A Detailed Dissertation Writing Guide for Students

One of the aspects of a great dissertation is a proper structure. To make your paper reader-friendly and clear, its chapters should be organized in a particular way. If you ignore the rules of structuring your text, it’s likely that your paper won’t convey your message in a perfectly understandable way and you won’t be able to get a high score.


What to Include in Your Dissertation

  • An abstract.
  • This is a paper section that shouldn’t be longer than one page. It should provide a brief summation of your paper’s topic, your research methods, and results of your work. Abstracts are mostly used for search purposes.

  • An introduction.
  • This part should clearly introduce your area of interest and the scope of your study. Indicate the main questions that your research is going to find answers to and show why it’s important to answer these questions. At the end of the chapter, explain the concepts and terms and give a brief roadmap of other chapters.

  • A literature review.
  • In this chapter of your paper, you should introduce the schools of thought that have influenced your research and present the main theoretical sources that you’ve read and analyzed during your work. Indicate the authors of these books and list their major achievements.

  • A study methods description.
  • Next, you should explain what research methodology has been chosen to achieve your goals. Point out why you’ve chosen this particular strategy. Then, you should provide a detailed description of each activity performed by you during the study so that your readers can replicate your experiments if needed.

  • A discussion of the study results.
  • Having described your research methodology, you should demonstrate what outcomes you’ve achieved. Present the raw figures received from your tests and experiments first. Then, interpret the meaning of these results. Lastly, discuss the significance of your findings explaining how they’ll benefit other researchers.

  • A conclusion.
  • This chapter should wrap up the information given in previous chapters. Also, it should list a few directions that the readers may go into if they decide to continue the study on the topic you’ve selected.

  • A list of references.
  • Right after the main body of your paper, you should place your bibliography. Here, you should list all sources that were consulted during your work in an alphabetical order.

  • Appendices.
  • It’s likely that you’ll have some pictures, graphs, and tables that won’t be convenient to put in the main chapters. You should place them in this part instead so that the reader may look at them later without the need to stop reading the text.

Organizing the Work on Your Dissertation

Knowing what sections your paper should include isn’t enough to succeed. You should also learn which steps you should take during your work and in what order to take them. Use the following pattern:

  • Generate a topic to study.
  • Gather and analyze theoretical information.
  • Conduct practical parts of your research.
  • Create an outline for your paper.
  • Write the first draft.
  • Revise and edit your draft until you’re satisfied with the result.
  • Format and finalize your document.

If you face any problems or difficulties during some step, feel free to approach your advisor and ask them for help and advice.

Keep in mind, however, that the main secret of composing a strong academic paper is a proper time management. If you begin the work on your academic project early and distribute your time wisely among all the necessary steps, you’re likely to succeed. If you manage your time carelessly, you might not manage to complete your work on schedule.

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