Dissertation Writing in David Ellis’ Book

Dissertation Writing in David Ellis’ BookFacing up to the challenge of labour-intensive research and writing, collectively called dissertation, is never easy.  It comes no surprise that there are several writing guides, tips, and tools proffered in abundance: students will root for them, one way or another.

The Telegraph’s David Ellis is no exemption: its latest article in the Student life section brought some insightful tips for students to consider.  These tips are bathed in a language fit for students, some of which are cited below:


“You are not as interesting as you’ve always secretly hoped.”

“It’s impossible to fake what you don’t like over 10,000 words.”

“Writing is difficult.

“A dissertation is consuming.”

“You will resent the internet and every distraction on it.”

These tips can hardly be scratched off the surface; its blunt honesty projects a measured message to its intended audience: the stubborn students.

The four fundamentals

Out of Ellis’ tips, several dissertation writing fundamentals can be gleaned.  One could start with the timeHe suggests students to take sufficient time to brainstorm.  Expanding this function, time needs to be invested well to cover research, reading and decision-making.

Sometimes, students are able to make for the former two, only to be caught later in indecision.  At such rate, students may need to consult another party – the supervisor, department faculty, or colleague.

Next in the fundamental-line is note-taking.  The necessity of putting every idea or hatching concept into paper or electronic devices should not be taken lightly.  Students’ scribbled ideas are the only tangible proof that they are actually starting with the dissertation work.

This proof needs to sit still while you go elsewhere to read, think and discuss.  By the time students are ready to move the idea into the next level and formulate the first draft of the statement of the problem, there would be no stopping them.

Picking that paper and rewriting them – and duplicating this process again and again means progress.  Keep these scribbles organised and tracing back and through wouldn’t have to be a problem, too.

Another fundamental involved in note-taking is, of course, students’ readiness to “struck off” the rest or least relevant.  A lot of dissertation working students get caught off in this part.  They find it very difficult to let go on a lot of ideas.  Unfortunately, they end up getting stuck; and fail to progress.

The students’ voice was also emphasised in Ellis’ article:

Remember, these are your ideas and they should be in your words.

His reminder completes the dissertation picture, as it entails recognising the author of the research work, the students.  Dissertation work is, therefore, not just another academic endeavour; it is also a personal affair.

Another useful tool

As was mentioned, there are several resources available for the dissertation writing students.  Part of their success implies their resourcefulness and receptivity.  These two permits students to stay vigilant about their options.

One such tool recommended here is the use of dissertation samples.  These samples are crucial for consultation, which is why every dissertation working student has to have them.

Have you tried using Dissertation Samples in your research work?

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