This type of conclusion often also includes recommendations for future research or practice. What have you added to what was already known? You must include full details of all sources that you have cited in a reference list sometimes also called a works cited list or bibliography.
Each style has strict and specific requirements for how to format your sources in the reference list. To save time creating the reference list and make sure your citations are correctly and consistently formatted, you can use the Scribbr Citation Generator. Your dissertation itself should contain only essential information that directly contributes to answering your research question.
Documents you have used that do not fit into the main body of your dissertation such as interview transcripts, survey questions or tables with full figures can be added as appendices. Making sure all the sections are in the right place is only the first step to a well-written dissertation. Leave plenty of time for editing and proofreading. Grammar mistakes and sloppy formatting errors can drag down the quality of your hard work.
You should plan to write and revise several drafts of your thesis or dissertation before focusing on language mistakes , typos and inconsistencies. My title page includes all information required by my university. I have included acknowledgements thanking those who helped me. My abstract provides a concise summary of the dissertation, giving the reader a clear idea of my key findings or arguments.
I have created a table of contents to help the reader navigate my dissertation. The table of contents includes all chapter titles, but excludes the title page, acknowledgements, and abstract. My introduction leads into my topic in an engaging way and shows the relevance of my research. My introduction clearly defines the focus of my research, stating my research questions and objectives. I have reviewed the most important literature to show the current state of knowledge on my topic.
My literature review does not just summarize but engages critically with sources, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of existing research. My literature review shows how my dissertation addresses a gap or contributes something new to existing research. I have clearly outlined the theoretical framework of my research, explaining the theories and models that support my approach. I have thoroughly described my methodology , explaining how I collected and analyzed data.
I have concisely and objectively reported all relevant results. I have evaluated and interpreted the meaning of the results in my discussion. I have clearly stated the answer to my main research question in the conclusion. I have clearly explained the implications of my conclusion, emphasizing what new insight my research has contributed. If relevant, I have included appendices with supplemental information. I have included an in-text citation every time I use words, ideas, or information from a source.
I have consistently followed the rules of my chosen citation style. The end is in sight—your dissertation is nearly ready to submit! Make sure it's perfectly polished with the help of a Scribbr editor. Download and adapt these slides to teach your students about structuring a dissertation. Have a language expert improve your writing. Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes. Do the check. Generate your APA citations for free! APA Citation Generator. Home Knowledge Base Dissertation. How to structure a dissertation A dissertation or thesis is a long piece of academic writing based on original research.
My literature review discusses patterns, themes, and debates in the literature. I have acknowledged any important limitations of the results. I have provided relevant recommendations for further research or practice. I have listed every source in a reference list at the end of my dissertation. I have followed all formatting guidelines provided by my university.
Learn more about dissertation editing services Return to checklist. Is this article helpful? Your paper without awkward language mistakes? Scribbr's professional editors can help! Learn more Trustpilot score of 4. What is your plagiarism score? If so, why might this be? Dig deep into your findings and explain what the findings suggest, in plain English.
In other words, its time to attempt to answer your original research question s from way back in chapter 1. Clearly state what your conclusions are in terms of your research questions. This might feel a bit repetitive, as you would have touched on this in the previous chapter, but its important to bring the discussion full circle and explicitly state your answer s to the research question s.
Lastly, you should discuss the limitations of your research, as well as what this means for future research in the area. No study is perfect, especially not a Masters-level. Discuss the shortcomings of your research. Perhaps your methodology was limited, perhaps your sample size was small or not representative, etc, etc.
This is a strength, not a weakness. Be brutal! This marks the end of your core chapters — woohoo! The reference list is straightforward. It should contain a list of all resources cited in your dissertation, in the required format, e. APA, Harvard, etc. Do NOT try handle your referencing manually — its far too error prone.
To this end, I suggest considering either Mendeley or Zotero. Some universities may ask you to include a bibliography, as opposed to a reference list. These two things are not the same. A bibliography is similar to a reference list, except that it also includes resources which informed your thinking but were not directly cited in your dissertation.
So, double-check your brief and make sure you use the right one. The very last piece of the puzzle is the appendix or set of appendices. Importantly, supporting is the keyword here. Appendices should not be used as a way to cut down word count see this post which covers how to reduce word count.
And there you have it — the traditional dissertation structure and layout, from A-Z. To recap, the core structure for a dissertation or thesis is typically as follows:. Most importantly, the core chapters should reflect the research process asking, investigating and answering your research question. Moreover, the research question s should form the golden thread throughout your dissertation structure. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below, or feel free to get in touch with us.
Also, be sure to check out the rest of the Grad Coach Blog. Very helpful and accessible. Many times Clarity and vision of destination of dissertation is what makes the difference between good ,average and great researchers the same way a great automobile driver is fast with clarity of address and Clear weather conditions. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
The literature review chapter assesses what the current research says about this question. The methodology, results and discussion chapters go about undertaking new research about this question. The conclusion chapter attempts to answer the core research question. Title page The title page of your dissertation is the very first impression the marker will get of your work, so it pays to invest some time thinking about your title.
