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Dissertation Structure Guidebook For Students: To-Do List!

dissertation structure

Research, itself, is a whole lot of work and penning down the results and findings in an organized manner is way more challenging. Certainly, not an amateur’s task! Veteran writers or scholars, quite a few times, forget how to write a flawless dissertation due to concise target time or extremely difficult topics. So, here’s a guidebook for you to consult at the time of hardships.

Starting with the elements of dissertation structure

Planning is important, as you know, so don’t miss it while writing a dissertation. The more organized a paper, the better impression it creates. In your paper, use the following labels as it is. Take a close look at the elements of a dissertation structure.

  • Title Page
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Research Methodology
  • Findings and Analysis
  • Discussions
  • Conclusion
  • References

Each section has been discussed in detail under the subsequent sub-heading. If you want to know about the functionality of each, read further.

To-do list for a perfect dissertation structure

All dissertations on every domain aren’t structured the same way, as each deal with a different set of cases and contentions. Headings and subheadings change in accordance with the topic, but the basic outline remains the same for all. Here’s a user manual for your reference; check out –

I. Title Page

Remember the book cover of your favorite book? Fascinating it was, right! That’s how we buy a book – judging by its cover. Similarly, Title Page is the cover of your dissertation. It contains the requisite details of your dissertation like the main title of your paper, your name, course name, department, semester or year, and guide’s name. make this section look as professional as you can.

II. Acknowledgments

This part is optional, you may or may not acknowledge the people you want to. The basic idea is to show your gratitude to those who have helped physically or arbitrarily in your dissertation writing. This includes your family, friends, supervisors, fellow researchers, participants, interviewee, and others who have had an immense backup in your research.

III. Abstract

Many students are not aware of how to write a dissertation abstract, and therefore, skips this section. You should not repeat the same. Take the following points into consideration –

  • Usually, an abstract is 150-300 long
  • State the central topic of discussion
  • Speak of the research objectives
  • Highlight research methods
  • Hint to your inference and deduction

Note: Write the abstract at the very end of your paper, after completing the body, introduction, and conclusion.  

IV. Table of Contents

Have you ever looked closely at the “content” section of your textbooks? You have to create a similar section in your dissertation. That’s called the Table of Contents. This includes the list of all the headings and subheadings, along with the respective page numbers. Don’t just write it in a white paper; create a table and draft in a format.

V. Introduction

Technically, this marks the opening of your dissertation. Impeccable dissertation introductions are developed on the basis of a sound and simple to-do list. Catch a glimpse, now –

  • Contextualize the paragraph with necessary background information
  • Discuss pre-researches and the existing state of the concerned field
  • Narrow down the focal aspect by defining the latitudes of your study
  • Show the relevance of your research to a broad worldly affair
  • Emphasize the research questions and give an overview of your discussion
  • Establish a strong mighty contention on the basis of the topic

Clear-compact-crisp – these three Cs define a true-blue introduction and make your composition attractive and engaging to the readers.

VI. Literature Review

Theoretical framework, how scholar refers to this section, is of utmost importance. Here, you have to give credit to the literature, on the basis of which you are developing the whole research, addressing a gap on that work. This can be about a book, journal, magazine or any other literature. A brief review does the purpose appropriately.

VII. Research Methodology

As evident from the name, this section in your dissertation is about describing how you have conducted the research. Give enough information so that readers can gauge its validity. Put light on the overall approach of your study, adopted research methodology – whether qualitative or quantitative, techniques of data collection – surveys, communications, sampling or otherwise, used tools, integral obstacles and more.

VIII. Findings and Analysis

Possibly, this is the most crucial segment in a dissertation and everything you have written, so far, summed up here. Talk about your dissertation findings and analysis i.e. prove or disprove your contention with proper analysis and state the results or theories you have come up with. This part embraces all the scientific calculations, graphical illustrations, tables, charts, and other argumentative deductions.

IX. Discussions

Explicitly discuss your inferences in this section. Before this, you have only shown deductions and science, but this time is for reasoning and rational countering. Here, explore the connotation and implication of your findings. Specifically, address your interpretations and how that can fulfill the gap in your concerned literature. Try to prove it with negation or negative hypothesis. Readers enjoy this part the most, so compose it with the simplest vocabularies.

X. Conclusion

Conclude in style – that’s what experts say about dissertation conclusion. The ending passage follows a triangular pattern i.e. it starts on a narrow aspect and slowly moves into a broader dimension. Following are some writing advice –

  • Repeat the contention in a different set of words
  • Hint to your effort behind the research and deductions
  • Reinstate your inference keeping the essence intact
  • Recommend about the future scopes of research

Note: Write this part after completing the body and introduction so that you can pick key points from those sections for reinstation.

XI. References

List the sources, having a small or big contribution to your research. Never miss a single source, or else, you may experience plagiarism and paper rejection. Follow the format of referencing as suggested by the university – APA referencing style, MLA referencing style or others.

Got stuck? How about an expert’s assistance!

Managing time and topic, at the same time, ain’t easy as it sounds. On top of that, remembering so many guidelines are, also, challenging. Let PenMyPaper experts write dissertation for you. Highly qualified in-house writers and proofreaders, here, ensure top-quality plagiarism-free contents, within the deadline. Never miss this comprehensive custom research paper writing service!

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