By: Cathy A.
5 min read
Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.
Published on: Mar 23, 2021
Dissertation writing is a daunting task. It might seem simple at first, but as you start to break the process down into all of its pieces and parts, it can get complicated quickly.
Even more so when you realize that there are no set regulations about how your dissertation should be structured. Or, what word count it needs to be to create an excelling dissertation that helps you graduate with your degree.
This blog post will give a general overview of the different components that make up a dissertation, also how they relate to one another. We have also given some examples in an attempt to help students understand this process better.
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A dissertation structure is the arrangement of research contents. It contains numerous parts, which are also divided into paragraphs. This division is based on varying types of content and levels of importance. It helps take care of the readers who want a more linear or direct approach.
It is important to determine what type of dissertation structure your department requires. Different academic disciplines require different types. So talk with someone from your field about which one applies best to your specific situation and needs.
A dissertation is a lengthy essay that has been thoroughly researched. It can be difficult to write without any guidelines or instructions. So, it's important to understand the requirements carefully and follow a basic outline for structuring your work.
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There are many parts to a dissertation, and the following is just an outline for what it includes:
1. Title Page
A dissertation starts with a title page. The first thing to look at is the research title and name of the institution for which you are submitting your work. Different disciplines have specific requirements, so be sure to inquire with your faculty about what arrangements they recommend before starting any project or continuing in one that's already underway.
Different disciplines have specific requirements for the formatting of the title page. So, be sure to inquire from your faculty about what arrangements they recommend before starting any project.
The people who helped through a research project are mentioned in the acknowledgment section. These include supervisors, parents, spouses, children, and friends, among others.
An abstract summarizes the research and contains a stand-alone thesis on just one page. There is no word limit for an abstract. However, some institutions require it to be short enough so that people can get a rough idea of what's going on from quickly reading this section.
The abstract is usually written at the end, although it is placed at the very start of the dissertation. This is because the abstract has to summarize the whole dissertation. Writing it at the end provides an accurate idea of what each section represents and how it should be summarized.
4. Table of Contents
The dissertation is professionally formatted with a table of contents. It also includes sub-sections for clarity on the topic. It helps the reader to jump to a section if need be.
5. List of Figures and Tables
Include captions for any figures or tables in your research. This will allow readers to easily access the information without searching through pages of text to find it later on.
6. List of Abbreviations
Abbreviations used in the dissertation are written with what they represent. They're arranged by their corresponding letters in a separate list also, so it's easy to find them.
A glossary is a list of words that are not commonly known. When you use highly specialized terms in your writing, it's important to include a glossary. This will help readers know what all these new and unfamiliar words mean.
The dissertation introduction explains the topic’s significance and can help readers understand the "why" of a study. The information in these sections is short, concise, and relevant to your research. So that it doesn't take up too much space, which makes for easier reading.
9. Literature Review Chapter
To write a literature review, one needs to find information in journal articles, books, and research articles. One must read previous work on the topic and then process that data with analysis to present a theoretical framework.
Once connections are made between different pieces of information collected from these sources, gaps will be identified. This can lead you to identify ways for building more upon the significance and necessity of your research.
10. Methodology Chapter
It requires a sound methodology to be convincing and to achieve the research goal. The type of data collected in this study is presented, along with how and where they are gathered from. Data analysis will take place after collecting all information needed for further exploration.
11. Results and Discussion
Next, you'll report your research findings. The results section can be structured around research questions, hypotheses, or themes. For example, in qualitative methods like ethnography, the presentation of data is blended with discussion and analysis to present a more holistic view of the topic studied.
The findings of the research are explained in detail and it is shown how they relate to other studies on this topic.
The recommendations for improvement include things that can be done by individuals, groups within society, or organizations about the identified issue or research problem.
The conclusion section ties all the sections of the dissertation together by explaining and highlighting its findings. The contribution of your research to the current literature is also clarified through the concluding paragraph.
13. Reference list
A reference list should include all sources used in research for the dissertation. APA and MLA citation styles are most common. But you can use whichever style is preferred by your institution.
In the last section of a dissertation, you may be asked to include questionnaires and surveys or transcripts.
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There's not a universal word count for dissertations. Some institutions set limits at 6000 words, but that may vary by institution and discipline area. You should always check with your advisor to make sure you are in compliance.
Here you can find the breakdown of a suggested structure and word count for different dissertations.
The following are the dissertation examples that will help you understand and write a winning dissertation. To have a better understanding of the format and structure, students require these samples to see how it is done correctly.
Law Dissertation Structure
History Dissertation Structure
Psychology Dissertation Structure
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The thesis is a project that marks the end of graduate studies, whereas the dissertation typically occurs during doctoral study. The two projects are actually quite different in their purpose, with one being an independent research paper for which students can choose whatever topic they wish and then write up to 15 pages about it. On the other hand, dissertations allow professors to guide what will be studied to achieve a doctorate degree.
Below are the five chapters of a dissertation.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Literature review
Chapter 3: Methodology
Chapter 4: Results
Chapter 5: Conclusions (Discussion)
The first step of starting to write a dissertation is choosing an idea that you are passionate about. Your supervisor or fellow students can help guide you to one area they think may interest you. After narrowing down your topic, start reading broadly on it so when there's time for more detailed research later in the project. Doing so will be straightforward because all of those initial steps were done beforehand.
Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.
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