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Thesis and Dissertation: Getting Started

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The resources in this section are designed to provide guidance for the first steps of the thesis or dissertation writing process. They offer tools to support the planning and managing of your project, including writing out your weekly schedule, outlining your goals, and organzing the various working elements of your project.

Weekly Goals Sheet (a.k.a. Life Map) [Word Doc]

This editable handout provides a place for you to fill in available time blocks on a weekly chart that will help you visualize the amount of time you have available to write. By using this chart, you will be able to work your writing goals into your schedule and put these goals into perspective with your day-to-day plans and responsibilities each week. This handout also contains a formula to help you determine the minimum number of pages you would need to write per day in order to complete your writing on time.

Setting a Production Schedule (Word Doc)

This editable handout can help you make sense of the various steps involved in the production of your thesis or dissertation and determine how long each step might take. A large part of this process involves (1) seeking out the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding specific document formatting requirements, (2) understanding research protocol limitations, (3) making note of deadlines, and (4) understanding your personal writing habits.

Creating a Roadmap (PDF)

Part of organizing your writing involves having a clear sense of how the different working parts relate to one another. Creating a roadmap for your dissertation early on can help you determine what the final document will include and how all the pieces are connected. This resource offers guidance on several approaches to creating a roadmap, including creating lists, maps, nut-shells, visuals, and different methods for outlining. It is important to remember that you can create more than one roadmap (or more than one type of roadmap) depending on how the different approaches discussed here meet your needs.

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Thesis Checker: Free Online Editor

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Why should you use an online thesis checker?

You’ve already done countless hours of research to write your thesis. You don’t want to spend countless hours correcting it, too.

You’ll sound professional

Wow your supervisors with how grammatically sound your writing is, how clear it is, and how well it flows.

You’ll save time

ProWritingAid’s thesis checker saves you hassle by acting as the first line of defense against pesky grammar issues.

You’ll become a better writer

Every time you run your thesis through ProWritingAid, you’ll see what your common mistakes are and how to fix them.

Professors and students love using ProWritingAid

Great tool for academic work. Easy to use and the reports and summary evaluation of your documents in several categories is very useful. So much more than spelling and grammar!

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If you’re an English teacher, you need to take a look at this tool—it reinforces what you’re teaching, highlights strengths and weaknesses, and makes it easier to personalize instruction.

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Only reason I managed to get an A in all my freshmen composition classes.

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Your first line of defense before submission

Save time on editing so you can focus on your research. ProWritingAid’s thesis checker helps you quickly and easily improve your grammar and style.

Academic writing made easier

Stop stressing over your first draft. Now you can improve any sentence in just a few clicks. Shorten sentences , correct informal language, expand your sentence variety, and add transitions.

Catch every easy-to-miss mistake

Typos and grammar errors can slip into anyone’s work. ProWritingAid’s AI-powered thesis checker can catch and fix even the trickiest issues so your ideas can shine.

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In-depth analysis whenever you need it

Sure, that email might only need a cursory check. But a 100-page thesis needs more comprehensive reviews. Use our structure analysis , complex paragraph alerts , and transitions report to improve your work.

Write clearly, concisely, and accurately

Strike the right balance between clarity and academic rigor with analytical language goals and power verb suggestions . You can ensure your work is professional without sacrificing readability.

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With ProWritingAid, you get more than just an app—you get the tools to become a better writer. Our in-app learning tool comes packed with helpful explanations for every suggestion.

Want more? Join our community or read our blog for advice from our resident experts on how to become a better writer.

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ProWritingAid’s Thesis Checker FAQs

1. how do i use the online thesis checker.

Sign up for free, upload your thesis, and run any of ProWritingAid’s 20+ reports. You’ll see a number of suggestions that you can either accept or reject.

2. Does the essay checker work with British English and American English?

The thesis checker works with British English, American English, Australian English, and Canadian English. Just choose the one you’d like to use, and ProWritingAid will tailor its suggestions to match.

3. Is using a thesis checker cheating?

Not at all. The thesis checker won’t ever write the thesis for you. It will only point out possible edits and advise you on changes you need to make. You have full autonomy and can decide which changes to accept.

4. Is there a student discount?

Students who have an eligible student email address can get 20% off ProWritingAid Premium. Email [email protected] from your student email address to access your discount.

5. Can ProWritingAid check my thesis for free?

Absolutely. ProWritingAid offers a free membership to everyone, always, and you can edit up to 500 words at a time. If you need to edit more work, you can upgrade to Premium at any time.

6. Does ProWritingAid have a plagiarism checker?

Yes! ProWritingAid’s plagiarism checker will check your work against over a billion web-pages, published works, and academic papers, so you can be sure of its originality. Find out more about pricing for plagiarism checks here .

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Thesis Statement Generator: Free & Precise

Looking for a thesis statement generator? The free online tool we offer will make a thesis in no time! Our thesis sentence generator will suit argumentative, informative, and comparative essays. All you need to do is look at the examples and add the necessary information.

☑️ How to Use the Thesis Generator?

  • 📝 Essay Thesis
  • ✍️ Research Paper Thesis
  • 📜 Dissertation Thesis
  • 🙊 Thesis For a Speech

💡 Make a Thesis with Our Tips

🏆 10 best thesis generators, ⭐ thesis statement maker: the benefits, 🔗 references, 🔧 thesis generator: what is it.

Sometimes it can be challenging to come up with a topic, research question, or a thesis statement for your paper. An excellent solution is to use online topic makers, problem statement generators, and thesis topic generators, such as ours! Our free online generator will help you create the perfect thesis statement! Follow the steps below to get thesis statements relating to your topic:

  • Introduce your topic. It can also be the title of your paper (e.g., the benefits of online education).
  • State the main idea about this topic. It is the specific point of view that you will discuss in your paper (e.g., online learning is beneficial)
  • Make an argument supporting your point of view. It must be a strong and valid argument. Don't claim something that you can't back with facts (e.g., online learning is flexible)
  • Make another argument supporting your point of view (e.g., online learning is affordable).
  • Make an argument against your point of view. Make sure you don't just dismiss it, but acknowledge its validity (e.g., online learning is not always taken seriously)
  • Decide on the topic of your paper.
  • Think about the main idea that you will express in your paper. It will also be the conclusion.
  • Choose arguments that can support your point of view. Also, think of at least one counterargument. It will help you discuss your topic better.
  • Enter this information into respective fields. Use short sentences. Do not use punctuation or capital letters.
  • Click on the "Generate Thesis" button to get samples.
  • Choose the sample you like best!

📍 Why Make a Thesis Statement?

You might have already heard about theses and thesis statements. Well, the main difference is: a thesis is the key point or argument of your assignment. And the thesis statement is this point expressed in one sentence.

Here’s one crucial thing you should always keep in mind when you write this sentence: it should meet the professor’s requirements.

There are two types of thesis statements:

  • Direct. It states the exact reasons for your paper. For example, "I do not support vegan lifestyle because animals do not have feelings, this lifestyle is too expensive, and a vegan diet is not healthy." Such a thesis sentence would tell the reader what each body paragraph or section is going to be about.
  • Indirect. Unlike the direct thesis statement, it does not state clear arguments. Here’s the sample: "I do not support vegan lifestyle for three reasons." The fact “I do not support vegan lifestyle” is the topic, and "three reasons" represent an indirect thesis statement. The assignment will contain these three reasons.

Most kinds of academic papers require a thesis statement, which can also be considered as your answer to the research question.

