Great dissertations are written, and ruined every single day by a few common mistakes. It would be a great pity if the fruit of your labors is marred by any of these blemishes, so take note and exercise caution while writing.

Having no clear main point

A dissertation with no main point is like a tree with no trunk. A cornucopia of great ideas and data alone is insufficient to make up a dissertation. The main point is the guiding light that shapes the dissertation and makes it easier for readers to follow your train of thought. Ask yourself: what does my dissertation aim to convey most? A couple of ideas may pop up, but there can only be one main point. When in doubt, stick to this main point when writing your dissertation. It will help give a clear focus and direction to your writing, which will be helpful as you convey your ideas to your readers.

Fudging the abstract

Just like the arterial main point, the abstract is essentially your dissertation in miniature. A poorly-written abstract will throw a layman reader off-course, and possibly put others off reading what could potentially be a great piece of work. In your abstract, try to give an as accurate picture as possible of your dissertation in its entirety. Inform your readers of the main purpose and scope of your research in the abstract so that they know what to expect later on and can follow your ideas.

Blurring the functions of each chapter

Letting content from one chapter spillover into another is fatal to your dissertation. Chapters are there to provide your reader with a guide as to what to expect from each part of your dissertation, as well as to break down information into categorized, easy-to-understand chunks that makes a complex idea accessible even to laymen. Chapters also serve as natural “bookmarks” for your thesis, so that readers do not get lost in the onslaught of new ideas. It helps to group the key points of your dissertation under a few sub-headings, then expands on these sub-headings to write each chapter. Your readers will thank you for it.

Poor spelling and grammar

While spelling and grammar may seem like mere aesthetic issues to a dissertation, they are more important than you think. Your ideas will probably not get too distorted by poor spelling or grammar, but the impact on readers is significant. If you are in doubt about your grammatical skills or you do not know “who can write my essay”, you can always ask the appropriate writing services for help. Your credibility and academic standing will doubtless be affected if you turn in a thesis rife with spelling and grammatical mistakes. These days there is no longer a need to go through each word checking for spelling errors, or for hiring proofreaders to make sure your work is grammatically secure. Most word processors have adequate spell check and grammar-checking functions, so be sure to make full use of these, especially if English is not your first language.

Being too subjective

While good ideas are essential in a dissertation, only relevant ideas are what counts. Your opinions and biases do not matter. A common mistake many writers make is to inject too much personal feeling and judgment into an otherwise great dissertation, ruining its academic credibility. Watch your vocabulary – too many emotion-charged verbs may indicate a leaning to subjectivity. Express your opinions, if needed, in a neutral tone that cannot be misconstrued as prejudices of any sort. Judicious use of the passive voice is also a great linguistic tool for avoiding the trap of subjectivity.

Failing to stick to academic conventions

Your dissertation is great, ideas are original and all facts are supported by credible sources. The language is clear and precise. However, failing to adhere to academic conventions may cost you deeply despite the general perfection of your dissertation. Academic conventions are conventions for a reason – academics all over the world adhere to these common standards to make it easier for them to understand, review and expand on each others’ work if necessary. So look up the correct formats for citations and bibliography for your dissertation, and do not forget to include footnotes where needed.