Starting a dissertation can be a daunting task. For some the large project brings on much anxiety, and they end up procrastinating simply because they don’t know where to start. But watch out, the more you put off devoting time to your research and project development, the more you can sabotage your work, and end up with a mediocre, dismal dissertation. So don’t delay, get to work on your dissertation as soon as possible. One of the best places to start is by reviewing the dissertation guidelines set up by your university. The last thing you need is to be near completion, only to realize your dissertation doesn’t meet the university’s guidelines.

What Kind of Guidelines?

Each institution has their own set of guidelines for their student’s dissertations, and it would be prudent to know them intimately before starting work. Dissertation guidelines can be detailed, including strict formatting standards; or broad, allowing you to choose your own organization of the manuscript. Other specific guidelines can include topics and sub-topics that they expect to see within the dissertation. Often these topics may be required, or simply offered as a guideline, so be sure to read your guidelines carefully. Whatever these guidelines may be, it is highly important for you to follow them if they are recommended by the university. It is simple to do so, and any student ignoring them risks going astray.

How Important are these Guidelines?

Ninety percent of American universities have a guideline book, or a do’s-and-don’ts book that includes the topics, the title of chapters, any special formatting, and so forth. Overall, it is up to you to decide what to include in your dissertation, however not abiding by the guidelines set forth can cause your dissertation to be rejected, forcing you into much rework and hassle.

The dissertation guidelines set forth by the university are there to help you understand what they are looking for in your work. The ability to follow directions and produce quality research is what sets you apart from the average student.