Now that you've learned the basics let's see what can help you to create an excellent thesis statement for anything: from history research to a critique paper!

📝 Essay Thesis Statement

You will probably write many essays as a high school or college student. Writing an essay is quite easy: it doesn't require any serious research on your part, and the resulting text is usually short. That's why you choose a narrow thesis statement that you can talk about in 4-5 paragraphs.

Your choice of a thesis statement depends on what type of essay you're writing. Here are some examples:

In an expository essay , you explain the topic logically, using your analytical skills. This type of essay relies only on facts, without any reference to the writer's personal opinion. The topic statement is the most critical part of an expository essay. It should be short and manageable so that you can describe it in just a few paragraphs. As you can see from the definition, it also should be based on facts and not on the writer's position. This category includes compare and contrast essays, definition essays , and others:

e.g., While online education is not always taken seriously, it is beneficial because of its flexibility and affordability.

On the contrary, argumentative essays are centered on the writer's personal opinion. This type of essay is also called persuasive because your aim is to persuade people that your idea is right. The thesis statement should reflect this:

e.g., Vegan lifestyle should not be promoted because it's expensive and not healthy.

Note: it's better not to use the word "I," because it may appear as too subjective. Remember: a strong thesis statement means an excellent essay!

✍️ Research Paper Thesis Statement

Unlike essays, research papers require more information, and they are lengthier than essays. That's why a research paper thesis statement should be slightly broader. This way, you make sure that you have a lot to discuss and can demonstrate your more profound knowledge on the topic.

Research paper thesis statements can be simple or more complex, depending on the purpose of your paper. Simple thesis statements can be formulated with the help of the outlines:

Something is true because of these reasons .

The US Constitution is not outdated because it's an integral part of the country's identity.

Despite these counterarguments , something is true.

e.g., Despite not being outdated, the US Constitution needs many amendments to keep up with the changing times.

You can make more complex thesis statements by combining several arguments:

e.g., The US Constitution is not outdated, because it's a part of the country's identity; still, some amendments need to be made.

Remember: it is essential to stay on topic! Avoid including unnecessary and random words into your statement. Our online thesis creator can help you in writing a statement directly connected with your theme.

Our thesis statement generator can help writing a thesis for your research. Create a short, catchy thesis statement, and you are one step closer to completing a perfect research paper!

📜 Dissertation Thesis Statement

Writing a master's thesis or a Ph.D. dissertation is not the same as writing a simple research paper. These types of academic papers are very lengthy. They require extensive analysis of information, as well as your ideas and original research.

Besides, you only have limited time for writing a dissertation, so you'll have to work on it systematically.

That's why it's better to come up with a thesis statement as early as possible . It will help you always stay on topic and not to waste your time on irrelevant information.

A dissertation can have an even broader thesis statement because of how lengthy your work should be. Make sure it's something you can study extensively and from different points of view:

e.g., The use of memory techniques at school can boost children's abilities and revolutionize modern teaching.

Don't forget to include a statement showing why your dissertation is interesting and relevant!

🙊 Thesis Statement For a Speech

Similarly, the thesis statement for a speech should be catchy and exciting . If you include it in the introduction, you will provide your audience with a sense of direction and make it easier to concentrate. The audience will know what to expect of your speech, and they will pay more attention.

Speech, unlike a research paper, includes only the most relevant information . If your speech is based on a paper, use your thesis statement to decide what to leave out. Remember that everything you say should be connected to your thesis statement! This way, you'll make your speech consistent, informative, and engaging.

Another useful tip is to rehearse your speech several times before deciding that it's finished. You may need to make some corrections or even rephrase the thesis statement. Take your time and make sure you do your best!

Now, we will concentrate on your thesis writing. We’ve prepared six tips that would help you to master your thesis statement regardless of the paper type you were assigned to:

  • Formulate your topic. Here’s the secret: the good topic makes half of the success when you write a paper. It defines your research area, the degree of your involvement, and, accordingly, how good will the result be at the end. So what is the topic of an essay? Basically, it’s a phrase that defines the subject of your assignment. Don’t make it too broad or too specific.
  • Determine the key idea. It will help you get an understanding of your essay subject. Think about things you are trying to state or prove. For example, you may write down one main idea; consider a specific point of view that you’re going to research; state some facts and reasons you will use in your assignment, or express your opinion about the issue.
  • Choose the central argument to support your thesis. Make a list of arguments you would use in your essay. This simple task has at least two benefits. First, you will get a clear understanding on what you’re going to write. It will wipe out the writer’s block. Second, gathering arguments for the topic will help you create an outline for your assignment.
  • Generate other arguments to support the thesis. Free thesis generators suggest you proceed with a few arguments that support your topic idea. Don’t forget to prepare some logical evidence!
  • Come up with a counterargument to the main idea. You might find this exercise a bit hard, but still, if you're dreaming of writing an excellent paper, think of another side of the argument. To complete this task, you should conduct preliminary research to find another standpoint and evidence behind it.
  • Provide your thesis statement as early as possible in your paper. If you're writing a short paper, put your thesis in the introductory paragraph. For more extended essays, it is acceptable to write it in the second paragraph. And avoid phrases like, "The point of my essay is…"
  • Make your thesis statement specific. Remember to keep it short, clear, and specific. Check if there are two broad statements. If so, think about settling on one single idea and then proceed with further development. Avoid making it too broad. Your paper won’t be successful if you write three pages on things that do not disclose the topic and are too generic.

Original thesis:

There are serious objections to abortions.

Revised thesis:

Because of the high risk of breast cancer or subsequent childbearing, there should be broadly implemented the informed consent practice that certifies that women are advised of such risks prior to having an abortion.

When writing your thesis, you use words that your audience will understand:

  • Avoid technical language unless you’re writing a technical report.
  • Forget about jargon.
  • Avoid vague words: “exciting,” “interesting,” “usual,” “difficult,” etc.
  • Avoid simply announcing the topic. Share your specific “angle” and show why your point on the issue matter.
  • Do not make judgments that oversimplify complex topics.
  • If you use judgment call in your thesis, don’t forget to specify and justify your reasoning.
  • Don't just report facts. Instead, share your personal thoughts and ideas on the issue.
  • Explain why your point matters. When you’re writing a thesis, imagine that your readers ask you a simple question: “So what?” Instead of writing something general, like "There are a lot of pros and cons of behaviorism", tell your readers why you think the behaviorism theory is better than cognitivist theory.
  • Avoid quotes in your thesis statement. Instead of citing someone, use your own words in the thesis. It will help you to grab the reader's attention and gain credibility. And the last advice: change your thesis as you write the essay. Revise it as your paper develops to get the perfect statement. Now it's time to apply this knowledge and create your own thesis! We believe this advice and tools will be useful in your essay writing!

To ease your writing, we prepared an IvyPanda thesis statement generators. Check the list below:

1. Thesis Statement Generator

Thesis Statement Generator is a simple online tool which will guide you through the thesis statement creation. To get your thesis, you will have to provide the following information: the topic, your personal opinion, the qualification, and reason sentences. Then press the button “My Thesis” to see the final draft, edit it and print or save it on your computer.

Also, you can make an outline for your future paper within a couple of clicks. The tool works with any type of paper.

2. Grammarly AI Thesis Statement Generator

Grammarly is known for its superb grammar-checking software, but it has recently added various AI-powered tools. An AI Thesis Statement Generator is one of them. To use this tool, specify your audience and briefly describe your paper type and topic. After that, wait a few seconds, and Grammarly will provide three thesis statement options.

