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Academic Writing Tips: How Long Should Your Dissertation Be?


If you’re working towards your college degree, writing your thesis at the end can seem like a dark cloud looming over you, a task that you don’t even want to get started on. Often a dissertation is viewed as an insurmountable obstacle to your final destination, and when it comes to writing it, many students tend to put quantity over quality, using everything from filler sentences to detailed formatting to make it as long as possible.

This is because it has generally been assumed that the longer your dissertation is, the better it looks for you. Whether this is true or not has been the subject matter of a lot of debate in the academic community and stress on the student’s part.

After much research, it has been concluded that there really is no “proper” length for a thesis, though it may be argued that there should at least be some general guidelines – such as a minimum or a maximum number of pages. Each dissertation is a unique one and should be treated as such. When composing your thesis consider the following:

Having said that, research has shown that there is still an average that seems to be a middle-ground for the appropriate written length. While some students have penned a thesis less than 20 pages, others have churned out a shocking 2,000+ page dissertation. Statistics have shown, however, that the average number of pages is between 100 and 200.

Keep in mind, though, that it is the information that matters much more than simply the length. Presenting factual information concisely and succinctly is always better than meandering sentences that end pretty much where they started. Make sure you are getting the most mileage out of your thesis by factually presenting what you have learned.

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