Write a strong PhD project

It is good to have proper guidance on how to craft a proper dissertation that ensures your success. This simple step-by-step guide aims to do exactly that.

Step-by-step guide on proper thesis writing

Thesis writing can be extremely stressful for many students. The task of writing a dissertation can be extremely daunting both due to the fact that it requires extremely technical knowledge of your chosen subject, as well as the length of the dissertation being very long. It is not uncommon to see dissertations of more than 70, 000 words being drafted by students.

Step 1: Choosing a topic

The very first hurdle is the one many students fall at when composing their work. What many students think is that their work needs to be revolutionary to their field, since the main requirement of a PhD is to produce ‘original’ work. However what they do not realize is that all original knowledge is built upon already existing knowledge. Thus you do not need to aim for something that completely changes the landscape of your subject, but rather something original that can be used as a building block to further your field.

Step 2: Proposal

The second step is extremely important. Before you write your paper you need to produce a proposal detailing exactly why you are undertaking the research. This part is really important because you have to make a case for yourself to a committee who will give the go ahead to your dissertation based on this proposal. The questions you need to answer here are:

  • What research are you going to undertake?
  • How is this research applicable to your subject?
  • Why is it important to find a solution to the problem?
  • How will you undertake the research?

Step 3: Research

You need to conduct effective research to succeed in your PhD. You need to be up-to-date with latest developments in your area of study. To do this you have to read the latest publications and the cutting edge literature into your topic. Your university will also do much of the latest research, so the best place to start for this would be by going to your university’s library and assimilating yourself with it.

Other ways to further research into your topic would be by reading books on your subject in your local library and by using the internet, you can also see other academic’s opinions on the matter.

Step 4: Writing

Now once you have planned everything, acquired your research it is time to write your PhD. The structure of your writing should be as follows:


Introduce the audience to your thesis, and give an overview of what will be discussed. Do not make the introduction in depth, but rather as a way to ease your reader into the rest of your work.

Literature Review & Findings

Discuss the current state of the research pertaining to your topic.
This is one of the most important aspects of your work. Then you'll have to analyze the results of your research.


This part of your writing is concerned with how to conducted your research, and how you allocated it. You need to answer questions such as what methods you used, how you got your results and any drawbacks of your methods.


Make a brief summary of your findings. Make sure to reiterate the main points of your study as this will be have the lasting impression on the reader.