However, as with any AI writing tool, you should be critical of the information they provide. Therefore, we recommend you check the generated thesis statements for inaccuracies before using them in your writing.

3. HelpfulPapers Thesis Statement Checker

HelpfulPapers Thesis Statement Checker is another free service that requires no registration and provides unlimited attempts for thesis creation. To create a thesis statement, you should put a topic, your main conclusion about it, two arguments, and a counterargument. Then, click the button “Make a thesis statement.” You will get a few thesis examples to choose from.

On the page, you will also find a comprehensive guide on thesis statement writing with good and bad samples. This website doesn’t allow its users to create an outline draft. However, the HelpfulPapers blog contains lots of useful articles on writing.

4. Thesis Builder

Thesis Builder is a service by Tom March, which is available for students since 1995. This ad-free tool allows you to generate a persuasive thesis and create your essay outline. This web app is completely free, so fill in the boxes and write your assignment. You can print a result or send it as email.

5. Thesis Statement Creator

The next tool in our list is Thesis Statement Creator. The service is ad-free and offers unlimited attempts to generate thesis statement. It works with any type of paper and requires no registration. Users can find a short guide and thesis statement prompts. The app allows printing the result.

6. UAGC Thesis Generator

The University of Arizona Global Campus has designed a convenient tool for crafting compelling argumentative thesis statements. Just follow the prompts on the website to fill in all the boxes and get a strong and focused thesis.

If you want to learn more about developing thesis statements, the university invites you to follow the link to their thesis writing guide. From there, you’ll learn how to craft not only argumentative thesis statements but also analytical and expository ones.

7. HIX.AI Thesis Statement Generator

HIX.AI is an AI-powered thesis statement generator. To use the tool, enter your topic, specify the main idea and supporting evidence, and add a counterargument. You can also choose your audience, tone of voice, and language. Then, click the button and check your thesis.

HIX.AI offers a free plan: you can generate a maximum of 1,000 words per week without charge. Although not quite a lot, it can be enough to craft 20-25 thesis statements a week. So, you are highly likely to get the one that suits you.

8. Editpad Thesis Statement Generator

Editpad Thesis Statement Generator is another AI-powered tool for crafting thesis statements. Yet, it has a much simpler interface: you only have to enter your topic and click the button to get your thesis statement.

If you’re looking for a quick, unsophisticated tool or haven’t identified your main point, evidence, and counterargument yet, the Editpad thesis generator can be just what you need. However, if you want a more customizable option, you’d better choose something different from our list.

9. Thesis Statement Maker

Thesis Statement Maker is similar to the previous tool. The page contains hints on thesis writing, four fields to fill and get a thesis, and works with any type of paper. As a bonus, you will find a list of thesis statements on various topics.

The key drawback is the same too: lots of ads and no paper outline option.

10. Thesis Generator | SUNY Empire State College

The truly academic tool in our list: SUNY Empire State College Thesis Generator. Students can find a lot of useful information on thesis writing. To generate summary, choose the type of paper you are going to write, fill the form and get your thesis. The website is ad-free and provides a short guide on most common types of thesis.

Among its drawbacks are only three supported types of thesis statements and no outline generation.

  • Argumentative Essays: Purdue OWL
  • Developing A Thesis: Harvard College Writing Center
  • 5 Types of Thesis Statements: University of Guelph
  • The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Thesis Statement: Grammarly
  • Expository Essays: Purdue OWL
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement: Indiana University Bloomington
  • Thesis Statements: UNC Writing Center
  • Thesis Statements: Texas A&M University Writing Center
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If you need help to write a thesis for your paper, this page will give you plenty of resources to do that. You’ll find out about the essentials of thesis statement. There are also tips on how to write the statement properly. But most importantly, this page contains reviews and links to online thesis generators.

Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore needs your careful analysis of the evidence to understand how you arrived at this claim. You arrive at your thesis by examining and analyzing the evidence available to you, which might be text or other types of source material.

A thesis will generally respond to an analytical question or pose a solution to a problem that you have framed for your readers (and for yourself). When you frame that question or problem for your readers, you are telling them what is at stake in your argument—why your question matters and why they should care about the answer . If you can explain to your readers why a question or problem is worth addressing, then they will understand why it’s worth reading an essay that develops your thesis—and you will understand why it’s worth writing that essay.

A strong thesis will be arguable rather than descriptive , and it will be the right scope for the essay you are writing. If your thesis is descriptive, then you will not need to convince your readers of anything—you will be naming or summarizing something your readers can already see for themselves. If your thesis is too narrow, you won’t be able to explore your topic in enough depth to say something interesting about it. If your thesis is too broad, you may not be able to support it with evidence from the available sources.

When you are writing an essay for a course assignment, you should make sure you understand what type of claim you are being asked to make. Many of your assignments will be asking you to make analytical claims , which are based on interpretation of facts, data, or sources.

Some of your assignments may ask you to make normative claims. Normative claims are claims of value or evaluation rather than fact—claims about how things should be rather than how they are. A normative claim makes the case for the importance of something, the action that should be taken, or the way the world should be. When you are asked to write a policy memo, a proposal, or an essay based on your own opinion, you will be making normative claims.

Here are some examples of possible thesis statements for a student's analysis of the article “The Case Against Perfection” by Professor Michael Sandel.  

Descriptive thesis (not arguable) 

While Sandel argues that pursuing perfection through genetic engineering would decrease our sense of humility, he claims that the sense of solidarity we would lose is also important.

This thesis summarizes several points in Sandel’s argument, but it does not make a claim about how we should understand his argument. A reader who read Sandel’s argument would not also need to read an essay based on this descriptive thesis.  

Broad thesis (arguable, but difficult to support with evidence) 

Michael Sandel’s arguments about genetic engineering do not take into consideration all the relevant issues.

This is an arguable claim because it would be possible to argue against it by saying that Michael Sandel’s arguments do take all of the relevant issues into consideration. But the claim is too broad. Because the thesis does not specify which “issues” it is focused on—or why it matters if they are considered—readers won’t know what the rest of the essay will argue, and the writer won’t know what to focus on. If there is a particular issue that Sandel does not address, then a more specific version of the thesis would include that issue—hand an explanation of why it is important.  

Arguable thesis with analytical claim 

While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake” (54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well” (51) is less convincing.

This is an arguable analytical claim. To argue for this claim, the essay writer will need to show how evidence from the article itself points to this interpretation. It’s also a reasonable scope for a thesis because it can be supported with evidence available in the text and is neither too broad nor too narrow.  

Arguable thesis with normative claim 

Given Sandel’s argument against genetic enhancement, we should not allow parents to decide on using Human Growth Hormone for their children.

This thesis tells us what we should do about a particular issue discussed in Sandel’s article, but it does not tell us how we should understand Sandel’s argument.  

Questions to ask about your thesis 

  • Is the thesis truly arguable? Does it speak to a genuine dilemma in the source, or would most readers automatically agree with it?  
  • Is the thesis too obvious? Again, would most or all readers agree with it without needing to see your argument?  
  • Is the thesis complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of argument?  
  • Is the thesis supportable with evidence from the text rather than with generalizations or outside research?  
  • Would anyone want to read a paper in which this thesis was developed? That is, can you explain what this paper is adding to our understanding of a problem, question, or topic?
  • picture_as_pdf Thesis

Grad Coach

7 Essential Dissertation Writing Apps & Tools

By: David Phair (PhD) & Kerryn Warren (PhD) | October 2019 (Updated March 2022)

Completing your dissertation or thesis requires a hearty investment of time, effort and hard work. There’s no shortcut on the road to research success, but as with anything, there are ways to optimize the process and work smarter.

