9 Worst Dissertation Writing Mistakes

writing mistakesWriting an A plus dissertation is not as easy as you may think. But what exactly is a good dissertation? There are several factors that may influence students’ ability to achieve good grades in their dissertation coursework. Some students have the tendency of setting up their minds to produce the worst dissertation ever. It should be noted that high quality dissertations are rarely seen as compared to bad quality dissertations that are produced in high numbers. The purpose of this post is to identify the worst mistakes made by students when writing a dissertation.

1: Choosing a Topic this is too Broad to handle

The primary problem that Masters and PhD students face with their dissertations is the “Selection of the Topic”. The objective of a university dissertation is not necessarily to tackle a research question that has never been answered in the research literature previously.  A university dissertation rather signifies students’ ability to collect meaningful information and present the results in a professional manner. Professional researchers and government organizations have advanced research facilities, larger budgets and cooperative research teams at their disposal and therefore what may be a good question for them is not usually a good research objective for you. However, your dissertation topic should not be too restrictive either as it limits your ability to contribute to knowledge.

2: Unclear about the Dissertation Topic

Another challenge that the students have to tackle when they write their dissertations is to explain their thesis in a simple yet effective way. If your tutor is unable to determine what is being argued in the paper even after reading the introductory chapter, chances are that he will mark you a low grade. Remember that you need to convince yourself that you know what you are doing before convincing others.

3: Surrounding Yourself with like-minded People

If you develop the habit of surrounding yourself by likeminded people who would simply say YES to each argument you present, the end product is not going to be very impressive. It is absolutely vital to incorporate opposing views into dissertation writing to cover every technical aspect of your research.

4: Choosing out dated Topics

Choosing a topic that may have become out dated is not going to help the cause either. Review similar dissertations and research studies to make sure that your research is up to date and will prove to be of significant help for other researchers in the future.

5: Leaving it till the last minute

If you begin too late, it will be nearly impossible for you to achieve the desired high mark. Almost all dissertations have a minimum word count requirement of over 10,000 words. Furthermore, you will be required to prepare several drafts to ensure highest possible quality of your paper. So do not leave it till the last minute.

6: Incomplete Research

Before starting to write, take your time to collect the most relevant literature. A thorough research prior to writing your dissertation can help you transform your thoughts into fresh analytical insights.

7: Lack of Professionalism

Many students do not pay attention to details when it comes to Executive Summary, Acknowledgement, Appendices, Contents page and References section of their paper. Lack of professionalism can prove to be a disaster for Masters and PhD students as it shows careless approach to studies. Improve your credibility as a researcher/writer by showing your professional attitude to these important aspects.

8: Plagiarism

Almost all recognized universities in the world have the latest anti plagiarism software that they use to check for plagiarism in your paper. Give credit where it’s due and avoid deliberately showing someone else’s work as your own.

9: Proofreading

Proofread your paper three to four times prior to submitting it to your tutor. Grammatical, spelling and formatting errors as well as the use of informal language can leave a negative impression on the readers.


Writing a great dissertation is perhaps the most challenging task in a student’s academic career. Some students do not possess the required skills and abilities to produce an A plus dissertation and this effects their overall grade. It is recommended to obtain help from an expert prior to beginning to write the paper to ensure the highest possible quality.


11 thoughts on “9 Worst Dissertation Writing Mistakes

  1. Pingback: 9 Worst Dissertation Writing Mistakes | Researc...

  2. Let me disagree with one and add one. There may be some fields with a minimum word count of 10,000, but I have never heard of one. Perhaps this is because I come from the world of math/economics/statistics where the more succinctly you can make you point, the better.

    The biggest mistake I see both MA and Ph.D. students making is that they have never seen a thesis or dissertation, so they understandably become frozen and panicked about the thing. It is hard enough to build a house if you have never seen one being built– but if you have never lived in one, you have no chance! I recommend that early on in their careers that grad students spend a good, solid week in the library reading through the last 5 years of theses or dissertations in their field from their school, taking notes. You will get a great idea of who the common advisers are for various topics, the length, style, formatting, and rigor expected. Once you get the framework ingrained in your head, making our own becomes a much more transparent process.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I totally agree with you. Once we have everything clear in our mind then we can write anything we want, no matter its dissertation or essay or assignment. Actually most of the students don’t have this habit of book reading and in university life when you got reading books in library by your friends they always makes jokes at you.
      There are other reasons too but I explained as much as I can in one post. I will try posting solutions and how students can help themselves in writing tasks.

      Thanks for your time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My point of view different for both of you. in my opinion its the teacher responsibility to overcome these mistakes of students, specifically dissertation writing areas… Burkey as you said students are not aware with whats the dissertation is during their whole study period, i agree with it, but i think its the teacher fault.why a teacher not assign any small task to the students related to dissertations or thesis?before thesis or dissertation start their should be some small graded tasks for students related to dissertation writing e.g a proof reading of a dissertation ,a critical analysis report of a dissertation. i am sure in this way students must aware whats the dissertation is all about…don’t forget to tell me your opinion about my words its help me a lot to explore my points.


    • you are right too on your point. This should be the responsibility of teachers too. In all cases the work has to be done by students no matter teacher help them with pre thesis tasks or assignments or they have to study about thesis writing from books and libraries.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Chemical Engineering Dissertation Topics | Research Prospect Blog

  5. Pingback: The One Trick for Completing a Dissertation That No One Tells You | The Seven Minute Scientist

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