Cape Wind Book
Writing Help For Students
Simple Hints On Writing

What defines a strong dissertation? - 8 points to keep in mind

  • Introduction
  • A good dissertation already stands with its introduction, which should account for between 15 and 20% of the work. First of all, the question must be defined, clarified and justified, which is best done by referring to its great relevance. The core requirement of a dissertation writing is, finally, to treat a scientific topic independently with the required theoretical depth. For this, the problem addressed must be formulated precisely and presented as an unsolved problem, for the solution of which you want to contribute a part with new theoretical approaches or empirical findings.

  • Research
  • It is important to consider the current state of research. In addition, the theoretical reference framework has to be dealt with more deeply than in previous work. The theoretical field of the humanities and social sciences must be explained. You have to the the research in order to gather the relevant information. Make sure to do that before writing.

  • Check bibliographies
  • First of all, you should rule out if the same topic has already been promoted (otherwise the paper will not be accepted). On the other hand, papers on similar topics are an example for your own work . ¬†Make an overview plan for your dissertation, which you discuss with your supervisor. During the research process, this plan should be discussed and modified as necessary. ¬†Attach this schedule with a timeline in view of a "bulletin board" so you can always check your progress and your next goals.

  • Publishing
  • If you are planning to publish your dissertation in digitized form (please note the promotion regulations), please consult the required file formats and other prerequisites for digital publishing before the start of the writing process. The dissemination of digital dissertations is the responsibility of the respective university library.

  • Advice from supervisor
  • Usually the introduction and the final word are written in order to formulate the intention and importance of the research. Please contact your supervisor as soon as possible. Supervisors have a duty to examine them carefully and critically and to provide the candidate with immediate feedback. Your supervisor should see your work in many stages, from the early draft to revisions to the final version. Always discuss the individual chapters in the context of the overall design.


You should not make the list of references until the end. A literature management program helps you to compile the literature references on an ongoing basis.Start as soon as possible. Even rough notes on sections or chapters can have a motivating effect. You do not have to start with the first chapter. Write the lightest sections first.

Main part

In the main part of the paper, a much more theoretical background has to be discussed in relation to a Bachelor's or Master's thesis, and there must be enough room for the further development of existing knowledge. Since there is usually no upper limit for the total scope of the thesis, one can argue here very extensively on up to five or six levels of structure.


In the end, as usual, a summary and the discussion of the relevance of the results is made, which should account for about 10% of the total scope. You should summarize everything and make your point clear. This part is often very important, so make sure to write it the right way.