This article offers suggested guidelines for graduate students who are embarking on informatics doctoral studies and anticipating the dissertation research and its documentation. Much of the guidance is pertinent for writing dissertations in other disciplines as well. The messages are largely directed at doctoral students, but some elements are also pertinent for master’s students. All are relevant for faculty research advisors. The value of the dissertation is often underestimated. Too often it is seen as a hurdle to be overcome rather than an opportunity to gain insight into one’s own research and to learn how to communicate effectively about it. Ideas that have been ill-formed often do not gel effectively until one tries to write about them. The main lesson is that the preparation of a carefully crafted, rigorous, logically evidence-based, and influential dissertation can be remarkably rewarding, both personally and professionally.