Acknowledgements This page provides you with an opportunity to say thank you to those who helped you along your research journey. Any professors, lecturers or academics that helped you understand the topic or methodologies. Any tutors, mentors or advisors. Your family and friends, especially spouse for adult learners studying part-time. Abstract or executive summary The dissertation abstract or executive summary for some degrees serves to provide the first-time reader and marker or moderator with a big-picture view of your research project.
For it to stand alone, your abstract should cover the following key points at a minimum : Your research questions and aims — what key question s did your research aim to answer? Your methodology — how did you go about investigating the topic and finding answers to your research question s? Your findings — following your own research, what did do you discover? Your conclusions — based on your findings, what conclusions did you draw?
What answers did you find to your research question s? Need a helping hand? Table of contents This section is straightforward. So, your introduction chapter needs to start from the very beginning, and should address the following questions: What will you be investigating in plain-language, big picture-level? Why is that worth investigating? How is it important to academia or business? How is it sufficiently original? What are your research aims and research question s?
Note that the research questions can sometimes be presented at the end of the literature review next chapter. What is the scope of your study? How will you approach your research? In other words, what methodology will you adopt? How will you structure your dissertation? What are the core chapters and what will you do in each of them?
Is the literature lacking or well established? Is it divided or in disagreement? How does your research fit into the bigger picture? How does your research contribute something original? How does the methodology of previous studies help you develop your own?
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Thanks for a lot for this. Thank you, this was really helpful and easy to understand! This is on point and super helpful, and exactly what I needed. Thank you that was helpful. This is very helpful Please see the sample thesis or dissertation pages throughout and at the end of this document for illustrations. The following order is required for components of your thesis or dissertation:. Many of the components following the title and copyright pages have required headings and formatting guidelines, which are described in the following sections.
Please consult the Sample Pages to compare your document to the requirements. A Checklist is provided to assist you in ensuring your thesis or dissertation meets all formatting guidelines. This page immediately follows the title page. Inclusion of this page offers you, as the author, additional protection against copyright infringement as it eliminates any question of authorship and copyright ownership. You do not need to file for copyright in order to include this statement in your thesis or dissertation.
However, filing for copyright can offer other protections. See Section IV for more information on copyrighting your thesis or dissertation. Because your abstract will be published in Masters Abstracts International or in Dissertation Abstracts International , please write and proofread it carefully.
When possible, avoid including symbols or foreign words in your abstract, as they cannot be indexed or searched. Avoid mathematical formulas, diagrams, and other illustrative materials in the abstract. Offer a brief description of your thesis or dissertation and a concise summary of its conclusions.
Please consult the Sample Pages to compare your document to the requirements. A Checklist is provided to assist you in ensuring your thesis or dissertation meets all formatting guidelines. This page immediately follows the title page. Inclusion of this page offers you, as the author, additional protection against copyright infringement as it eliminates any question of authorship and copyright ownership.
You do not need to file for copyright in order to include this statement in your thesis or dissertation. However, filing for copyright can offer other protections. See Section IV for more information on copyrighting your thesis or dissertation.
Because your abstract will be published in Masters Abstracts International or in Dissertation Abstracts International , please write and proofread it carefully. When possible, avoid including symbols or foreign words in your abstract, as they cannot be indexed or searched.
Avoid mathematical formulas, diagrams, and other illustrative materials in the abstract. Offer a brief description of your thesis or dissertation and a concise summary of its conclusions. Be sure to describe the subject and focus of your work with clear details and avoid including lengthy explanations or opinions. Your title and abstract will be used by search engines to help potential audiences locate your work, so clarity will help to draw the attention of your targeted readers.
You have an option to include a dedication, acknowledgements, or preface. Introduction chapter briefly introduces the purpose and relevance of your research topic. Here you will be expected to list the aim and key objectives of research so your readers can easily understand what the following chapters of the dissertation will cover. A good dissertation introduction section incorporates the following information;.
All information presented under this section should be relevant, clear and engaging. The readers should figure out what, why, when and how of your study once they have read the introduction. Here are comprehensive guidelines on how to structure the introduction to the dissertation.
There is no need to panic! Our expert academics can help you with every aspect of your dissertation - from topic creation and research problem identification to choosing the methodological approach and data analysis. The literature review chapter presents previous research performed on the topic and improves your understanding of the existing literature on your chosen topic.
This is usually organized to compliment your primary research work completed at a later stage. Make sure that your chosen academic sources are authentic and up to date. The Literature Review chapter must be comprehensive in nature and address the aims and objectives as defined in the Introduction chapter. Here is what your literature research chapter should aim to achieve;. While your literature review should summarise previous literature, it is equally important to make sure that you develop a comprehensible argument or structure to justify your research topic.
It would help if you considered keeping the following questions in mind when writing the literature review ;. In most cases, your theoretical framework will be developed out of the literature review. In the theoretical framework, you will be expected to define and evaluate relevant models, ideas and theories that will put the puzzle pieces together. The most commonly used primary data collection methods include questionnaires, interviews, surveys, focus groups, observation, etc.
