How to Structure a Dissertation

A dissertation, or thesis, is a document or educational write-up that is submitted for a student to get an academic degree. This document highlights findings carried out by a candidate to support the particular topic chosen, and it is an essential criterion needed in obtaining doctorate, masters, or bachelor’s degree.

The process of writing a dissertation can be very daunting and seemingly intensive at first sight, but it is essential to pay attention to the dissertation structure. For a dissertation to make sense and convey the message it is supposed to, it has to be well structured and written according to specifications. Structuring a dissertation can be difficult sometimes as it is supposed to contain your objectives, research findings, research methods applied, etc., but as your piece is overseen by a professor in charge, you can be given guidelines on how to structure a dissertation even better.

The structure of a thesis can differ based on the degree. This means a PhD thesis structure can be dissimilar to that of a BSc and so on.

Basic Dissertation Structure

Apart from an introduction, literature review, conclusion dissertations also have one or two chapters extra. The other subjects of the thesis would depend on the topic chosen, the field of study and the grade to be obtained. However, the structure of a basic dissertation would be listed below:

  • Title Page

This is the first page, and it contains the thesis topic, the student name, the department of study, institution, the program of study (if it is a BSc, MSc or PhD), and the proposed submission date of the dissertation. Many times, the need to add the name of the supervisor and even the insignia of the university would rise.

  • Acknowledgments

The acknowledgments section is optional, and in this space, you can thank or acknowledge people who contributed to the writing of the thesis.

  • Abstract

This is the first part that anyone going through your essay would read and it is a summary of the entire thesis. As it is a summary, it should fall between 150-300 words. The abstract should comprehensively analyze the main topic and aim of the research, describe the methods used during the study, and the deductions derived. There are different examples of synopses online that you can learn from.

  • Contents page

This is your go-to page if you want an idea of the general structure of the dissertation. The contents page should list out all chapters, subheadings and pages. This would easily help you determine the whereabouts of particular sections in the thesis.

  • Introduction

Your introduction should emphasize the intent of your theory, its importance, what you aim to accomplish with the dissertation, and many others. Introductions similarly can touch on the topic as a whole before it is narrowed to specifics in subsequent chapters. An ideal introduction should blend impeccably with the main body of the dissertation.

  • Methodology

The methodology is essential and compulsory only if the dissertation is research based; either qualitative or quantitative research and it points out and explains approaches or steps that were applied before data was accumulated and results were achieved.

  • Literature review

The literature review is usually the first chapter, and as such, used to access the present state of literature as relating to the topic that is being considered. When writing the literature review, previous materials relating to the problem has to be collected, analyzed, information can be gleaned from it, conclusions can be met, and a substantial and overall point can be gotten. As a candidate, when you do this, you would have exhaustive knowledge of the subject and be able to handle it better.

If you are having issues writing your dissertation, you can always hire someone to help you out. There are do my dissertation links that you can find online where you would find someone to support you to write it. When you understand that it is difficult for you to write – it is better to ask for help from professionals.

  • Substantive chapters

They are usually between 2 and 3 extra chapters separate from the literature review, and they address different aspects of the dissertation. You should note the main focus of your entire dissertation and endeavor to not lose sight of it all, even in the chapters.

  • Conclusion

This is an abstract of the points listed in the essay and also your thought process. Problems or limitations noted during the course of study should be included, and if possible, the solutions should be provided as well. To make your dissertation as realistic and applicable to real case circumstances. To achieve this, you can site examples and real-life circumstances as relating to the topic at hand.

  • Reference list

The common reference styles are the APA and MLA, and more often than not, the style to adopt would be indicated by the professor overseeing the dissertation.

  • Appendices

This should include papers used in the dissertation that do not fit into the main body of your work. It can include transcripts, discussions, survey questions, etc.

All of these make up the thesis, and it is essential to make appropriate findings as to how a thesis is written in your institution to stick to the stipulated structure.