What will make it great

The difference between a good and a great dissertation is several important factors. Great papers leave the door open for at least another three or four to be done from the research you have started. You should be able to look back on your work and say that you have:

  • Left your mark
  • Fundamentally changed the way that things are currently done
  • Will be cited by others and continue to be an influence in your field
  • Give introduction to a new concept that others will be able to draw from
  • Provide strong empirical evidence that has been missing
  • Give a solution to a problem that has been plaguing your field of study for years
  • Used writing that others are able to understand

Most students are able to do their introduction and conclusion with no problem at all. Where they have difficulty is within the body of the paper. Here are some other guidelines that you will want to follow while composing the various sections of your paper:

Paragraph introduction

You should clearly state:

  • Exactly what the each chapter is about, and what issue or sub-problem is being addressed by the chapter,
  • How the information in this particular chapter fits in with the overall thesis,
  • For every paragraph you will need to make certain that there is a transitional sentence that logically leads the reader from one thought into the next. Without the use of a transitional sentence you run the risk of your audience being left with fragmented thoughts and unanswered questions.

Body "Meat"

  • Explain the issue or sub-problem in plenty of detail

  • Use the last portion of the paragraph to repeat all the highlights and tie each one together. In effect, a reader should be able to read your introduction, the last sentence of every paragraph, and your conclusion to have a working knowledge of your paper.


  • Get frequent feedback as you progress through your writing.
  • Make sure that you have given thanks to everyone who made a contribution, no matter how small.
  • Edit and proofread as you go along. This will make far less work for you at the end and will also ensure that you have caught every error possible.