Once you have an idea of the recommended structure that a dissertation should follow you should start writing. 

Consider the following points:

  • Make sure that you allow enough time for writing and revising. 
  • Write in a formal style, but avoid trying to impress by using over-complicated language, or sentences that are too complex. The more convoluted your style, the more difficult it will be to follow your arguments. 
  • Always write in the third person e.g. "The survey was conducted….. " not "I conducted the survey….." 
  • Make sure you don’t exceed your word count.
  • Don’t include unnecessary details or irrelevant illustrations just to fill out your word count! 
  • Check your spelling and grammar! 
  • Present all necessary diagrams, formulae, tables, charts with appropriate identifying information (titles, equation numbers, labels, etc).  
  • Decide on the style you are going to use and be consistent throughout the entire report, e.g. font type and size, headings format, paragraph format etc. 
  • Reference all your sources correctly, according to either the Harvard, Numeric or APA standards (hyperlink to referencing). Don’t forget to include the sources you have consulted as well as the ones from which you have quoted. 
  • Are you required to include a Table of Contents once you have completed the content?
  • Revise – several times! The final version of your dissertation should be free of spelling mistakes, poor grammar and silly errors.


Owl's Top Hoot

For further information and tips on presentation style see Preparing for Dissertations and Projects by David Rudd [PDF].