Dissertation Paper

How long is a dissertation paper?

A dissertation is usually between 20,000 – 30,000 words but this depends on the school.

Writing a dissertation is much work but if you get helpful tips it can be easier for you.

Tips for Writing a Dissertation Paper: How Long is a Dissertation Paper

  1. Plan

The first thing to do when you want to write your dissertation is to make a realistic plan. This is because it is easy to lose track of time without doing anything tangible if you do not plan. Your plan should entail how you are going to research, when you are going to write your work, how you intend to finish up before the deadline.

For example, you can pick the number of hours you intend to put into research. You can also have a daily goal of completing a certain word count e.g. 2000 word count daily. This will help you to easily achieve your word count goal. Now if you are a psychology student, you may wonder, “How long is a Ph.D. psychology dissertation paper?” This can be between 80 – 100 pages.

  1. Read and Understand the Instructions

When you are about to write your thesis, your lecturer or supervisor will give you a list of instructions for you to follow. Now, a dissertation may have a good argument worthy of all the marks. However, if the instructions are not followed, the student may miss some marks. Usually, the instructions entail the word count, deadline, formatting method, submission method, penalty, etc. Make sure you read the instructions carefully and again to make sure you follow them. Even after completing your dissertation, crosscheck to be sure that you followed the instructions.

  1. Research

The next thing to do is research your chosen topic. Usually, some schools give their students the opportunity to pick their own topics. However, some schools give a theme and let their students pick a topic that is related to that theme. Now, it is always a bit challenging for many students to come up with their own topics. Here are three ways to do so.

First of all, read other previously written work related to the theme of your dissertation. Although this is more work, you will easily come up with topic ideas when you use this method.

Secondly, you can use an online topic generator to help automatically create one. Thirdly, you can ask the help of experts in your field.

After generating your topic, the next thing to do is your research. Here, you will need to make use of both a physical library and the internet. It is also during research that you will come up with the first list of sources that you will need for work. Now, remember, any source you use for your work has to be an academic one. This may include books, journals, websites, videos, etc.

  1. Write, Edit, and Submit

After getting the information that you need for your dissertation, the next thing to do is start writing your chapters. Now, it is important to mention that you do not have to get perfectly written chapters on your first try. You can write the thoughts and ideas as they come to your head and then later edit to perfection. Usually, the chapters of a dissertation are between five to six chapters.

Chapter one is the introduction chapter and here, you will introduce your topic, research aims or questions, and what will happen in the remaining chapter. However, it is advisable not to write this chapter until you have finished writing the others.

Next is chapter two which is the literature review chapter. Here, you will write about the sources that you have used, why you chose them, how relevant they are to your work, and how your work is different from them. In chapter three which is the methodology, you will explain what aided you in the course of the research, the challenges you faced and if your research abides by ethical code of conduct.

In chapter four, which is your analysis and discussion chapter, you should explain your results and the implications of your result. Finally, in your conclusion chapter, you will summarize all you have done and even make recommendations.

After you have finished your work, edit and check for plagiarism.


Your dissertation may be a lot of work but it can also be easier for you if you know the right hacks. Simply put these tips above to work as you work to improve it.

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