Internationally, the most preferred font for a dissertation is Times New Roman. Along with Georgia, Garamond, Arial, Cambria etc.
By planning it correctly. You would need to brainstorm on the topic, research, rough outline, data gathering, analyzing, drafting, editing, proofreading, and open for feedback.
There are different styles for generating references with different citation ways including MLA, APA, Chicago Style and many others. The most used are MLA and APA for referencing in dissertations.