12 Helpful Tips For Writing A PhD Dissertation In Finance


The main problem with a Ph.D. dissertation in finance is that numbers just are not all that enthralling. Your final work has to show that you understand the subject but also has to give some measure of interest to the reader. The challenge you face is how to make your work stand out among all the other work. How do you balance your paper between information and hard data? How do you hook your reader into wanting to know more?

Hints on writing a successful Ph.D. dissertation.


  1. This work is not just taking all your past papers and merging them into one document on your computer. By all means look for your previous work to find useful references and ideas – after all you wrote the papers so they should be in your area of interest. But they all had different theses, and the purpose of this work is that it should be based on one coherent idea.

  2. Do not rely on your tutor to point out that you are droning on, it is your responsibility to write what people want to read.

  3. You are aiming this work at a specific audience. What is their baseline knowledge? There is no point boring on about elementary stuff, even if it does add to your word count. All your words need to matter.

  4. What do you want to say to your audience? What does your audience want you’re your work? Make these principles the basis of your thesis.

  5. Get stuck in. Do not make the mistake of waiting for inspiration, a successful paper is one based on hard work. But keep a notebook handy for the moments when ideas flood your mind outside your working time.

  6. Write at the same time every day, that way you make a habit of writing which will minimize the distractions.

  7. Start with the most important idea up front. Think of it as creating a joke backwards: punchline first, then explain the joke.

  8. By the time you reach the conclusion of your paper it should be almost unnecessary if you have presented your information properly.

  9. Pare down your prose style, only repeat information if absolutely necessary.

  10. In tables, ensure that each one has a title, that way the reader knows exactly what they are looking at.

  11. Present your argument of each point and thoroughly explain it before you point out any counter-evidence.

  12. Finally, one of the best ways to make number-based research interesting is to use the numbers sparingly, but with shock value.

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