Organizing dissertation research notes in a proper manner

Dissertations are lengthy and require a substantial amount of time to write. As such, it can make your life considerably easier to organize your notes in a proper manner, so that it is easy to reference them. In this article, we will discuss the many techniques you can utilize to order your notes so that you can easily find vital information.


One of the best ways to organize your notes is to create a proper outline to your paper. This will ensure that the main aspects of your writing, that you plan to implement, are in an easy to read format.

The best way to create your outline is by writing down a brief overview for each section you plan to include in your paper. The sections that need to be in your paper are:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

Under each heading write a few paragraphs of what you think are the most important parts to that particular section. Also, include which sources you will be using in the sections where they are applicable.

Sticky Notes

Sticky notes are a great way to organize your notes. You can buy a large pack at any stationary or supermarket store. They will provide you with an easy reminder of any ideas you have, or condensed forms of your note.

The best place to put sticky notes are in places where you will be constantly seeing them, so the fridge or your bedroom walls make a great place to stick them.


You need to keep track of the sources you will be using, or are looking to use in your paper, and so you need to start a bibliography early on to keep track of them.

Put all the sources you are thinking about using in the bibliography, and make a note next to the ones you have used and the ones you have yet to use.

File Dividers

You will have studies various topics in the subject you are crafting a dissertation on, and as such, you will need to keep your notes in a file. However, you do not want to flick through all your notes to find a particular topic you are looking for, so it is highly recommended that you buy a file divider and split your notes into separate topics so it is easy for you to find.