10 Fundamental Rules Of Writing A Psychology Dissertation

The art of dissertation writing can seem to take more years to master than the average student is allowed. Still, with persistence it can be done. Here are a few of the rules to writing one in psychology that can keep you on track:

  1. Know your theories
  2. There is no greater sin than attributing the work of one psychologist to another in your dissertation. It implies a lack of effort.

  3. Ask your professor for clarification when necessary
  4. If there is something odd about the instructions you have received, find out early if you’ve made a transcription error. These can be devastating if left unchecked.

  5. Work with others if it helps you
  6. If you are more productive around others, find a group of like minded thinkers to write and research with.

  7. Work alone if company distracts you
  8. Many people feel badly about their introversion and force themselves to work with others. This is a mistake if it leads you to slower and lower quality work. Work alone if you must.

  9. Always cite
  10. Not citing an author you have referenced is the second worst thing you can do. It counts as plagiarism even if you do it unintentionally.

  11. Get used to the APA style
  12. Your paper will need to be submitted in the APA format. It is not always intuitive so find a template if you can’t figure it out or hire out the formatting process to someone else.

  13. Tread carefully with untested theories
  14. There are many theories that you could include in your paper. Be sure to pick ones that hold some weight. If you choose any that are on the fringes of conventional wisdom, you may have a harder time defending them.

  15. Try to be original
  16. Your professor will probably see thousands of dissertations over his or her lifetime. If yours is boring he or she will hold it against you subconsciously.

  17. Start ASAP
  18. It is easy to think you have all the time in the world before you start. This is delusional thinking and can lead you to miss your deadline.

  19. Proofread and Edit
  20. This step can actually stop you from making some of the preceding errors by accident. It is also the easiest to overlook. Save time for this process no matter what.

Follow these steps carefully and ask for tips from others who have succeeded before you.