10 Common Dissertation Mistakes to Avoid

As the piece of work that will form the peak of your academic career thus far, you will naturally want to avoid making careless errors in your dissertation that will jeopardise your results or even your entire degree.

Selecting a Dull, Monotonous Topic

If you aren’t completely invested in your chosen topic, your lack of enthusiasm will be glaringly obvious to your reader. You will likely struggle to muster the enthusiasm required to write a well-researched and engaging dissertation, which will also ultimately negatively impact the way your reader responds to your work.

Superficial Arguments Lacking Depth

Often stemming from a lack of direction, superficial arguments always fail to generate enough depth to meet upper grade boundaries. Although specialising in a specific area of your subject is important, you should avoid narrowing your scope so much that you inadvertently box yourself into a corner and find yourself with nothing meaningful to say.

An Imbalanced Structure

Imbalanced dissertations never feel like a complete body of work. You might have a strong introduction and first chapter, but if subsequent chapters lose focus or fail to delve deep enough into relevant scholarship and critical arguments, you’re going to struggle to fulfil expected requirements. Consistently referring to the marking criteria should help you to structure your argument and ensure you aren’t padding chapters with extraneous information or poor scholarship.

Failure to Conduct Thorough Research

A successful dissertation is always built on a foundation of solid research. You can’t contribute to scholarship if you don’t have a good idea of what has already been written. You don’t want to find yourself stumbling across an article, which you should have read much sooner, that details your exact arguments when you’re already half way through the writing process.

Attempting Too Much

The scope of your dissertation should always be firmly within your reach in accordance with the time parameters you’re facing. Demonstrating ambition is admirable, but overreaching and trying to squeeze in too much is foolish.

Demonstrating a Lack of Proficiency

Your dissertation is your opportunity to demonstrate the subject knowledge and academic writing techniques you have learned over the course of your program. Simply put, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re going to struggle to produce a meaningful piece of work.

Presenting Incoherent and/or Unrelated Arguments

As soon as your proposal has been approved, make sure you don’t stray too far from your main subject. Unless your research has uncovered a new strand to your argument and this new direction has been approved by your supervisor, straying from your initial proposal could lead you down a long path peppered with obstacles.

Spelling, Grammar and Formatting Issues

Failing to set enough time to edit your dissertation can result in an array of wholly avoidable spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. You should consistently refer to the dissertation template assigned by your University to ensure everything from your page margins to your page numbering system is correct.

Remember, the editing process always takes longer than anticipated so if you’ve pushed through and written everything despite finding yourself wishing someone would write my dissertation for me, you might find it helpful to have an experienced academic writer refine your work so that it’s the best it can possibly be.


Plagiarism is a serious offence and maintaining academic integrity is imperative. Universities now utilise anti-plagiarism software as standard, which is why accurately referencing every source and idea you refer to throughout your dissertation is crucial.

Failing to Seek Help When You Need It

Planning, writing, and editing a dissertation isn’t easy. You’re on a time limit and you might initially feel quite intimidated by the task in front of you. Don’t procrastinate your time away, reach out and ask for guidance.

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