This page is often neglected by students, but has an important role in structuring your dissertation. You need to dedicate your work to a person, institution, or cause. As an example, you might dedicate your dissertation to the institution that supported your research. This short part of your dissertation will acknowledge the support and help you received from your tutors, institution, or colleagues. A summary of the dissertation, including purpose and findings.
This introduces the study and establishes the research context. It should include a statement of the problem under consideration, the objective of the research, what or who is included in the study, and an overview of the structure of the dissertation. This gives an extensive background to relevant theories. It should explore and critique past research and any explanatory models. It should end with the research questions to be answered by the study. This part of the dissertation structure sets out the way the study was carried out, and should include subsections, such as: Data collection and analysis.
Ethical issues and any limitations related to your research. This section sets out the results of your study.
This part of the dissertation discusses the results in a wider context, and links with themes drawn out during the literature review are considered. Further, you will have to critique the theses and theories discussed in the literature review section based on the results of the study. You need to state whether the evidence provides support for the research hypothesis. Each research question is discussed with reference to the evidence. In writing your dissertation you will draw on some of this earlier writing to produce a longer and more comprehensive account.
Before embarking on any substantial writing for your dissertation you will need to check the exact requirements regarding:. There are some conventions that guide the structuring of dissertations in different disciplines.
You should check departmental and course regulations. The title itself is an important opportunity to tell the potential reader what your research is about. You will need it to be succinct, specific, descriptive, and representative of the research you have done. There is likely to be a required format for the title page in your discipline, so you need to check what that is.
This may be one of the shortest sections of your thesis or dissertation, but it is worthwhile taking great care to write it well. Essentially, the Abstract is a succinct summary of the research. It should be able to stand alone in representing why and how you did what you did, and what the results and implications are.
It is often only one page long, and there may be a word limit to adhere to. The Abstract is an important element of the thesis, and will become a document in its own right if the thesis is registered within any database.
The examiners will therefore assess your Abstract both as part of your thesis, and as a potentially independent document. It can be best to write the Abstract last, once you are sure what exactly you are summarising. Alternatively it can be useful to write the abstract earlier on, as an aid to identifying the crucial main thread of your research, its purpose, and its findings, which could then guide the structure of the dissertation.
It might be useful to look at how others have managed. It is certainly an academic exercise, but perhaps not too different from the concise explanations of your research you may have had to give to relatives and neighbours over the last few years, in terms of its brevity, accessibility, and comprehensiveness.
This is your opportunity to mention individuals who have been particularly helpful. Reading the acknowledgements in other dissertations in your field will give you an idea of the ways in which different kinds of help have been appreciated and mentioned.
The contents pages will show up the structure of the dissertation. This is a useful check on whether amalgamation of sections, or creation of further sections or sub-sections is needed. Although this is the first piece of writing the reader comes to, it is often best to leave its preparation to last as, until then, you will not be absolutely sure what you are introducing. The introduction has two main roles:.
The purpose of this chapter is to show that you are aware of where your own piece of research fits into the overall context of research in your field. To do this you need to:. This can lead logically into a clear statement of the research question s or problem s you will be addressing.
In addition to the research context, there may be other relevant contexts to present for example:. It can be difficult to identify the best order for sections in this chapter because the rationale for your choice of specific research question can be complicated, and there may be several inter-linked reasons why the research is needed. It is worth taking time to develop a logical structure as this will help to convince examiners of the relevance of your research, and that you understand its relevance.
It will also provide you with a framework to refer back to in your discussion chapter, when you reflect on the extent to which your research has achieved what it set out to do.
In these chapters a straightforward description is required of how you conducted the research. If you used particular equipment, processes, or materials, you will need to be clear and precise in how you describe them. You must give enough detail for another researcher to replicate your study. You will need to check which style of reporting is preferred in your field.
You can also place your name, educational program and student administration number here. The information page gives more information than what can be found on the title page. Here you note again the title and subtitle , information about your supervisors, information about yourself name, student administration number and email address and information about your educational program. Finally, end this page with the date on which the dissertation is submitted. Here you can give the reader information about the personal background of your dissertation.
In addition, the preface is also used to thank everyone who helped with the production of your dissertation. We advise you to use only a preface and to add your words of thanks to it. Only when you want to use a lot of space to thank many people can an acknowledgements section come in handy. In the summary, you answer four questions:. The table of contents ensures that the reader of your dissertation has an overview and can see on which page a certain chapter begins, navigating the document with more ease.
Put all parts of your dissertation in the table of contents, including the appendices. You can easily generate a table of contents automatically in Word. All tables and figures that you use in your dissertation are itemized in the list of figures and tables.
By alphabetizing this list, the reader can easily look up an abbreviation. It is a matter of personal preference as to whether the list of abbreviations is placed at the beginning or end of your dissertation, after the list of references. In the glossary, you list the terms alphabetically and explain each term with a brief description or definition.
In the introduction , you introduce the topic and the problem statement, and you describe how your dissertation is constructed. You can even use our tips for writing an overview of your dissertation to make sure readers go through your text more easily. You can almost always answer these descriptive research questions by conducting a literature study.
Use a separate section for each research question. If you are conducting empirical research and are drafting hypotheses or have already done so, you can use the literature to reject or support a hypothesis.
You can also use the literature review to formulate a hypothesis. Later, while conducting qualitative or quantitative research, you will test the hypothesis.
How to structure a dissertation. Dissertations are structured rather differently from essays and more akin to academic books (though, not textbooks).
The contents pages will show up the structure of the dissertation. Any imbalance in space devoted to different sections of content will become apparent. This is a useful check on whether amalgamation of sections, or creation of .
How to structure a dissertation. The structure of a dissertation presents a complicated issue. Basically, it is the list of your objectives, research methods and personal findings. Opposed to an essay, the structure of the dissertation resembles an academic book rather than textbook or an essay, and the process should always be . The structure of a dissertation that uses qualitative methodology might vary depending on your study and writing style. The nature of qualitative study calls for flexibility, so you can let the material guide you and change your study direction if needed.
Structure of a dissertation. Each educational program places slightly different demands on the structure of a dissertation. That’s why it is always a good idea to investigate the requirements of your program/5(). Structure of a Dissertation Proposal This is where you actually get to answer the question ‘ how to structure a dissertation proposal ’. Once you’ve finalized your topic, you need to make sure that you get down with researching and writing your dissertation.