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A Mediocre PhD Dissertation

A PhD dissertation represents what you have learned throughout your education. Unfortunately, not all dissertations show the author in a great light. Some students struggle to write their dissertation, and it shows. There are a number of reasons that your dissertation is coming up short.

Poor Writing

We're not all the greatest writers. Especially when your field has nothing to do with writing, you may find yourself struggling. It doesn't matter what field you are writing your dissertation in, they expect you to write your dissertation well. This means that if writing is your weak point, you need to do something about it.

There are plenty of places you can go to get the help you need. Most institutions have a Writing Center or some place you can go to have a colleague read over your dissertation for basic writing mistakes. It doesn't matter that the person reading your dissertation isn't educated in your field if you only need help with the writing. They can still recognize a run-on in a math paper.

Bad Thesis

Unfortunately, if your thesis is bad, your entire paper is going to be lacking. You need to start with a strong foundation for the rest of your paper to rest on. The thesis is the foundation. When you are struggling with your thesis, don't try to make it work. Drop it. Ride off your losses and go on with a good thesis instead.

You can ensure that your thesis is a good one by first examining what is out there. When you know the conversations taking place, you can find your place within the conversation. Of course, you want to keep your stance original, but reading other people's theses can turn the wheels and bring something to mind that you hadn't though of before.

Defending an Unsubstantiated Claim

When you write on a topic, you need to write on a topic that has research available to support it. Or you need to complete the research which is extremely time consuming and difficult. It's great to want to write a paper on something new and exciting in your field that hasn't been talked about a lot yet, but your dissertation is more than just a small opinion paper. It requires evidence. A lot of it. A good idea is to take a step back and mention the area you wanted to write about in a section labeled “Areas for Further Research”.