How to write a dissertation and doctoral thesis?

The word dissertation comes from the Latin term dissertation and means discussion. Officially, a dissertation or doctoral thesis is also known as an inaugural dissertation.

As a scientific work, it is the basis for a doctoral degree.

There are two different types of dissertation:

  1. The original and most common form is the monograph. You are writing a paper on a topic.
  2. With the cumulative dissertation, you write several scientific articles on a topic and submit them to peer-reviewed journals.

Objectives of the dissertation

Writing a dissertation or doctoral thesis has several goals:

  • You are researching a topic as part of your dissertation and thereby gain new research knowledge.
  • The dissertation’s completion, together with the PhD to the highest degree, the doctor or the doctor or the PhD.
  • A dissertation is important if you want to make a career in science.

dissertationThe dissertation as part of the doctorate

A doctorate is the award of the academic degree of a doctoral degree after completing a doctoral degree.

One speaks of a doctorate but also in connection with the entire doctoral program.

The contents of the doctoral program are defined in the doctoral regulations. This differs depending on the university and field of study.

There are two types of doctorate:

  1. With an individual doctorate, you choose your topic and the supervision or doctoral thesis yourself. Depending on the doctoral regulations, additional courses or seminars may be required for doctoral students.
  2. A structured doctoral program follows a fixed study plan with prescribed courses and seminars. A team will closely supervise you, and the topic of your dissertation should match the doctoral study program.

Supervision by a doctoral supervisor

Taking care of your thesis or dissertation takes a PhD supervisor who you choose for your topic itself.

You will discuss the aspects of supervision with your doctoral supervisor, set out in a supervision agreement.

You arrange and how often your doctor’s father read parts of the dissertation and give you feedback.

The synopsis for the dissertation

The synopsis serves as the basis for your doctoral thesis and supports you in your search for supervision.

In some studies, an exposé and the doctoral supervisor’s notification are necessary to start the doctoral program.

An exposé for the doctoral thesis includes:

  • A preliminary outline
  • The goals of the doctoral thesis
  • Any preliminary work
  • First theoretical basics
  • The research designs
  • A time and work plan (especially important for possible funding of the work)


Your synopsis is ready, supervision has been agreed upon, and you have officially started your doctoral studies: Now it’s time to write your work.

Depending on the subject, a  doctoral thesis can be between 50 and 400 pages long. Since the dissertation should lead to new research findings, you have to research yourself within the framework of your topic.

It would help if you always kept an overview of the dissertation. It is, therefore, important to be guided by the schedule and structure of the work.

Completion of the dissertation

Once all parts of the doctoral thesis have been written and read by the doctoral supervisor, you come to the last phase: the dissertation’s final phase.

The point here is to revise the work one last time, have it edited, and check for possible plagiarism.

After the submission, the disputation, and the work publication, you will have completed the doctoral studies and will be rewarded with a doctorate.

Submit your work

Depending on the institute’s requirements, you can print out your doctoral thesis several times and submit it to your chair.

It is then usually assessed by your doctoral supervisor and a second reviewer.

dissertation The disputation of the dissertation

During a disputation, comparable to the defense of previous theses, you discuss your doctoral thesis in front of an examination committee, which consists of your work reviewers.

In most cases, you will first give a presentation about your work and then be asked about it.

Depending on your field of study’s doctoral regulations, you have to reckon with an additional examination for the entire field of study or parts of it during the disputation.

After the disputation, the reviewers will discuss your grade, which you will usually find out immediately afterward.

Publish dissertation

It is necessary to publish the work to get the doctorate.

If you are aiming for a career in science, the choice of the publisher is important. It would be best if you opted for publication by a well-known publisher.

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