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Resources for Dissertation Writers

"There are two kinds of dissertations, finished and unfinished." - Anonymous. In this guide we hope dissertation writers will find helpful resources and tips to get your dissertation done. Resources for dissertation supervisors and dissertation committee


Doctoral Support Special Interest Group at the University Libraries
Rachel Duke
Kelly Grove
Kyung Kim
Jeff Phillips 

This guide was originally created by Kyung Kim in 2017.

Understand What To Expect

Dissertations (from UNC - Chapel Hill)
Provides practical advice on starting, drafting, and completing a dissertation 

Theses & Dissertations (from Penn State Univ.)
For students in engineering and science, it provides chapter templates and samples. 

Completing Your Dissertation Without Tears (From Columbia Univ.)
Tips and advice on dissertation writing

Stages and Timeline of Dissertation Writing

"Writing Your Thesis Outline"

Use  Dissertation Calculator to plan a timeline for your dissertation journey:

Note: a screenshot from University of Minnesota Library

Stages of Dissertation Writing
(from U. of Minnesota)
Read the narrative from Univ. of Minnesota. Each stage contains practical tips for dissertators.
1: Understanding expectations
2: Identifying your research questions
3: Developing a methodology or methodological framework
4: Surveying literature to position your research in your field
5: Establishing a dissertation committee
6: Writing a dissertation proposal
7: Creating a work plan
8: Creating a dissertation support network
9: Conducting research
10: Conducting a comprehensive literature review
11: Outlining and drafting chapters
12: Taking care of visual details (illustrations, tables, figures, graphics, etc.)
13: Reviewing, revising, and submitting your text for comment and initial approval
14: Creating defense draft and defending dissertation
15: Writing the abstract
16: Finalizing revisions
17: Submitting dissertation  
18: Getting closure 


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