Agree! The main structure of your Dissertation depends on your field and your instructor’s specific directives, but if we consider it from a general perspective; then the structure of a dissertation is more or less standard, with the starting and the conclusion conforming to the same guidelines in almost all fields. Even if the variation between different fields and their requirements molds a dissertation paper to a higher extent, being accustomed to the standard structure can assist the dissertation writer a lot in getting yours underway.
Discussed below is the basic structure every Dissertation paper follows:
- Title page
- Contents page(s)
- Materials and methods or Literature review
- Results or Sources and methods
- Discussion or Findings
We live in a world, where books are usually judged by their covers. Some consider the title page as the least essential parts of the front matter. When it comes to a dissertation, it is a title page that set the first good impression. It, alone, tells a lot about your research. A good title page is the one that is succinct and specific.
An abstract is the most shortest, yet most powerful section of a research paper. It captures the essence of your research and concisely elucidates the reader that what your paper is all about. Usually, an abstract is about 200-250 words in length. Avoid using references or quotes in your abstract.
This section is dedicated to thanking those who have been particularly helpful. Sometimes this section acknowledges only a handful of individuals; sometimes it’s more than a page long.
The contents pages explain how your dissertation is structured, and if desired or necessary makes it easier to skip straight to a particular part of it without needing to read the matter in between.
Introduction should explain your research scope; at the same time, it also justifies the need for your research as well. The introduction should include some background information or context to help the reader understand your research.
Literature Review and Methodology
The main purpose of writing Literature review in your dissertation is to establish that the dissertation writer is mindful of where your own research piece fits into the entire context of research in your discipline. For this you should:
- Describe the present state of research in your specified area;
- Make sure whether there are other closely related areas as well that you also need to relate;
- Identify a gap where you indicate that further research is required; and
- Clarify how you are going to handle this particular research gap.
Finally, work on any research that has direct relevance to your particular investigation. Proportionally you spend most of your time discussing those studies that are directly related to your research.
In research, methodology is the section in which you outline your research design and justify the type of study you are using- usually either quantitative or qualitative.
You summarize your results in this section, while highlighting key discoveries along with any unusual findings.
Here you review your own research into the wider context. You can relate back to the grounds that you previously gave for your research in your literature review section, and discuss what your research has contributed in this context.
Conclusion is comparatively more concise than the Discussion. Don’t take it as a mere ‘summary’ of the research. It encompasses the main points that have shown up and what they actually mean for your field.
This section should be highly structured, and must contain all of your references mentioned in the required referencing style.
Items that can be counted in the appendices are those your reader would wish to see, but which would require too much space and can disrupt the flow if positioned within the main text.
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