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Writing a dissertation: structuring sentences

Dissertation writing is a big project to take on. Most students in their last year of their degrees are faced with writing one, and it can seem to take all of your time. When you have other commitments outside classes that makes it very hard to balance your life and do a good job on your dissertation. As a student, you have so many other things to deal with that writing your dissertation should be easy. It is supposed to be an all-encompassing project that showcases your expertise and creativity, and needs to be well written, but if you have a plan, you can make dissertation writing easy.

Writing the First Draft of Your Dissertation

Don’t worry about your sentence structure if you’re still just starting your dissertation. You should always follow a certain order, for any project such as an essay or term paper, but especially for a long assignment like this.

  1. Make an outline
  2. Do all your research
  3. Writer the first draft
  4. Get a second opinion
  5. Editing

Make sure you really have done all four steps before you do any editing. And yes, sentence structure counts as editing; save it for last. Once you have everything else done, you’ll be able to focus more on the editing. The main reason you don’t want to bother with sentence structure at the beginning is because you might perfect your word usage and sentences in a paragraph that ends up being deleted later or needs to be reworded, and that’s wasted time. It’s much better to have the foundation completely laid out and get feedback from a classmate or trusted friend first. Then, you can make changes that you need to make, and once everything is structurally sound, you can go in to edit at the sentence level.

Here are some tips for structuring your sentences, when you do get that far:

  • Keep your sentences short; break up ones using ‘and’ a lot, or ones with a lot of commas or semi-colons.
  • Make sure you don’t overuse a certain word. For example, if you mentioned ‘industry’ in one sentence, don’t use that again in the next sentence. Use a synonym that fits your need such as ‘workplace’ or ‘career’.
  • Use long, complicated words sparingly, and only when you really know you’re using them correctly. If you look up big words just to be able to use them, it’ll show.