layout of dissertation

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April 27, Staff Writers. With all the things you have going on as a student, writing a paper can seem like a daunting task. This image and list-based, step-by-step best dissertation service is the closest thing to writing a plug and chug paper you can get. So, are you ready to ace this paper of yours? The answer to this question is easy: look at the materials the prof gives you. The first important step in writing a paper is taking some time to understand what the professor is looking for. If you know that, you can write to the rubric and pick up easy points along the way.

Layout of dissertation essay writing site

Layout of dissertation

Download Word template Download Google Docs template. Not all dissertations are structured exactly the same — the form your research takes will depend on your location, discipline, topic and approach. For example, dissertations in the humanities are often structured more like a long essay , building an overall argument to support a central thesis , with chapters organized around different themes or case studies.

In many cases, each will be a separate chapter, but sometimes you might combine them. For example, in certain kinds of qualitative social science, the results and discussion will be woven together rather than separated. The order of sections can also vary between fields and countries.

For example, some universities advise that the conclusion should always come before the discussion. Many programs have strict requirements for formatting the dissertation title page. The acknowledgements section is usually optional, and gives space for you to thank everyone who helped you in writing your dissertation. This might include your supervisors, participants in your research, and friends or family who supported you.

The abstract is a short summary of your dissertation, usually about — words long. In the abstract, make sure to:. In the table of contents, list all of your chapters and subheadings and their page numbers. The dissertation contents page gives the reader an overview of your structure and helps easily navigate the document. All parts of your dissertation should be included in the table of contents, including the appendices. You can generate a table of contents automatically in Word if you used heading styles.

If you have used a lot of tables and figures in your dissertation, you should itemize them in a numbered list. You can automatically generate this list using the Insert Caption feature in Word. If you have used a lot of abbreviations in your dissertation, you can include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations so that the reader can easily look up their meanings.

If you have used a lot of highly specialized terms that will not be familiar to your reader, it might be a good idea to include a glossary. List the terms alphabetically and explain each term with a brief description or definition. The introduction should:. Everything in the introduction should be clear, engaging, and relevant to your research. By the end, the reader should understand the what , why and how of your research. If you need more help, read our guide on how to write a dissertation introduction.

Before you start on your research, you should have conducted a literature review to gain a thorough understanding of the academic work that already exists on your topic. This means:. For example, it might aim to show how your research:. The literature review often becomes the basis for a theoretical framework , in which you define and analyze the key theories, concepts and models that frame your research.

In this section you can answer descriptive research questions about the relationship between concepts or variables. The methodology chapter or section describes how you conducted your research, allowing your reader to assess its validity. You should generally include:. Your aim in the methodology is to accurately report what you did, as well as convincing the reader that this was the best approach to answering your research questions or objectives.

Next, you report the results of your research. You can structure this section around sub-questions, hypotheses, or themes. In some disciplines, the results section is strictly separated from the discussion, while in others the two are combined. For example, in qualitative methods like ethnography , the presentation of the data will often be woven together with discussion and analysis.

However, in quantitative and experimental research, the results should be presented separately before you discuss their meaning:. Additional data including raw numbers, full questionnaires, or interview transcripts can be included as an appendix. The discussion is where you explore the meaning and implications of your results in relation to your research questions. Here you should interpret the results in detail, discussing whether they met your expectations and how well they fit with the framework that you built in earlier chapters.

If any of the results were unexpected, offer explanations for why this might be. The discussion should refer back to relevant sources to show how your results fit with existing knowledge. The dissertation conclusion should concisely answer the main research question, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of your central argument and emphasizing what your research has contributed. In some academic conventions, the conclusion refers to a short section that comes before the discussion: first you directly state your overall conclusions, then you discuss and interpret their meaning.

In other contexts, however, the conclusion refers to the final chapter, where you wrap up your dissertation with a final reflection on what you found. 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. 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. Demonstrating how your research is relevant and how it would contribute to the existing knowledge.

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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. Demonstrating how your research is relevant and how it would contribute to the existing knowledge. Provide an overview of the structure of your dissertation All information presented under this section should be relevant, clear and engaging. Literature Review and Theoretical Framework The literature review chapter presents previous research performed on the topic and improves your understanding of the existing literature on your chosen topic.

Here is what your literature research chapter should aim to achieve; Data collection from authentic and relevant academic sources such as books, journal articles and research paper Analytical assessment of the information collected from those sources Identifying key research gaps, conflicts, patterns, and theories to get your point across to the reader effectively.

It would help if you considered keeping the following questions in mind when writing the literature review ; How your research work fills a certain gap in exiting literature? Did you adopt a new research approach to investigate the topic?

Does your research solve an unresolved problem? Is your research taking forward an existing theoretical discussion? Does your research strengths and builds on current knowledge within your area of study? Tip "You might want to establish relationships between variables and concepts to provide descriptive answers to some or all of your research questions.

You might want to consider the following when writing methodology for the dissertation; Type of research and approach your work is based on. Some of the most widely used types of research include experimental, quantitative and qualitative. Data collection techniques employed such as questionnaires, surveys, focus groups, observation etc.

