Embarking on the journey of organizing your dissertation can be daunting, especially when it’s the lengthiest writing project you’ve ever tackled. This article is designed to navigate you through the specifics of what to include in your dissertation and where it fits best. Let’s first take a swift look at the essential elements that constitute a thesis or dissertation before diving deeper into each section.
Key Elements of a Dissertation
The format of dissertations can be vastly diverse – you might choose to incorporate various chapters or utilize different headers, depending on the specifics of your research. However, the subsequent structure is frequently used for empirical research in the fields of science and social science:
- Title page
- Inventory of images and tables
- Index of abbreviations
- Review of literature/ theoretical framework
Proportions of Each Section
Students frequently question the recommended length of each segment. The lengths may differ depending on the type of research you’re conducting, but typically, the literature review and discussion sections make up the larger part of your dissertation. Sections such as the methodology, results, and conclusion are generally more concise.
An In-Depth Overview of Each Section
Title, Appreciation, and Summary
Your title page should contain your dissertation’s title, your name, department, university, degree program, and date of submission. The title page is followed by an appreciation page, where you express gratitude to those who have guided you, like your mentors. An abstract, a brief summary of your dissertation of 150-300 words, follows the acknowledgments.
Contents and Terminology
Include a table of contents to simplify navigation through your dissertation. If your research contains a high number of figures, tables, or abbreviations, consider creating lists of these for easy lookup. It might be helpful to include a glossary if your work involves many specialized terms, but this is often optional.
Prologue, Literature Review, and Approach
The introduction should present your topic, its purpose, and relevance, and provide a glimpse of what to expect in the remainder of the dissertation. The literature review does more than summarizing existing research—it constructs a coherent structure and argument that paves a clear path for your research. The methodology section details your research process, enabling readers to gauge its reliability and validity.
Findings, Analysis, and Conclusion
The Findings section reports the relevant outcomes of your research. The Analysis section delves into the implications of your findings concerning your research questions, providing reasons for any unanticipated results. Your conclusion should crisply answer the principal research question, leaving the reader with a vivid understanding of your primary argument.
Bibliography and Addendums
Acknowledge the research of others you’ve built upon within the text and provide a bibliography. It’s crucial to adhere to a consistent citation style.
Getting Your Dissertation Underway
A practical way to set your dissertation in motion is to craft a Word document, insert the headers of each section, and draft bullet points of what you aim to address in each section. This strategy offers a lucid blueprint for your writing. Best of luck with your dissertation journey – remember, you’ve got this! Keep an eye out for more content related to dissertation composition and academic insights. We appreciate your time in reading and look forward to delivering more valuable content.