to support it. Students should try their best to deepen their research. The best way is by taking the interest in it.

•    Too Early - one shouldn't start writing too soon. There's a lot of time to write. Students must make sure to do a proper research. Through this, their ideas and thoughts will flow.

•    Too Late - if a student starts late working on that, he or she will have problems meeting the deadline. They won't be able to meet the word limit, give proper references and citations, etc. Students will find themselves in a bowl of soup!

•    Disorganisation - every student should plan and organise their work. Not doing so will make the work look untidy. They should show concentration and interest in their work by having chapters, headings and subheadings. There should be a proper layout.

•    Vague Statement - the thesis statement should be very clear and precise. The student should discuss it with the guide to make the statement strong. It should be able to stand out on its own.

•    Mismatch - the introduction and the conclusion should go hand in hand. Most students end up discussing and stating two different concepts. The conclusion should support the introduction.

•    Repetitive Chapters -repetition should be avoided at all costs. Every chapter in the dissertation should be unique and stand out on its own. It should relay something which has not discussed anywhere else in the paper.

•    Proper Explanation of Research Methods Used - it has been observed that students rush through when it comes to explaining the research methods involved. It Should be avoided. Students should be able to explain their methods and give a small summary of it.

•    Bibliography -students should go through the instructions and guidelines to see what type of referencing is needed, for example, APA, Harvard or MLA, etc. They can then set it that particular manner.

•    Plagiarism - students often fall victim to this. They can avoid this by giving proper citations and references wherever it is required. In dissertations, the lecturers and professors always end up penalising the students for plagiarism.

•    Page Number/Formatting - students should format the paper. By doing so, the page numbers will come in automatically. They should follow the instructions and guidelines to see the style of formatting.

There are other things which students should avoid. It includes blank pages and additional acknowledgements. Students should save their draft and final work in storage devices. They should also get a print copy of it. Overall, students should go through dissertations of yesteryears to get an idea and hands-on feel. 

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