In this post, we’ll share with you a handful of apps, software and services that will make your life a little easier throughout the research process.

Overview: Essential Thesis Writing App s

  • Grammarly (language editing)
  • Evernote (note taking & productivity)
  • Otter (dictation/transcription)
  • Dropbox (cloud storage)
  • Canva (graphic design)
  • Mendeley (reference management)
  • Freemind (mind mapping)
  • Bonus – MOOCs (learning & development)

#1: Grammarly Premium

Let’s face it – the spell checker in Microsoft Word just plain sucks. False positives and negatives abound, missed errors, ridiculous suggestions – you’re often better off spell checking yourself. Thankfully, you don’t need to do that, thanks to Grammarly .

Grammarly app for proofreading your dissertation on the fly

Grammarly is  more than just a spelling and grammar checker – it picks up far more complex issues such as:

  • Inconsistent writing style and unclear sentence structure
  • Overuse of specific works and ineffective vocabulary
  • Impolite, insensitive or non-inclusive language
  • Inappropriate tone or formality level

Simply put, Grammarly is the closest thing you’ll get to having a real-time editor and proofreader looking at your work. Of course, it doesn’t replace human-based editing , but its ideal for cleaning up your early drafts prior to submitting them to your supervisor/advisor for feedback. Grammarly integrates directly into Word, Google Docs and Chrome, so it’s extremely versatile.

Grammarly offers both a free and premium version. For dissertation writing purposes, we recommend the premium version as it includes a plagiarism checker , which is very handy. 

#2: Evernote & Penultimate

No doubt, you’ll be taking an endless stream of notes throughout the research process. Some will be written notes, some will be photos, some might even be audio recordings. You’ll need a way to stay on top of it all and keep things organized. Enter Evernote .

Evernote app for taking notes during your thesis

Evernote is the ultimate note-taking app, as it allows you to take notes in various formats, including text (typed and handwritten), photos (snap that workshop slide) and audio (record that interview). You can also attach files of any format (for example, an Excel data set), so absolutely everything stays in one place. The text in any note is fully searchable, and all data is synchronized across your phone, laptop, desktop and tablet.

Writing up a good dissertation or thesis requires a lot of, well, writing. Spending hours upon hours hunched over a keyboard can be really draining (and potentially physically harmful). Imagine you could just speak instead of type. Well, now you can, thanks to Otter.ai

Otter

Otter is an app that allows you to simply speak into your smartphone or tablet and it converts that audio into text format . This means you can get your thinking on to paper faster than you usually would and minimize the risk of losing your train of thought. It’s also great for getting work done while you’re sitting in traffic, and it can double as a initial transcribing aid for your interviews (although you should always double-check/edit these transcriptions manually).  

The number of times we’ve seen students lose hours, days or even weeks’ worth of hard work (and even miss the submission deadline) due to corrupted flash drives or hard drives, coffee-soaked laptops, or stolen computers is truly saddening. If you’re not using cloud storage to save your work, you’re running a major risk.

Cloud storage apps for your dissertation backups

If you take only ONE thing from this post , let it be this point. Go sign up for any of the following cloud services (most offer a free version) and save your work there:

  • Google Drive
  • iCloud Drive

Not only will this ensure your work is always safely stored (remember to hit the Save button, though!), it will make working on multiple devices easier, as your files will be automatically synchronized. No need to have multiple versions between your desktop, laptop, tablet, etc. Everything stays in one place. Safe, secure, happy files.

Need a helping hand?

thesis help online free

Even the most well-written dissertation or thesis will suffer if the visuals cause retina damage to the reader’s eyes. Sadly, badly designed conceptual frameworks and document visuals are all too common in academic work. This needn’t be the case, thanks to Canva .

Canva

Canva is an intuitive, easy to use, fully web-based graphic design service that lets anyone design high-quality graphics . And yes, we mean anyone . You don’t need to have a background in graphic design or visual arts to make good looking graphics with Canva. Just drag and drop . Canva also offers a wide variety of pre-made templates, so it couldn’t be easier to create visuals for your dissertation or thesis.

6: Mendeley

Correctly formatted citations and references are essential to a polished dissertation or thesis. Even the highest quality piece of research will lose credibility (and marks) if the referencing is not on point. It’s such a shame to see students lose marks on this , as its such an easy thing to get right with reference management software like Mendeley .

Mendeley is a free reference management software that takes care of all your citations and references in Word. Simply load up your journal articles in Mendeley and then just drop in your citations as you write up in Word. Mendeley then automatically builds your reference list according to whichever format you choose (e.g. Harvard, APA , etc). Sure, there are many similar pieces of software out there, but personally I find Mendeley to be the most feature-rich. See the video above for a taste of the functionality.

7: Freemind

When you’re undertaking your research, especially your literature review , you’re going to be dealing with a wide-ranging number of theories, models and frameworks, and it can be difficult to see the big picture and connect all the dots. Mind mapping is a highly effective way to visualize (and connect) all the information, but doing it on paper is so old fashioned. Enter Freemind .

Freemind app

8: Udemy & Coursera

Okay, so this is not an app or piece of software, but we couldn’t resist including it…

While you’re undertaking your dissertation, chances are that you’re going to need to learn about some niche topic very quickly in order to complete some part of your research. For example, how to use SPSS or NVivo analysis software, how to develop statistically sound survey scales , how to undertake structured interviews, and so on. However, these sorts of skills are typically not included in the university syllabus and will have a major impact on the quality of your research. Enter Udemy and Coursera .

Udemy

Udemy and Coursera both provide a wide-ranging variety of super-short, highly digestible online courses.  These courses are a great way to pick up specific skills (especially software skills) in a very short amount of time (many courses are less than 10 hours total).

Recap: Dissertation Apps

And there you have it – 8 apps, software and services that will undoubtedly make your life easier come dissertation time.

Have a suggestion?  We’d love to hear your thoughts. Simply leave a comment below and we’ll consider adding your suggested app to the list.

thesis help online free

Psst… there’s more (for free)

This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project. 

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Dissertation and thesis writing services

13 Comments

Gale

It seems some of the apps mentioned are not android capable. It would be nice if you mentioned items that everyone could use.

Derek Jansen

Thanks for the feedback, Gale!

Maggie

Yet to explore some of your recommended apps. I am glad to commend on one app that I have started using, Mendeley. When it comes to referencing it really helps a lot.

Great to hear that, Maggie 🙂

Haseena Akhtar

I have got Mendeley and it is fantastic. I have equally downloaded Freemind but I am yet to really understand how to navigate through it.

Based on your YouTube lessons,my literature review and the entire research has been simplified and I am enjoying the flow now,more than ever before.

Thank you so much for your recommendations and guide.It’s working a great deal for me.

Remain blessed!

mikael badgett

Thank you for all the amazing help and tutorials. I am in the dissertation research proposal stage having already defended the qualifying paper. I am going to implement some of your advice as I revise chapters 1 & 2 and expand chapter 3 for my research proposal. My question is about the writing– or specifically which software would you recommend. I know MS Word can get glitchy with larger documents. Do the “reference” apps you recommend work with other options such as LaTeX? I understand that for some programs the citations won’t be integrated or automated such as cite while you write etc.. I have a paid version of endnote, and free versions of mendeley and zotero. I have really only used endnote with any fidelity but I’m willing to adapt. What would you advise at this point?

