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How to Structure your dissertation


                                                                             Dissertation writing 

A dissertation is academic writing which is based on original research on a topic. It is a part of a research project in undergraduate or post-graduate work.

A dissertation is the longest document writing in your research. This can be a little daunting to know where to start. Read this document to get the dissertation structure right.

How to decide on your dissertation structure:

All dissertations do not have the exact same structure. It depends on the research topic, approach, requirement of the university to name a few.

The dissertation of research topic humanities is generally long. If your topic is sciences, it will have different sections. In the case of social science, few sections are woven together.

The order of content can vary depending on locations. In certain universities, the rule is to write a conclusion before the discussion.


Tile is the beginning of your document. It has your document title, name, degree program, department name, date of submission. Programs have a strict formatting requirement for the title page.


This section is optional generally. Mainly used to thank everyone who helped in writing the document. This can include your supervisors, participants, friendly & family etc.


In this section, a summary of your writing is mentioned. Usually written at the end of the dissertation. The topics covered in the abstract:

  • The main topic of the research
  • List the Methods used
  • Summarize final results & findings
  • Conclusion

Table of contents:

It is a list of all the topics covered in your document. It helps the reader to get an overview of the topic. The reader can easily navigate through your document. It can be automatically generated in your word by using heading styles.

List of tables & figures:

It is important to number the tables and figures in your document. It can be automatically generated in word using the insert caption feature.


It helps the reader go through some difficult words used in your document. You can alphabetize your list of terms and give a brief description.

Introduction: Introduction is to tell the reader what to expect throughout your dissertation. It contains

  • give necessary background information to your topic
  • define the scope of your research
  • Aim and objectives
  • Problem Statement
  • Significance of research
  • Chapterization Plan

Literature review:

Theoretical framework mentions already existing research on your topic. This process generally includes

  • Conducting secondary research from relevant.
  • Critically examining and analysing resources.
  • Get a connection between them.

The literature review often becomes the basis of your research. It helps in identifying the gap in research. It facilitates informing of an unresolved problem.


This describes what methods you used for your research. The main aim is to report the research process. It mainly includes

  • The approach and type of research for e.g. quantitative, qualitative, ethnographic etc.
  • Your methods of collecting data few of them can be interviews, surveys, archives.
  • Details of research like time, location of the research.
  • Methods used for data analysis like statistical analysis
  • Various Tools you used are computer programs, statistical software etc.
  • Detailed evaluation for your methods

Analysis and Interpretation:

The qualitative/ quantitative data collected is analysed and interpreted in this chapter. Different qualitative and or quantitative techniques are applied to get the results. On receiving the results, the results are analysed and interpreted.


In this section, the reader should be able to understand the solution to the research question. Keep your conclusion very precise and clear. The conclusion will be the final section of your document. The conclusion can also have future recommendations for your research. Directly mention your final result and findings while discussing the limitations of your research.

Reference list:

The reference list includes complete details of the references you used in your research i.e. bibliography. The citations or references should maintain a strict format and style. Make sure your citation listings are in a uniform format throughout. It shows the consistency of your work.


This section can contain an extra source of information that could not be a part of the main body. This content will be essential research material that is directly related to your work.

Editing & Proofreading:

After completing the thesis/ dissertation/ journal or any other writing, it is important to proofread. This helps in avoiding any errors or flaws. It will enhance the quality of the document.

It is important to revise the content with several drafts. Consider professional proofreading services. It can make your life easier and enhance work quality.

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