Details of how, when, where and what for the research was conducted? Data analysis strategies employed regression analysis etc. Research limitations to highlight any hurdles you had to overcome when carrying our research Justification of your selection of research approach and research methodology Here is a comprehensive article on how to structure a dissertation methodology.

Findings In the next section, you present your research findings. Sample Dissertation Tip; Try to present as many charts, graphs, illustrations and tables in the findings chapter to improve your data presentation. Discussion The findings are followed by the Discussion chapter , which is considered the heart of any dissertation paper.

Here are some questions for you to think over when writing the discussion chapter; Did your work answer all the research questions or test the hypothesis? Did you come up with some unexpected results for which you have to provide an additional explanation or justification?

Are there any limitations that could have influenced your research findings? Conclusion Conclusions corresponding to each research objective are provided in the Conclusion section. Appendices Each chapter of the dissertation should have relevant information. Owen Ingram Ingram is a dissertation specialists. However, some universities will want you to combine chapters 4 and 5, so that you both present and interpret the meaning of the data at the same time.

Check with your institution what their preference is. In other words, its time to discuss what they mean, especially in relation to your research question s. What you discuss here will depend largely on your chosen methodology. It all depends on what your research design choices were. Most importantly, you need to discuss your results in relation to your research questions and aims, as well as the existing literature.

What do the results tell you about your research questions? Are they aligned with the existing research or at odds? 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?

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The literature review often becomes the basis for a theoretical framework , in which you define and analyse the key theories, concepts and models that frame your research. In this section you can answer descriptive research questions about the relationship between concepts or variables. The methodology chapter or section describes how you conducted your research, allowing your reader to assess its validity.

You should generally include:. Your aim in the methodology is to accurately report what you did, as well as convincing the reader that this was the best approach to answering your research questions or objectives. Next, you report the results of your research. You can structure this section around sub-questions, hypotheses, or topics.

Only report results that are relevant to your objectives and research questions. In some disciplines, the results section is strictly separated from the discussion, while in others the two are combined. For example, for qualitative methods like in-depth interviews, the presentation of the data will often be woven together with discussion and analysis, while in quantitative and experimental research, the results should be presented separately before you discuss their meaning.

In the results section it can often be helpful to include tables, graphs and charts. Full versions of your data such as interview transcripts can be included as an appendix. The discussion is where you explore the meaning and implications of your results in relation to your research questions.

Here you should interpret the results in detail, discussing whether they met your expectations and how well they fit with the framework that you built in earlier chapters. If any of the results were unexpected, offer explanations for why this might be. The discussion should reference other scholarly work to show how your results fit with existing knowledge. You can also make recommendations for future research or practical action. The dissertation conclusion should concisely answer the main research question, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of your central argument.

Wrap up your dissertation with a final reflection on what you did and how you did it. The conclusion often also includes recommendations for 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. The most common styles used in UK universities are Harvard referencing and Vancouver referencing.

To save time creating the reference list and make sure your citations are correctly and consistently formatted, you can use our free APA 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.

Say goodbye to inaccurate citations! Have a thesis expert improve your writing. Check your thesis for plagiarism in 10 minutes. Do the check. Generate your APA citations for free! APA Citation Generator. Home Knowledge Base Dissertation.

Writing and structuring your dissertation A dissertation or thesis is a long piece of academic writing based on original research, submitted as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The most common dissertation structure in the sciences and social sciences includes: An introduction to your topic A literature review that surveys relevant sources An explanation of your methodology An overview of the results of your research A discussion of the results and their implications A conclusion that shows what your research has contributed Dissertations in the humanities are often structured more like a long essay , building an argument by analysing primary and secondary sources.

Is this article helpful? For example, it might aim to show how your research:. The literature review often becomes the basis for a theoretical framework , in which you define and analyze the key theories, concepts and models that frame your research. In this section you can answer descriptive research questions about the relationship between concepts or variables.

The methodology chapter or section describes how you conducted your research, allowing your reader to assess its validity. You should generally include:. Your aim in the methodology is to accurately report what you did, as well as convincing the reader that this was the best approach to answering your research questions or objectives. Next, you report the results of your research.

You can structure this section around sub-questions, hypotheses, or themes. In some disciplines, the results section is strictly separated from the discussion, while in others the two are combined. For example, in qualitative methods like ethnography , the presentation of the data will often be woven together with discussion and analysis.

However, in quantitative and experimental research, the results should be presented separately before you discuss their meaning:. Additional data including raw numbers, full questionnaires, or interview transcripts can be included as an appendix. The discussion is where you explore the meaning and implications of your results in relation to your research questions.

Here you should interpret the results in detail, discussing whether they met your expectations and how well they fit with the framework that you built in earlier chapters. If any of the results were unexpected, offer explanations for why this might be. The discussion should refer back to relevant sources to show how your results fit with existing knowledge. The dissertation conclusion should concisely answer the main research question, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of your central argument and emphasizing what your research has contributed.

In some academic conventions, the conclusion refers to a short section that comes before the discussion: first you directly state your overall conclusions, then you discuss and interpret their meaning. In other contexts, however, the conclusion refers to the final chapter, where you wrap up your dissertation with a final reflection on what you found. 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.

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