How to Structure Your Dissertation | Step by Step Guide
A dissertation is one of the most extended pieces of academic writing. It is based on original and detailed research. For students claiming the degree of PhD or Master’s, a dissertation is a must for them.
Writing a dissertation is one of the most daunting tasks you’ll ever come across in your academic life. Especially when you don’t know where you take a start from. We hope this blog helps you as much as we have put our efforts into it.
There are multiple templates available on the internet for dissertation help. If you wish, you can take assistance from there. Other than that, this blog is detailed enough to guide for writing a successful dissertation.
Deciding on Your Dissertation’s Structure
Not every dissertation will be written and structured like others. It ultimately depends on your topic, format, discipline, and writing approach.
If you’re studying humanities, your dissertation is most likely an outlook of an extended essay. Typically based upon evidence-based arguments to support your central thesis. It will also include different case studies and chapters accordingly.
But if you are a social science student, your dissertation will be well-structured and adequately outlined. It should display all the necessary elements. There will be a separate chapter, but you can also combine them all. It eventually strengthens your overall content rather than explaining them separately.
The request for segments can likewise differ among fields and nations. For instance, a few colleges prompt that the conclusion should consistently precede the conversation.
At any point you feel confused or puzzled, take these or dissertation help from your department’s supervisor. Their experience will indeed show you a way out.
If we talk about the overall crafting of a dissertation, firstly understand the elements it should include. This blog is dedicated to the students struggling to write a winning dissertation for claiming their degree. This may be a challenging time now to follow the big picture. If you’re in search of magic overnight, start by reading this post. Your dissertation won’t be prepared automatically, but it will give you better guidance.
As the name says, your title page will state the basic information about yourself. It shall include your name, dissertation’s title, department, degree program, institute, and delivery date. Alongside, don’t forget to mention your supervisor’s name and student ID (if given). Many institutes have strict programs for dissertation submission. And students have to follow them strictly.
The acknowledgements section is normally discretionary. It gives you space to thank every individual who helped you compose your dissertation. This may incorporate your directors, members in your examination, and companions or family who upheld you.
The abstract summarises your entire dissertation. It usually is a 150 to 300 words blog. An abstract should be written at the end of your dissertation once you have completed the elements’ rest. Include these things mandatorily;
- State the core aim of your research
- Describe the methodology you used
- Combine the main results
- Share your conclusion
An abstract is always very concise. It is the first part of your dissertation that people will read, making it the highlight. Your abstract should be strong enough for people to be dragged till the end. Some helpful internet guides will help you out.
The content of your abstract is significant. Because what you say in your abstract gives the reader a chance of deciding whether your thesis will hold any importance to him. While doing your examination, you’re probably going to have sought after various diary articles and reports dependent on the abstract’s significance. Thus you realise how significant it is for giving the reader a vibe for what your dissertation covers.
As we stated above, an abstract is the overview of your whole study. An outline of your research questions, methods, and conclusions. Therefore it is better to write an abstract at the end of your dissertation. Ensure that you need time to plan and get the job done efficiently.
Table of Contents
Every write-up should have a table of contents. It mentions all chapters, their subheadings, and the page numbers. The table of contents for your dissertation gives the reader structure to navigate through the document easily.
Every heading of your dissertation should be included in the table of contents. Also, the appendices. If you are writing a dissertation on a word document, you can automatically generate a table of contents.
List of Figures and Tables
Ialphabetisedilised a ton of tables and figures in your dissertation. You should ensure that all are in order of a numbered list. This way, you will be able to generate the list automatically with the help of an option in MS Word “Insert Caption” feature.
List of Abbreviations
You may have used several abbreviations in your dissertation. You can put them in caps lock (alphabetised list). It will help the readers look up their meanings quickly.
If the terms you’ve used in your dissertation are complex, add a glossary. It’s a good idea to make your readers familiar with your dissertation and not lose any interest. Explain every term with proper meaning. If need be, add a description for it too.
An introduction has the whole meaning, topic, and relevance to your degree. In the introduction, tell the readers what to expect next in your dissertation. Your introduction should include;
- An established research topic. Giving all the necessary background details to contextualise your document.
- List down the focus points and explain the scope of your research
- Choose to discuss the existing research on your topic and the problems relevant to your program.
- Give a summary of your dissertation’s structure.
- State your research questions in core objectives in a transparent manner.
Your introduction will decide whether the reader will read ahead or not. By the end of your introduction, the reader should know what’s coming next in your dissertation. For any further help, again, the internet can be a guide.
Literature Review / Theoretical Framework
Before starting the research, conduct a literature review to acquire a thorough understanding of your academic work. The work that already exists on your topic. Include these;
- Collect sources (for example, books, articles, and journals). Make sure only to select the relevant ones.
- Evaluate in analyse each source critically.
- Draw connections (themes, conflicts, gaps) between them to prove your point.