Derek Jansen

Thanks for your comment and for the kind words – glad to hear that the info is useful.

Generally, Word works reasonably well for most research projects and is our first recommendation. As long as one keeps the document clean (i.e. doesn’t paste in loads of different styles, ultra high-res images, etc), it works fine. But I understand that it’s not perfect for absolutely huge projects.

Regarding referencing with Latex, this article covers how to use Mendeley with Latex – https://blog.mendeley.com/2011/10/25/howto-use-mendeley-to-create-citations-using-latex-and-bibtex/ . Perhaps it will be useful. I hesitate to tell you to adopt software X or Y, or to move from Endnote, as each software has its strengths and weaknesses, and performs better in certain contexts. I’m not familiar with your context, so it’s not possible for me to advise responsibly. Mendeley works well for the vast majority of our students, but if there’s a very specific bit of functionality that draws you to Endnote, then it may be best to stick with it. My generic advice would be to give Mendeley a try with some sample references and see if it has the functionality you need.

I hope this helps! Best of luck with your research 🙂

Joyce

Thank you for your amazing articles and tips. I have MAC laptop, so would Zotero be as good as Mendeley? Thank you

Abdelhamid Jebbouri

Derek would you share with me your email please, I need to talk to you urgently.

Dr Peter Nemaenzhe,PhD

I need a free Turnitin tool for checking plagiarism as for the tools above

Veronica Y. Wallace

I have been going crazy trying to keep my work polished and thesis or dissertation friendly. My mind said there had to be a better way to do literature reviews. Thank God for these applications. Look out world I am on my way.

Sebisibe Sibere Wolde

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Best online thesis statement creator 
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What is the ideal structure of a thesis statement?

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Top 7 Free Online Tools for PhD Thesis Writing

Top Free Online Tools for PhD Thesis Writing

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Thesis Tools

Table of contents

Free online tools for phd thesis, 1. grammarly, 2. word-counter.io, 3. quillbot’s citation generator, 5. text readability calculator tool, 6. plagiarism checker free online tool for phd thesis, 7. similarly checker.

Writing a Ph.D. thesis? Don’t know how to write a Ph.D. thesis? Do not fret! Here are 7 free online tools to help you with your PhD thesis writing. If you are a research scholar currently dealing with a tough Ph.D. thesis, then you have come to the right place. In this article, iLovePhD has compiled a list of the top 7 free online tools to streamline your PhD thesis work.

  • Some scholars may find it difficult to decide which tool to use, especially considering the abundance of available online alternatives and their capability to perform various tasks.
  • Each online tool has its own advantages and limitations.
  • Some tools are completely free, while others are free trials of software that cost money.
  • Some only carry out the bare minimum of tasks, while others possess highly unique skills that enable them to do much more with the data.
  • Grammarly is a free online grammar and text editing tool that can greatly help users enhance and improve their writing.
  • Along with assisting you with maintaining your word count, Grammarly can help you improve your writing abilities and grammar.
  • The “My Grammarly” section on the homepage of the tool allows the user to create or upload a document.
  • Grammarly offers numerous alternatives for you to modify your text while also helping you save time and effort. 
  • When it comes to actual text editing and counting, the word count is the go-to free online tool. 
  • Using an online word counter tool is a straightforward solution for students and teachers. 

Word Counter

  • The word counter is a straightforward and user-friendly online tool that displays the appropriate word count for the text entered into the writing area. 
  • The free online word counter tool can access various text statistics that greatly help the user, including word density and other crucial data like all words, words with and without spaces, words, sentences, pages, etc.
  • It assists in avoiding repetition in one word and ensures that your words are consistent with one another.
  • The number of rewrites and cuts may also be decreased, thus saving time and effort.
  • Quillbot’s Citation Generator is a fast, reliable way to make citations for your essays, presentations, and other projects.
  • We can create APA, MLA, and Chicago-style full and in-text citations in a snap. 
  • Quillbot is one of the top writing tools on the internet that serves the best of multiple integrated tools to the user. 
  • Any user can easily use the free citation generator of Quill Bot to automatically and even manually create citations within just a few seconds, with hundreds of different citation styles to choose from.  

Website link: Quillbot’s Citation Generator

quillbot

  • Mindmup is a limited free online mind map creator tool designed by Sauf Pompiers Ltd that enables to the creation of graphic, digital mind maps. 
  • We can create, collaborate, and share mind maps in the cloud based on an open source mind map editor, with a simple and open data format.” 

mind map

  • This free online tool can easily assess your text’s comprehensibility and readability, which are the most important factors to consider while writing any type of content. 

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  • A plagiarism checker tool is an online tool that helps any user performs a deep web search to see if the written content matches any other similar content on the web. 
  • With a plagiarism checker at your disposal, you can now confirm the accuracy of the data you are about to publish.
  • Any content that is to be published, it must be cross-checked with the plagiarism checker to see if it is the original content. 
  • Finally, the similarity checker can help you determine whether the current piece of writing is a repeat of earlier work.
  • The Similarity Checker can compare two different types of content side by side to see if they match in any way. 
  • It is done so you can always create fresh content and avoid repeatedly writing the same type of text.
  • The similarity checker examines every section of the provided document and identifies and highlights any content that matches in seconds. 
  • Using this tool, you can quickly check for repetition by comparing current assignments with similar ones and other relevant work. 

As it is said before, getting a Ph.D. degree is not an easy one. So, to make it convenient and easy for scholars, iLovePhD has compiled a list of 7 free online tools that can greatly reduce the stress of writing a Ph.D. thesis. 

Using the right tools can improve your productivity, enhance your content, and overcome any challenges you may face.

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Thesis Apps: Best Applications & Software for Graduate Students

The process of writing a thesis requires a lot of time and patience. Custom-writing.org experts are willing to make this task easier for you. We’ve compiled a list of thesis writing apps and software. These tools will help you make plans and self-organize. There are also free apps to improve your productivity, help you carry out the research, boost your vocabulary, and check your work for mistakes.

Our specialists will write a custom essay specially for you!

With the thesis apps on this list, you won’t ever have to wonder how to write a dissertation because you’ll know the answer – it’s easy!

  • 📑 Word Processors
  • ⏰ Time Managers
  • 🚀 Productivity Apps
  • 🎓 Dictionaries
  • 🔬 Research Tools
  • 🔤 Grammar Checkers

1. 📑 Word Processors and Note-Taking Apps

This should be a no-brainer, but writing is one of the essential parts of creating a thesis. So it’s evident that you need to have the best thesis apps to deal with this task effectively.

Here are some apps that you might want to check out.

  • Google docs . This is probably the first app that comes to mind when you think of alternative free word processors. It has all the functionality and capabilities you’ll need to write and format your thesis. It also allows users to work together on the same document in real-time. It’s available for Android, iOS, or as a web app.
  • WPS Office . This multi-platform solution includes not only a word processor. It’s also a full-fledged office suite that allows you to create and work with spreadsheets, presentations, and PDF documents. What else could you need to create a perfect thesis?
  • Office Online . This one is for those who want to get the most out of Microsoft Office for free. This one is as good as it can get — an online version of Office. Enough said.
  • Jarte . This is a free word processor based on the WordPad engine. It has all the necessary functions and provides a comfortable way to work with text—and it’s free. This app also can export your documents to PDF and HTML files.
  • Evernote , Google Keep , and OneNote . The reason why we put these three together? They’re all note-taking apps. Do we know that there are many other similar apps too? Yes, we do. But there’s a reason why these three are so popular. They all offer the same thing – a way to keep all your notes in one place. The difference between them is how it’s all organized, along with some extra features. All of these thesis writing apps are free, too.

