How do I Write an English Dissertation?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2019
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There are a number of steps that are required to write an English dissertation and the most important guide for these steps will come from the institution that is granting the degree. It is quite common — in fact, it is almost expected — for a college or university that is awarding an advanced degree in English to offer a guide to students for how to format and develop their English dissertations. This guide should be followed to the very letter. The information and ideas explored in a dissertation should be culled from coursework, individual research, and conferences with an academic adviser or a thesis advisor.

The first few steps that go into writing an English dissertation include choosing a topic for the dissertation, choosing an adviser to guide the trajectory of the research and advise on the many stages of writing the actual thesis, and writing a dissertation proposal. Most universities require students to write an English dissertation proposal, which must be approved by one or more professors within the program, before a student can move forward with the development of an English dissertation.


The main resources that will be used while writing an English dissertation are the following: the advice of teachers and a thesis adviser, independent research, course work, and dissertation guides. When choosing between dissertation guides, be sure to get recommendations from trusted sources such as professors or other members of the English program who may be a bit further along in the dissertation-writing process. The university awarding the degree might also have a list of recommended guides that can be used in addition to the guide that is put out by the university itself.

One of the most important parts of writing an English dissertation is getting regular critiques from trusted sources such as a thesis adviser and other students in the program. It is important to receive these critiques during the research portion of the process, before the writing actually begins. This is so that the student can be sure that she is on the right path with her research and to make sure that the research will fit in well with the intended structure of the thesis. After all, without regular critiques, weeks or even months of research could turn out to be for naught. A thesis adviser or dissertation adviser might also be instrumental in the development of the dissertation proposal and the dissertation plan.


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Post 3

@heavanet- From experience writing my own English dissertation, I know that it is very important to do research using different types of resources. This is even more important today with so many digital sources and easy access to information. Writing a paper that cites books, films, research papers, journals, reputable websites and more will show that a student knows how to do diverse research.

Post 2

@heavanet- I also agree that this article is a good guide for writing an English dissertation. However, one thing I would like to add and that I also think will be helpful to your relative is that is it very important to proof read your finished work.

After all of the research and extensive writing that it takes to complete a dissertation, it would be hard to accept a lesser grade due to spelling and grammatical mistakes. Your relative should read her paper thoroughly after writing it to check for mistakes, then have several family members or friends do the same. A dissertation is such an important paper that a student who writes one can never too be to caution when it comes to looking for errors before turning it in to a professor.

Post 1

When I was in college I never confident that the papers I wrote were very good after I finished writing them. Now I have a young relative who is in college and has to write her dissertation. This article provides a lot of good information about dissertation writing, but I'm wondering if there is any other advice I can give her to help ensure her success.

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