In the dissertation literature review chapter or segment, you shouldn’t simply sum up existing examinations. However, build up an intelligent design and contention that prompts an unmistakable premise or legitimisation for your exploration. For instance, it may expect to show how your research:
- Mention the gap in the literature
- Insert a whole new concept and methodological approach to your topic
- Present an ever-changing solution problem
- Go advance on an argumentative debate
- Straighten your existing knowledge and build up new data
The literature review eventually transforms into the base for your dissertation. In the literature review, you define and evaluate the key factors, concepts, and models. All should revolve around the research you made. Also, answer the descriptive research questions in this particular section.
Enlighten your working method to your readers. How did your research begin, and what formed the entire dissertation. The validity, credibility, and pragmatism of your work.
- Your approach to gathering data for your dissertation’s research.
- Details of when, where, with whom, the research you collectively gathered.
- Your procedures of examining data (e.g. statistical analysis, dialogue analysis)
- Tools and resources you utilised (e.g. software, programs, lab apparatus)
- Discuss the complex parts and how did you overcome them with optimism.
- Hurdles or obstacles you came across and encountered during the research of your dissertation.
- An estimation or explanation of your methods
The methodology is where you explain your entire work process. Convince your readers that your methodology was the only best way to answer your questions.
In specific orders, the outcomes area is stringently separated from the conversation. While in others, the two are joined. For instance, in subjective strategies like ethnography, the information’s introduction will regularly be woven along with conversation and investigation.
However, in quantitative and trial research, the outcomes should be introduced before you examine their importance:
- Stay concise when writing the results. Since you’ve already added all the details in the elements mentioned above. It’s best to include only the inferential statistics.
- Tell your readers how the results are relevant to the question. And whether the hypothesis was supported.
- Embrace tables and figures only if they benefit the reader comprehend your results.
- Whether the results met your expectation or not, include them in the results.
- Further data such as rough digital numbers, complete questionnaire, surveys, or interview transcripts) should be marked as appendices.
The discussion is the part you should look forward to. It gives you the space to explore the base and implications of your research questions. Include everything you have in your mind to discuss. Especially if the final results met your expectations or not.
- Give your clarifications: which results mattered?
- Explore the inferences: why do they even matter in the first place?
- Consider the limitations: what the results can’t tell us?
If any of the outcomes were startling, offer clarifications for why this may be. It’s an intelligent thought to think about alternate understandings of your information. The conversation ought to allude back to relevant sources to show how your outcomes fit with existing information.
The conclusion of your dissertation ensures that the reader is leaving with answers he questioned. It fills them with a deep understanding of your central arguments and the research you provided.
In some academic criteria, the conclusion comes even before the main body of the dissertation. It implies that first, you state your verdict, then prove it. Come up with the relevant and authentic discussion and their meanings.
In other contexts, the conclusion calls to be the final chapter of the document. The readers should expect an overall summary of your entire dissertation in conclusion. Also, it should talk about the future research or practice you’ll exercise.
Don’t leave your conclusion without convincing your readers of the topic you chose and the research you made. What have you added to what was already known?
You should incorporate full details of all sources that you have referred to in a reference list. It’s imperative to follow a steady reference style. Each style has severe and explicit prerequisites for how to design your sources in the reference list.
Common reference styles are APA and MLA, but it depends on the specification of your degree program. It will specify which citation style you can incorporate. Go through the requirements first and involve your supervisor in case of confusion.
For saving time and effort, there are many citation generators online. Take advantage of them. But check if the citations are correctly consistent and formatted.
A few universities may request that you incorporate a bibliography instead of a reference list. These two things are not equivalent. A bibliography is like a reference list. It also includes assets that educated your reasoning however were not straightforwardly referred to in your thesis. Thus, double-check your brief and ensure you utilise the correct one.
Editing and Proofreading
The first step is to check whether all the sections are ordered correctly or not. Your dissertation help can be supported by thorough editing and proofreading. It will help you identify and eliminate the mistakes that are likely to be caught by the readers. Especially in the dissertation when it’s going to be read by the professionals themselves.
Remember, the first draft will never be perfect. Similarly, your entire document is impossible to have zero mistakes. Be it typos, grammar, inconsistency, or jargons – we all make mistakes. With the eyes on the content, proofread and edit them before submitting.
Stick to your main topic and the research in the complete dissertation. Distracting from the relevant information may end up getting your marks deducted. If you have added files that do not match your dissertation will be counted as appendices. For example, interview transcripts, surveys, or full-figure tables.
The Takeaway Message
In particular, the centre sections should mirror the exploration interaction (asking, examining, and addressing your examination question). Besides, the exploration question(s) should frame the brilliant string all through your exposition structure. Everything ought to spin around the examination questions. As you’ve seen, they should prepare both the beginning point (for example, presentation part) and the endpoint (for example, end section).
We believe this was a detailed blog to support you for dissertation help.
Remember, this guide followed the traditional method of writing a dissertation. There might be some advancements in modern techniques.