2. ⏰ Time-Managing Thesis Apps

With all the steps you need to complete to write a good thesis, it’s not hard to get lost. You can quickly get stuck in one place without knowing what to do and end up making no progress at all.

Or you can use one of the dissertation apps in this category to build a plan and organize your workflow!

Just in 1 hour! We will write you a plagiarism-free paper in hardly more than 1 hour

  • Pocket . Pocket brings order to the chaos of posts and articles you want to read or use to write your thesis. You can easily save them all in one place and look through them later. Then you can decide whether or not you’ll need a particular piece of information.
  • Todoist . This one is a free time manager (though it also has paid plans with extra features). With this app, you can set deadlines for each stage of your thesis creation process, and it will remind you of them beforehand. This app will help you stay on track of what plans are waiting for you next.
  • Wunderlist . This to-do list app indeed does wonders. It lets you build short- and long-term plans and keep them all in order. You can set notifications to stay on track and always be sure that you’re performing according to your schedule, whether it’s a particular stage of your thesis writing or some other assignment.

3. 🚀 Thesis Apps to Improve Productivity

We all have days when things don’t work, and everything is a distraction. So how can you deal with this all-too-common problem?

There’s a good selection of productivity apps that can help you out. With one of these, you’ll finish writing your thesis in no time.

  • Any.do . This one is a task manager that’ll help you stay on track of whatever your current tasks are. It will help you build a habit of reviewing your tasks and make sure that you know which assignments you need to pay the most attention to at the moment. With this app, you won’t miss deadlines or find yourself wondering what to do next.
  • IFTTT . This tool allows you to create short automation sequences without any coding skills. It will remember every little thing that you tend to forget. On the one hand, you’ll get those things done; on the other—you won’t get distracted by those tasks and will be able to concentrate on what’s important right now. The app supports plenty of services and is easy to use.
  • RescueTime . This app will track the time you spend completing tasks. It will also report all the websites you visit, the apps you use, and breaks you take during the day. By doing so, it helps you create greater self-awareness. As a result, you’ll immediately see whether something is going wrong and keeping you from following your plan.
  • StayFocusd . This Chrome extension helps you stay focused on your current task (which, of course, explains its name). It will block all those distracting sites that tend to get in your way while you’re working. You can set a specific time for blocking or choosing a time limit for a certain time during the day.
  • Write or Die . This one is a web-based tool. It is also available for iOS, with an Android version coming soon. The tool helps you eliminate writer’s block. Within the app, you can set a specific period and the word count you need to reach within this time. It also features stimuli and rewarding images.

4. 🎓 Vocabulary Boosters and Dictionaries

At this stage, dictionaries and vocabulary boosters come into play.

  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary . This is one of the most well-known dictionaries out there. Apart from listing definitions and offering a thesaurus, it also features word games. These word games aim to increase your vocabulary, which will come in handy when writing a thesis. Apart from having a web-based version, there are also apps available for Android and iOS.
  • Cambridge Dictionary . This is another famous dictionary listing almost every aspect and sphere imaginable. In long-term perspective, it’s even more useful than the best thesis statement generator , as it can potentially provide you with knowledge you’ll keep forever. All of the resources are available from the site, widget, or official mobile apps. A wide selection of available dictionaries and thesauruses will surely meet all of your writing needs.
  • The Free Dictionary . There are many things to discover under this simple name. This web service provides dictionaries on a variety of topics. It also features a thesaurus, idioms, acronyms, a grammar book, and encyclopedia articles. What else can you ask for?

5. 🔬 Tools for Conducting Research

Another essential part of writing a thesis is research. Without properly researched sources and data , everything that’s written in your thesis will be highly questionable.

To avoid poorly supported arguments , and to be able to conduct outstanding research, consider using one of the following tools.

Receive a plagiarism-free paper tailored to your instructions. Cut 20% off your first order!

  • Mendeley . Once you try this tool, you won’t believe that you ever researched without it. It will help you complete any type of research, come up with a topic for your paper, organize your literature review , make annotations, and manage your research materials. This multi-platform tool also allows syncing across all your devices.
  • Mindmup , Bubbl.us . Both of these apps are great tools for mind mapping. They’ll help you get all of your thoughts and ideas in order. This organization will significantly help your research, as everything will be neatly organized and accessible. Both of these tools have free plans and web versions. They only differ with their extra features.
  • WolframAlpha . This is a go-to source of expert knowledge on a wide variety of disciplines. This answer engine is also available on mobile platforms. Instead of just giving a list of documents or web pages that may or may not answer your question, it comes up with results from a curated knowledge base in response to your query.

6. 🔤 Grammar Checkers

Everyone makes mistakes. But it’s not a bad idea to make sure that there’s none in your thesis. The apps described below can help you with that.

  • Hemingway Editor . This tool aims to improve your writing style and make it as straightforward as possible. It makes colored highlights to indicate long or very complicated sentences. As a result, you get a clean piece of content that’s understandable and easy to digest.
  • Ginger . This multi-platform solution helps you find and correct all types of grammar mistakes. It also makes it easier to edit text, which improves your overall productivity, as you’ll spend less time correcting errors.
  • Grammarly . This tool has gained so much popularity that it probably doesn’t even require an introduction. It finds and corrects mistakes that no word processor can spot. The tool has a browser extension, offline software, and a premium version with extra features.

Hopefully, you’ll get some thesis help by using these free tools. With these apps at your disposal, you’ll be able to craft a fantastic thesis easily.

Did we miss something? Are there any free thesis apps that you like to use that aren’t on this list? Tell us about them in the comments!

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Online Thesis Helper: Making Your Academic Paper Sparkle

thesis help online free

Why I Should Revise My Thesis

I really should correct my thesis. If I fix my thesis of errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or submit a coherent and consistent thesis, I may just have the chance of a higher grade. 

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But how do I revise my thesis ? 

And how can I grade my paper for free since I can’t afford subscriptions? 

How to Edit a College Thesis

The sentiments above are shared by a lot of people, students and employees alike. Here are some ways you can follow on how to edit a college thesis.

how to edit a college thesis

Vocalize and Read It Out Loud

By reading the sections of your thesis out loud, you hear and understand how your words flow together. Reciting will help you better internalize and understand the write up better and identify the areas needing correction. Limiting your thesis revision to just visually reading your content has the risk of you overlooking errors or overcorrecting and adding more issues to your content.

Proofread Systematically

Checking for different corrections at a time risks you overlooking even more issues and making more mistakes. Being systematic and correcting each type of error one at a time is a much more efficient approach. Correcting one issue at a time is more manageable for you and less burdensome to accomplish. Divvying up the content, and checking by section makes it easier to go through such a dense write up like your thesis.

Review Your Flow and Logic

Take time to review and understand the flow and logic of your thesis. Does the structure follow the structure required by your instructor? Does it follow the basic structure of a thesis paper? Are the thesis statement and supporting arguments clear and understandable? Is there a clear flow from the beginning to the end of your thesis? Is the transition between sections to another logical or consistent?

Utilize Automated Tools

Many tools can help your dissertation grammar check . There are online thesis checker sites that will grade my paper for free and correct my thesis of grammar and punctuation issues. A good thesis checker site will help you with grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. Thesis helper and thesis rater sites will also help with the consistent tone and structure of your thesis.

