top of page

1. Planning your Thesis

1.1 Myth-busting

1.2 Starting out

1.3 Brainstorming and prewriting

1.4 Titles

Dissertation Editing Sheffield.png

1.2 Preparing to write your thesis

Writing your postgrad thesis is a huge undertaking. But try to approach your thesis with as much energy, confidence and enthusiasm as possible. It will show in your writing.


You’ve been given the chance to give your own take on the subject, and to get your voice heard by the experts, so be as passionate and rigorous as you can.


Get inside your source material as much as you possibly can. As well as noting down what your tutors and lecturers have drawn your attention to, make your own notes when you see something that strikes you. The more familiar you are with the material to begin with, the easier it will be when you have to sit down and write about it.


Even if you don’t have time to re-read the various works in full, have another look at the passages that first stood out to you as relevant for your own specific approach. This could be a few chapters in a book, or a certain article in a secondary source. Often things take on a brand new form when looking at them for a second time.

Make sure you're certain about the academic style guide you're expected to follow. Check out my guides to three of the major players: APA, Chicago and MLA.


Finally, if there is anything to do with the thesis assignment that you don’t fully understand, ask your supervisor for clarification as soon as you can. The worst thing you can do is just plough on and end up with a fully-written thesis that doesn’t address the issue properly, simply because you didn’t understand some of the terminology in the rubric.

Next: Brainstorming and prewriting

bottom of page