Proposing, Writing, and Filing Your Thesis or Dissertation

You’ll find the most comprehensive information about thesis- and dissertation-writing in published books. A range of sites, however, do provide advice that is more extensive than mere lists of the document’s components and directives to “revise” and “be concise.”

We’ve listed the most useful sites below in the following categories:

Writing Your Proposal
Writing Your Thesis and Dissertation
Filing Your Thesis and Dissertation

Writing Your Proposal

Resources for Proposal Writers — An annotated list of books and websites compiled by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center.

Dissertation Proposal Workshop — An online collection of essays, samples, and links on dissertation proposal and grant writing for social science research projects. Developed by UC Berkeley’s Institute of International Studies, it contains a length essay on “process and parameters”; tips on theory, research questions and design, timelines, and budgeting; a section on style; and examples of NSF and research proposals.

Writing Thesis and Dissertation Proposals — A detailed Word document for proposal writers in all disciplines, developed by Penn State’s Graduate Writing Center. See especially the descriptions of different parts of a proposal and the sentence-level strategies for “entering the academic conversation.”

Writing and Presenting Your Thesis or Dissertation — A short, free e-book on thinking about the project, writing the proposal, completing the project, and defending it, by S. Joseph Levine of Michigan State University. See also Levine’s reviews of books on thesis- and dissertation-writing.

Writing Your Thesis and Dissertation

Resources for Dissertators — An annotated list of books and websites compiled by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center.

The Essentials of Thesis Writing — Advice on research questions, critical thinking, project management, research, organization, writing, and revision. Part of the University of Ottawa Academic Writing Help Centre’s Graduate Writing Kit.

Writing and Presenting Your Thesis or Dissertation — A short, free e-book on thinking about the project, writing the proposal, completing the project, and defending it, by S. Joseph Levine of Michigan State University. See also Levine’s reviews of books on thesis- and dissertation-writing.

Dissertation Calculator — Enter the start date and target completion date for your dissertation, and get a timeline of research and writing milestones, which range from creating a dissertation support network to writing the abstract. Clicking on any milestone will retrieve a page of detailed advice, along with links. Developed by the University of Minnesota.

Dissertations — Tips on dealing with inertia, managing time, and writing consistently from UNC Chapel Hill’s Writing Center.

The Dissertation Workshop — A tutorial by two clinical psychologists, Fred Stern and Lois Feldman, on writer’s block, organization, support, and advice from an advisor. 

Dissertation Help — A range of essays by Gina Hiatt, a clinical psychologist. Hiatt writes about topics such as using mind maps to find dissertation topics and dealing with perfectionism. See also her self-assessments on, for example, “Dissertation Avoidance Syndrome” and “Get it Done 101.”

PhinisheD — A discussion group for people working on theses and dissertations. You will need to create an account to view posts, and a moderator must approve your registration before you can access them. Once you do have access, though, check out the posts in response to frequently asked questions on managing your dissertation, advisor, and life.

Filing Your Thesis and Dissertation

Policies and Procedures for Dissertation Thesis and Dissertation Preparation and Filing — Did you know that your left and bottom margins have to be at least 1.5 inches wide?  Or that your page numbers have to be centered? Read this official UCLA manuscript preparation guide to learn more shocking (and essential) tips.

Thesis and Dissertation Meetings — Attend one of these meetings in the quarter in which you plan to file. UCLA Graduate Division and Library staff will walk you through university regulations, important dates, and the above Policies and Procedures packet.

 

This page was created by Andrea Olinger. To suggest a resource or report a broken link, email the GWC at gwc@gsa.asucla.ucla.edu.