Correct My Thesis: Common Thesis Revision Mistakes

No matter the level of education, anyone can commit writing mistakes and content issues. There is nothing more stressful than when we grammar check PhD thesis documents or PhD dissertation proofreading. Quality academic papers and essays weigh significantly towards having a good grade, which makes avoiding the following thesis revision mistakes all the more relevant.

Grammar and Spelling

thesis help online free

Fragmented sentences are the most overlooked grammatical issue. A fragmented sentence or sentence fragment is when a sentence carries an incomplete thought or is a subset of a complete sentence. Other common grammatical issues are incorrect subject-verb agreements and misplaced modifiers. With improper S-V agreements, verbs should take the format of its subject – singular verbs with singular subjects and plural verbs with plural subjects. 

Punctuation

Misused semicolons and comma splices are among the most common grammatical errors. Comma splices are when a comma is in between 2 independent clauses not connected by coordinating conjunction. Semicolons work like a comma and a period; separate independent clauses with a coordinating conjunction, or separate phrases with commas. Despite its simple rules of usage, semicolons are often mistakenly used.

The content structure encompasses the logic, flow, and transition of one paragraph to another. Basic structure dictates that content starts with an introduction or thesis statement, followed by the body with supporting arguments. The conclusion revisits the thesis statement, summarizes the supporting arguments, and derives a conclusion.

A structural mistake happens when sentence ideas and its details do not follow a logical flow. This can make the essay look and sound out of sorts and compromise the arguments presented in the essay. To address these, we need to review and re-read content and the sentences to ensure coherence and clarity of thought.

Benefits of a Good Thesis Checker

It makes life easier. A good thesis checker makes thesis revision and error correction more efficient and less time-consuming. A good thesis checker alleviates the burden and initiates error identification and checking over copious pages of PhD dissertation proofreading. This thesis helper gives you a good start on your thesis revision. A thesis rater and thesis helper site enables you to correct the identified errors and help you enhance your content.

Pros and Cons of Online Thesis Checker

The pros of using the usual online thesis checker are that they have automated thesis revision processes and tools to make thesis revision easier. Good thesis checkers and dissertation grammar check sites have tools to configure error correction processes. The majority of these thesis helper sites are also FREE of charge to use! 

Unfortunately, these same online thesis checker sites can also have hidden additional costs for full premium services. Subscriptions can provide premium services, such as in-depth thesis revision and review and professional proofreader services, but can also have hidden additional costs added. These online thesis checker sites may also have word limitations on checked words and characters.

The online thesis checker has a balance of products and services for its users. The site has the tools that automate numerous thesis review, error identification, and correction processes. The thesis helper also has subscription options with more features and has transparent costs. 

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Thesis Revision Using Online Thesis Checker

Using an online thesis checker is easy! You only need access to the thesis helper, paste your content into the check field, set your thesis revision parameters, then your set! There are many free and fee-based options for online thesis checker tools. If you were revising short essays with no data or proprietary restrictions, free tools are more favorable for you. A fee-based online thesis checker option can be more beneficial if you are correcting research papers or PhD dissertation proofreading.

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What Is a Dissertation? | Guide, Examples, & Template

Structure of a Dissertation

A dissertation is a long-form piece of academic writing based on original research conducted by you. It is usually submitted as the final step in order to finish a PhD program.

Your dissertation is probably the longest piece of writing you’ve ever completed. It requires solid research, writing, and analysis skills, and it can be intimidating to know where to begin.

Your department likely has guidelines related to how your dissertation should be structured. When in doubt, consult with your supervisor.

You can also download our full dissertation template in the format of your choice below. The template includes a ready-made table of contents with notes on what to include in each chapter, easily adaptable to your department’s requirements.

Download Word template Download Google Docs template

  • In the US, a dissertation generally refers to the collection of research you conducted to obtain a PhD.
  • In other countries (such as the UK), a dissertation often refers to the research you conduct to obtain your bachelor’s or master’s degree.

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Table of contents

Dissertation committee and prospectus process, how to write and structure a dissertation, acknowledgements or preface, list of figures and tables, list of abbreviations, introduction, literature review, methodology, reference list, proofreading and editing, defending your dissertation, free checklist and lecture slides.

When you’ve finished your coursework, as well as any comprehensive exams or other requirements, you advance to “ABD” (All But Dissertation) status. This means you’ve completed everything except your dissertation.

Prior to starting to write, you must form your committee and write your prospectus or proposal . Your committee comprises your adviser and a few other faculty members. They can be from your own department, or, if your work is more interdisciplinary, from other departments. Your committee will guide you through the dissertation process, and ultimately decide whether you pass your dissertation defense and receive your PhD.

Your prospectus is a formal document presented to your committee, usually orally in a defense, outlining your research aims and objectives and showing why your topic is relevant . After passing your prospectus defense, you’re ready to start your research and writing.

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The structure of your dissertation depends on a variety of factors, such as your discipline, topic, and approach. Dissertations in the humanities are often structured more like a long essay , building an overall argument to support a central thesis , with chapters organized around different themes or case studies.

However, hard science and social science dissertations typically include a review of existing works, a methodology section, an analysis of your original research, and a presentation of your results , presented in different chapters.

Dissertation examples

We’ve compiled a list of dissertation examples to help you get started.

  • Example dissertation #1: Heat, Wildfire and Energy Demand: An Examination of Residential Buildings and Community Equity (a dissertation by C. A. Antonopoulos about the impact of extreme heat and wildfire on residential buildings and occupant exposure risks).
  • Example dissertation #2: Exploring Income Volatility and Financial Health Among Middle-Income Households (a dissertation by M. Addo about income volatility and declining economic security among middle-income households).
  • Example dissertation #3: The Use of Mindfulness Meditation to Increase the Efficacy of Mirror Visual Feedback for Reducing Phantom Limb Pain in Amputees (a dissertation by N. S. Mills about the effect of mindfulness-based interventions on the relationship between mirror visual feedback and the pain level in amputees with phantom limb pain).

The very first page of your document contains your dissertation title, your name, department, institution, degree program, and submission date. Sometimes it also includes your student number, your supervisor’s name, and the university’s logo.

Read more about title pages

The acknowledgements section is usually optional and gives space for you to thank everyone who helped you in writing your dissertation. This might include your supervisors, participants in your research, and friends or family who supported you. In some cases, your acknowledgements are part of a preface.

Read more about acknowledgements Read more about prefaces

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The abstract is a short summary of your dissertation, usually about 150 to 300 words long. Though this may seem very short, it’s one of the most important parts of your dissertation, because it introduces your work to your audience.

Your abstract should:

  • State your main topic and the aims of your research
  • Describe your methods
  • Summarize your main results
  • State your conclusions

Read more about abstracts

The table of contents lists all of your chapters, along with corresponding subheadings and page numbers. This gives your reader an overview of your structure and helps them easily navigate your document.

Remember to include all main parts of your dissertation in your table of contents, even the appendices. It’s easy to generate a table automatically in Word if you used heading styles. Generally speaking, you only include level 2 and level 3 headings, not every subheading you included in your finished work.

Read more about tables of contents

While not usually mandatory, it’s nice to include a list of figures and tables to help guide your reader if you have used a lot of these in your dissertation. It’s easy to generate one of these in Word using the Insert Caption feature.

Read more about lists of figures and tables

Similarly, if you have used a lot of abbreviations (especially industry-specific ones) in your dissertation, you can include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations so that the reader can easily look up their meanings.

