A Complete Guide To Writing A Dissertation In The Humanities

After months of in-depth research and gathering page after page of notes, it’s time to get down to business and start the actual process of writing a dissertation in the humanities. There are several great techniques you can find online, but you probably don’t have the time to sort through them and find the one that best applies to you. We’ve asked writing experts to provide us with the most important elements of writing a great dissertation in the humanities, so here’s everything you need to know:

Finding Your Writing Style

When you are doing your research you will have read several scholarly papers in academic journals. Take note of a particular published piece you find enjoyable and easy to read. Use this as a sample to help find and develop your writing style. Study how arguments are presented and the work’s overall structure. The use of headers and sub-headers is a great way of breaking up large documents like a dissertation. Study word choice, transition sentences, and punctuation.

Structuring Your Sentences

One of the biggest mistakes students make when writing a dissertation in the humanities is thinking that the longer or more complex a sentence is the more likely it will be thought of as a clever academic idea. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s important that each word conveys a precise meaning. Write clearly and directly. Give your most important ideas more weight by designating single sentences for each. You can elaborate on the details with subsequent sentences. Avoid using too many clauses; introduce the next idea with a new sentence.

Citing Your Resources

As you conducted your research you should have taken accurate notes with complete citation information. If you didn’t then you will have to go back to this information from your resources. Your dissertation should present your original ideas but your ideas need to be backed up by what others have said about your topic. Be sure to be critical in your evaluation of citations; you need to understand it perfectly and use it in the right context.

Creating a Great Bibliography

Finally, you should have a sufficient amount of references to add to your bibliography in order to demonstrate that you have conducted thorough research in your topic. Your references can be books, articles, online sources, research papers, etc. as long as they published by academic or government organizations. Check with your department to ensure you have the correct format for making this entries.


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