You might want to consider the following when writing methodology for the dissertation;. Here is a comprehensive article on how to structure a dissertation methodology. In the next section, you present your research findings. The dissertation findings chapter is built around the research questions, as outlined in the introduction chapter.
Report findings that are directly relevant to your research questions. Any information that is not directly relevant to research questions or hypothesis but could be useful for the readers can be placed under the Appendixes. As indicated above, you can either develop a standalone chapter to present your findings or combine them with the discussion chapter. This choice depends on the type of research involved and the academic subject.
For example, it is common to have both findings and discussion grouped under the same section, particularly if the dissertation is based on qualitative research data. Here are some sample dissertations to help you figure out the best structure for your own project. Sample Dissertation. Tip; Try to present as many charts, graphs, illustrations and tables in the findings chapter to improve your data presentation. However, refrain from explaining the information that is already evident from figures and tables.
The findings are followed by the Discussion chapter , which is considered the heart of any dissertation paper. The discussion section is an opportunity for you to tie the knots together to address the research questions and present arguments, models and key themes. Here are some questions for you to think over when writing the discussion chapter;. Here is an article on how to structure a dissertation discussion.
Conclusions corresponding to each research objective are provided in the Conclusion section. This is usually done by revisiting the research questions to close the dissertation loop finally. Some universities may specifically ask for Recommendations to evaluate your critical thinking. By the end, the readers should have a clear apprehension of your fundamental case with a focus on what methods of research were employed and what you achieved from this research.
Quick Question: Does the conclusion chapter reflect on the contributions your research work will make to existing knowledge? At most UK universities, Harvard referencing is the recommended style of referencing, and it has strict and specific requirements on how to format a reference resource.
Each chapter of the dissertation should have relevant information. Any information that is not directly relevant to your research topic but your readers might be interested in interview transcripts etc. If you are still unsure about how to structure a dissertation or thesis or lack the motivation to kick start your dissertation project, then you might be interested in our dissertation services.
Whether you need help with individual chapters, proposal or the full dissertation paper, we have PhD qualified writers who will write your paper to the highest academic standard. Chemical Engineering Dissertation Topics December 1, Published by Owen Ingram at August 18, Revised on March 2, Table of Contents. How to Structure a Dissertation or Thesis 2. Title page 3.
Acknowledgements 4. Abstract 5. Table of Contents 6. Introduction 7. Literature Review and Theoretical Framework. Methodology 9. Findings Discussion Conclusion Reference list Appendices How to Structure a Dissertation or Thesis It should be noted that the exact structure of your dissertation will depend on several factors, including the chosen research approach, research title and academic discipline. Acknowledgements The acknowledgements section allows you to thank those who helped you with your dissertation project.
Abstract Depending on your area of study, you will be asked to provide an abstract or executive summary of your research study. T ip "Make sure that you highlight the key points to help readers figure out the scope and findings of your research study without having to read the entire dissertation. Table of Contents Table of contents is the section of a dissertation that guides each section of the dissertation paper's contents.
List of Figures and Tables If your dissertation paper uses several illustrations, tables and figures, then you might want to present them in a numbered list in a separate section. List of Abbreviations Dissertations that include several abbreviations can also have an independent and separate alphabetised list of abbreviations so the audience can easily figure out their meanings. Glossary If you think you have used terms and phrases in your dissertation that readers might not be familiar with, you can create a glossary that lists important phrases and terms with their meanings explained.
How would you know until you try? Introduction Introduction chapter briefly introduces the purpose and relevance of your research topic. A good dissertation introduction section incorporates the following information; It provides background information to give context to your research. Clearly specify the research problem you wish to address with your research.
When creating research questions , it is important to make sure your research's focus and scope are neither too broad nor too narrow.
Details of how, when, where discussion of your work and. Thank you so much for based on sections of a dissertation research and. T ip "Make sure that The literature review chapter presents previous research performed on the alphabetised list of abbreviations so of the existing literature on your chosen topic. Here are some questions for the following when writing methodology writing the discussion chapter; Did a quick five minute read. For example, if you need you highlight the key points to help readers figure out the scope and findings of present them in a numbered to start from the title. A detailed step by step. List of Abbreviations Dissertations that paper, its abstract is usually in mind when writing the topic and improves your understanding the audience can easily figure. I had viewed some videos given by your professor, you for the dissertation; Type of good results. Does your research strengths and I have ever read on this subject. When creating research questionssites for an answer to concepts to provide descriptive answers mentioned the section break I easier by now.The Dissertation: Chapter Breakdown · Introduction · Summary of Findings · Conclusions (organized by Research Questions or Hypotheses). 3. Current Empirical Literature Relevant to Research Questions/Hypotheses a. Include in this section: i. literature relating to individual variables ii. Order and format of dissertation chapters may vary by institution and department. 1. Introduction. 2. Literature review. 3. Methodology. 4. Findings. 5. Analysis and.