Read more about lists of abbreviations

In addition to the list of abbreviations, if you find yourself using a lot of highly specialized terms that you worry will not be familiar to your reader, consider including a glossary. Here, alphabetize the terms and include a brief description or definition.

Read more about glossaries

The introduction serves to set up your dissertation’s topic, purpose, and relevance. It tells the reader what to expect in the rest of your dissertation. The introduction should:

  • Establish your research topic , giving the background information needed to contextualize your work
  • Narrow down the focus and define the scope of your research
  • Discuss the state of existing research on the topic, showing your work’s relevance to a broader problem or debate
  • Clearly state your research questions and objectives
  • Outline the flow of the rest of your work

Everything in the introduction should be clear, engaging, and relevant. By the end, the reader should understand the what, why, and how of your research.

Read more about introductions

A formative part of your research is your literature review . This helps you gain a thorough understanding of the academic work that already exists on your topic.

Literature reviews encompass:

  • Finding relevant sources (e.g., books and journal articles)
  • Assessing the credibility of your sources
  • Critically analyzing and evaluating each source
  • Drawing connections between them (e.g., themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps) to strengthen your overall point

A literature review is not merely a summary of existing sources. Your literature review should have a coherent structure and argument that leads to a clear justification for your own research. It may aim to:

  • Address a gap in the literature or build on existing knowledge
  • Take a new theoretical or methodological approach to your topic
  • Propose a solution to an unresolved problem or advance one side of a theoretical debate

Read more about literature reviews

Theoretical framework

Your literature review can often form the basis for your theoretical framework. Here, you define and analyze the key theories, concepts, and models that frame your research.

Read more about theoretical frameworks

Your methodology chapter describes how you conducted your research, allowing your reader to critically assess its credibility. Your methodology section should accurately report what you did, as well as convince your reader that this was the best way to answer your research question.

A methodology section should generally include:

  • The overall research approach ( quantitative vs. qualitative ) and research methods (e.g., a longitudinal study )
  • Your data collection methods (e.g., interviews or a controlled experiment )
  • Details of where, when, and with whom the research took place
  • Any tools and materials you used (e.g., computer programs, lab equipment)
  • Your data analysis methods (e.g., statistical analysis , discourse analysis )
  • An evaluation or justification of your methods

Read more about methodology sections

Your results section should highlight what your methodology discovered. You can structure this section around sub-questions, hypotheses , or themes, but avoid including any subjective or speculative interpretation here.

Your results section should:

  • Concisely state each relevant result together with relevant descriptive statistics (e.g., mean , standard deviation ) and inferential statistics (e.g., test statistics , p values )
  • Briefly state how the result relates to the question or whether the hypothesis was supported
  • Report all results that are relevant to your research questions , including any that did not meet your expectations.

Additional data (including raw numbers, full questionnaires, or interview transcripts) can be included as an appendix. You can include tables and figures, but only if they help the reader better understand your results. Read more about results sections

Your discussion section is your opportunity to explore the meaning and implications of your results in relation to your research question. Here, interpret your results in detail, discussing whether they met your expectations and how well they fit with the framework that you built in earlier chapters. Refer back to relevant source material to show how your results fit within existing research in your field.

Some guiding questions include:

  • What do your results mean?
  • Why do your results matter?
  • What limitations do the results have?

If any of the results were unexpected, offer explanations for why this might be. It’s a good idea to consider alternative interpretations of your data.

Read more about discussion sections

Your dissertation’s conclusion should concisely answer your main research question, leaving your reader with a clear understanding of your central argument and emphasizing what your research has contributed to the field.

In some disciplines, the conclusion is just a short section preceding the discussion section, but in other contexts, it is the final chapter of your work. Here, you wrap up your dissertation with a final reflection on what you found, with recommendations for future research and concluding remarks.

It’s important to leave the reader with a clear impression of why your research matters. What have you added to what was already known? Why is your research necessary for the future of your field?

Read more about conclusions

It is crucial to include a reference list or list of works cited with the full details of all the sources that you used, in order to avoid plagiarism. Be sure to choose one citation style and follow it consistently throughout your dissertation. Each style has strict and specific formatting requirements.

Common styles include MLA , Chicago , and APA , but which style you use is often set by your department or your field.

Create APA citations Create MLA citations

Your dissertation should contain only essential information that directly contributes to answering your research question. Documents such as interview transcripts or survey questions can be added as appendices, rather than adding them to the main body.

Read more about appendices

Making sure that all of your sections are in the right place is only the first step to a well-written dissertation. Don’t forget to leave plenty of time for editing and proofreading, as grammar mistakes and sloppy spelling errors can really negatively impact your work.

Dissertations can take up to five years to write, so you will definitely want to make sure that everything is perfect before submitting. You may want to consider using a professional dissertation editing service , AI proofreader or grammar checker to make sure your final project is perfect prior to submitting.

After your written dissertation is approved, your committee will schedule a defense. Similarly to defending your prospectus, dissertation defenses are oral presentations of your work. You’ll present your dissertation, and your committee will ask you questions. Many departments allow family members, friends, and other people who are interested to join as well.

After your defense, your committee will meet, and then inform you whether you have passed. Keep in mind that defenses are usually just a formality; most committees will have resolved any serious issues with your work with you far prior to your defense, giving you ample time to fix any problems.

As you write your dissertation, you can use this simple checklist to make sure you’ve included all the essentials.

Checklist: Dissertation

My title page includes all information required by my university.

I have included acknowledgements thanking those who helped me.

My abstract provides a concise summary of the dissertation, giving the reader a clear idea of my key results or arguments.

I have created a table of contents to help the reader navigate my dissertation. It includes all chapter titles, but excludes the title page, acknowledgements, and abstract.

My introduction leads into my topic in an engaging way and shows the relevance of my research.

My introduction clearly defines the focus of my research, stating my research questions and research objectives .

My introduction includes an overview of the dissertation’s structure (reading guide).

I have conducted a literature review in which I (1) critically engage with sources, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of existing research, (2) discuss patterns, themes, and debates in the literature, and (3) address a gap or show how my research contributes to existing research.

I have clearly outlined the theoretical framework of my research, explaining the theories and models that support my approach.

I have thoroughly described my methodology , explaining how I collected data and analyzed data.

I have concisely and objectively reported all relevant results .

I have (1) evaluated and interpreted the meaning of the results and (2) acknowledged any important limitations of the results in my discussion .

I have clearly stated the answer to my main research question in the conclusion .

I have clearly explained the implications of my conclusion, emphasizing what new insight my research has contributed.

I have provided relevant recommendations for further research or practice.

If relevant, I have included appendices with supplemental information.

I have included an in-text citation every time I use words, ideas, or information from a source.

I have listed every source in a reference list at the end of my dissertation.

I have consistently followed the rules of my chosen citation style .

I have followed all formatting guidelines provided by my university.

Congratulations!

The end is in sight—your dissertation is nearly ready to submit! Make sure it's perfectly polished with the help of a Scribbr editor.

If you’re an educator, feel free to download and adapt these slides to teach your students about structuring a dissertation.

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  21. Computer Science Library Research Guide

    How to search for Harvard dissertations. DASH, Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard, is the university's central, open-access repository for the scholarly output of faculty and the broader research community at Harvard.Most Ph.D. dissertations submitted from March 2012 forward are available online in DASH.; Check HOLLIS, the Library Catalog, and refine your results by using the Advanced ...

  22. What Is a Dissertation?

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