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Writing Your Thesis & Writing Resources

The format of the dissertation must be approved by the dissertation committee before you begin writing. A copy of the dissertation in final form must be submitted to all members of the committee before the defense date can be set. The defense must be at least two weeks after the committee receives the final written copy. The written dissertation must conform to the University of Utah Graduate School Guidelines which can be found on the Graduate school website ( In general, this will consist of an original account of the background, approach, experiments and conclusions of your dissertation research. Published papers written by the student may be reformatted as chapters of the dissertation, but an original introductory chapter (review of the literature) and concluding chapter must be added. The final chapter (~10 pages) should not simply summarize the conclusions made in the dissertation but provide a scholarly discussion how these conclusions advance the field of study. The dissertation must indicate which figures and tables are based on data generated by the PhD candidate.

Writing Resources

Stuck writing? It happens to all of us. The best advice is to just keep on writing. Even if you feel that you are doing a terrible job, it is a lot easier to revise than sitting in front of a white sheet of paper!

In addition, the University offers several boot camps and resources to help you perfect your writing skills.

Tutoring and the Online Writing Lab
eTutoring and the Online Writing Lab are free services available to all graduate students at the U. You can submit your writing to the Writing Lab online and receive feedback from a graduate tutor in approximately 48 hours. You can submit your writing at any stage of the writing process. Submissions may include drafts of your academic work (papers, thesis/dissertation chapters, conference proposals, etc.), and you can ask tutors specific questions about your project.

Marriot Library Graduate Student Resources
The Marriott Library offers Graduate Student Socials and Dissertation and Thesis Writing Boot camps

Grammarly AI Writing Assistant
The Graduate School has purchased a subscription which provides free access to Grammarly Premium software to all University of Utah graduate student. Grammarly is an AI writing assistant that helps edit text documents and improve writing skills.

Thesis Office
If you are planning to submit your thesis soon, the thesis office is now offering a bi-annual workshop for formatting issues and questions. During these workshops the thesis editors offer hands-on formatting help to make sure that the thesis submission runs smoothly.