If you are a student thinking about the mechanics of a dissertation, it is prudent to appreciate that the structure is different from the common essays. A good dissertation structure is aimed at helping students stay organized and presenting findings correctly.
When working on your dissertation plan, the first thing to factor is your university guideline. For example, some universities recommend that conclusion should be done before the discussion while others leave it open.
While it is true that a dissertation is a complex document, you will find it relatively easy by establishing what is a dissertation, and then following a good layout. In this post, we will demonstrate the common structure of a winning dissertation that you should consider.
Dissertation Structure: Title Page
That is the first page of your completed dissertation. Note that though it is first, it should be the last item to work on after completing other parts. Here is the information to include in the title page:
This page comes immediately after the title page in your dissertation plan. This page is dedicated to acknowledging people who helped you when working on the dissertation.
Your dissertation layout must have an abstract. This page is positioned after acknowledgment and acts as a summary of the entire dissertation. To craft a great abstract, you should include the following:
Main topic and aim of the study.
Methods of the study.
A summary of the results.
Stating the conclusion.
Table Of Contents
This table should contain all the chapters and subheadings used in the dissertation. It should also indicate the pages with appendices.
List Of Figures And Tables
That is one of the important dissertation sections that help to tell the reader about the tables, and figures used in the dissertation.
If you have specialized items that readers might be unfamiliar with, it is important to add them in the glossary. A good example is a questionnaire.
Chapter 1: Introduction
When thinking about how to structure a dissertation, the introduction is very important because it sets the stage for your work. It can simply be referred to as Introduction or Chapter One – Introduction. This is the part where you set the thesis purpose and relevance. Here is what to include:
Provide some research background on the topic.
Discuss the state of current studies on the topic.
State your research problems and goals (objectives).
Provide a brief on the thesis structure.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
This is another very important part of your dissertation. Even before starting your dissertation, you should have done some review of the literature about the topic. From the literature review introduction structure, the reader should be able to know what the current studies found out and where your research will come in to fill the gap. Here is what to include in the literature review:
Identify and address gaps in the literature of your study area.
Define and analyze concepts and models you are using to frame the dissertation.
Build on the strengths of the available knowledge.
Advances in the theoretical arguments in your study area.
Chapter 3: Methodology
The methodology comes at number three in the dissertation chapters structure. In this section, you will describe how you carried the research. This is crucial because readers can assess the study’s validity. Here is what to include:
The approach of the study (was it qualitative, experimental, quantitative, or ethnographic).
Methods used to collect data (for example, interviews).
Data analysis method.
Tools used during the study (for example, computer programs).
Obstacles experienced in the study.
A justification of the methods.
The goal of the methodology is to ensure you report what you did with accuracy. This means that if someone else followed the same steps, similar results would be achieved.
Chapter 4: Results
This is one of the crucial sections or components of a dissertation because it seeks to answer the questions you brought out in chapter one. Therefore, consider structuring this section on the basis of the hypothesis or research questions. Then, go ahead and provide the results that are relevant to the study objectives.
In this section, it is very useful to include charts, tables, and graphs. Also, make sure to go for the best data presentation method. Note your tools for data gathering such as interview schedules can be added at the back of the dissertation as appendices.
Chapter 5: Discussion
Note that the discussion and results of a masters or bachelor dissertation might come as different chapters depending on your university’s preference. This chapter takes a closer look at the results and discusses their meanings in relation to your study questions. Also, you have to indicate whether your expectations were met and if anything unexpected was found.
It is important to reference other scholarly work on your discussions. Finally, you can make recommendations for further studies.
Chapter 6: Conclusion
Chapter six of a PhD thesis should be used to answer the research questions. At this point, it is crucial also to demonstrate how the study will help advance knowledge in the subject of interest.
Though the conclusion of the study might appear like the end of the work, the following components should also be added into the dissertation structure.
List Of References
This part should include details of the sources that were cited in the dissertation. Common styles for writing references include MLA and APA.
This should contain additional info such as interview schedules and authorizations letters.