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Structuring And Writing Your Dissertation

A thesis or dissertation is extensive writing often done after research and handed in as a postgraduate or undergraduate degree program. The structure differs from one field to another, but they are usually 4 or 5 chapters, including the introduction and conclusion chapters. An example of a dissertation structure in science would look like this:

  • Introduction to the dissertation topic
  • Literature reviews surveying the relevance of sources
  • A general overview of the findings of a research
  • Discussing the findings and implications
  • Conclusion and showing the contribution of your research

In humanities, the structure assumes an essay-like format, all while analyzing the secondary and primary sources. You can base your structure on different case studies or themes. Other essential elements in a dissertation include the title page, reference list, and abstract. Be sure to consult your departmental head or supervisor in case you need help with the structure.

Title page

You should indicate its title, your full name, the department, the institution, your degree program, and the date of submission in any document. Other additional features include the student number, supervisor’s name, university logo, etc.

Acknowledgments

In this space, you get a chance to appreciate everyone for the help they gave you while compiling the dissertation. They include your family, friends, supervisors, research participants, among others.

Abstract

It usually takes around 150 to 300 words containing a summary of the dissertation. Logically, the abstract comes after completing your dissertation. Include the following in your abstract:

  • Main aims and topics in your research,
  • Description of methodologies used,
  • Summary of your findings,
  • Indicate your conclusions.

It is the most crucial area in your dissertation as people are most likely to read this part and get general know-how of your entire paper.

Table of Contents

Here, you list down the chapters and subchapters concerning which page they’re found in. It serves to help when anyone is navigating the document.

List of tables and figures

In a dissertation where you’ve used many figures and tables, you can use a list to itemize them.

List of Abbreviations

A great way of finding meaning to these abbreviations for a reader is by making an alphabetized list alongside their meaning.

Glossary

Having a glossary serves to help a reader simplify the meanings or define some specialized terms.

Introduction

The introduction serves to set up the topic in your dissertation, its purpose, the relevance, and give the reader a brief explanation of the entire dissertation.

Theoretical framework/ Literature review

Collect and select the most relevant sources for your research, analyze and evaluate each source critically, and then make a connection between them to get a general point.

Methodology

Here, you need to go into detail how you did your research and allow readers to access the validity of your source and methods by themselves.

Results

At the end of your research, pen down the findings related to the research question or the objectives of your research. Some disciplines combine the results and the discussion, while others don’t.

Discussion

Here, you can explore the implications and meanings of your findings relating to the research question. Make sure you give all the details and the facts as well as logic in your discussion.

Conclusion

When you have completed writing your dissertation, make a conclusion that seeks to answer the research question, giving the reader a clear understanding of your central argument.

Writing a dissertation isn’t hard. Follow these steps, and you can write the best thesis.

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