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Structuring a Dissertation & Thesis

10 May 2018Academic Writing

A dissertation is the final step of your educational path to get a Master’s or Ph.D. degree. It shows all knowledge and skills you acquire to conduct a scientific project. It demonstrates an ability to set the targets, critically analyze the data, and produce a deep survey of the literature. The academic discourse has to find the solutions and clarifications, provide comparisons, and generalize what findings can be used to extend theory. Remember that fruitful academic writings are those, which are narrowly focused.

The doctoral or masters dissertation structure varies significantly from the structure of college essay. This scientific document is ordinarily an innovative piece of writing and possesses intellectual quality.

The originality and scholarship are dependent on the type of dissertation. If a thesis illustrates completion of a Master’s program, then it will contain secondary research, which is an assessment of an existing primary study or drawing new conclusions based on the initial experiments. If a dissertation is devoted to the doctoral study, on the other hand, it will contain primary research that is an input of new knowledge and practices to the chosen field of science.

The structure of thesis is crucial as it influences the general quality of paper and helps the graduate complete it successfully. Each college or another higher educational institution sets its own demands on the dissertation structure. It is obligatory to check these requirements before you begin to write your academic paper, therefore, many students require help with dissertation writing. Despite this fact, general structure has many aspects in common.

How to structure a dissertation?

The structure of the scholarly argumentation is very similar to the structure of a scientific article. It usually consists of several dissertation sections, including a preface to subject matter of the research, experimental part or methodology, core chapters that represent a confirmation of the data preferred for analysis, obtained results and discussion of an initial hypothesis of the study, and final conclusions.

Before you start building structure of your thesis, you need to check the requirements appointed for your discipline – which chapters to include, what order and lengths of your chapters are, what to add to your main body and appendices, or ask experts for thesis help online, they know what material to involve in each section.

Title page

The title page is different for every university. Your committee should provide you with its format and ordinary requirements. It might include your name, student ID, department and university name, degree level, thesis title and date of submission. A dissertation title should be eye-catching and represent main subject matter of study in several words.

Abstract

Your abstract is a compressed summary of your academic writing. It is one separate page that includes from 250 to 750 words. Despite its length, an abstract is difficult to compose you have to put all your achievements on one page. A good summary enables a reader to learn the problems you investigate, why and how you have conducted research, what you have discovered, and what your findings mean without reading the whole dissertation. It is written last when you are aware of outcomes and relevance of your study.

Table of contents

Every dissertation structure contains a content page placed on the title page that lists the starting pages for different chapters.

Introduction

Sometimes young scientists name this section as historical too. It should force the reader to gets interested in your investigation and suggest all questions you will explain in the next chapters. The introduction represents the background of your study. It gives the answers to questions related to the subject matter of your issue; the methodological approach used in your investigation, topicality of your research for development of science in general. Also, this chapter displays your awareness of the problem you are going to investigate, how you are planning to structure your dissertation, why you have chosen this area of study. A thorough literature review must be done and shown what other scientists have done on this issue, how research is related to other contemporary scientific investigations.

Literature review

Most undergraduate dissertation structure requires separating literature review as a separate section. If you are obliged to prepare it as an individual chapter, you need to introduce the current state of studies related to your topic, find out whether they agree or disagree with your research, and explain importance of your experiment. Mostly this part is completed first. Your literature review shouldn’t be just an outline of publications; instead, it should be a critical analysis of the related articles. A gap that identifies where further investigation is expected should be defined in this part.

Experimental part

This part is frequently included in the introduction. The chapter on experimentation outlines applied methods and techniques in details. This part is very important as all results depend on your chosen methodologies. The length of this chapter varies with the field of study or discipline and chosen methods. It is fundamental to characterize why defined methodology was chosen and how each method will be applied. Also, this section describes how the data was gathered and investigated.

Substantive chapters

This part constitutes the main body of your research and consists of the sequential substantive chapters. The dissertation chapters structure in this part describes the process of gathering and analyzing your data, results of your experiments, and discussions that might result from this research. It should demonstrate whether or not these results prove your hypothesis. Moreover, you should combine his/her practical or experimental part with the theories described in the literature review.

Results

The obtained results of research are given in this subchapter. It starts with analyzing the collected data and providing the samples. Tables and charts are used to present your involved data.

Discussions

This subsection demonstrates whether the obtained outcomes prove your original hypothesis. You should point out the goals and tasks set in the preface and discuss whether the achieved outcomes answer or do not answer research issues. It is essential to prove how reliable and valid the obtained results are. This part also contains an overview of the most valuable findings of your investigation, accurate observation of the findings that fail to support the hypothesis, some limitations that might influence the validity of the outcomes.

Conclusions and recommendations

This part is usually brief. It summarizes the outcomes of your research and sketches what the author has achieved. It also suggests the perspectives for future investigations. You should be very attentive when you write your conclusions as this chapter is viewed after introduction by the committee members to check whether or not you have accomplished the objectives mentioned at the beginning of your project. The conclusion summarizes the main points of your results, suggests new ideas, and identifies whatever weaknesses and limitations there are in your search.

Bibliography

A bibliography list should include all sources you consulted when doing research. All sources must be listed in alphabetical order of the author’s surname.

Appendices

Some authors add appendices to their dissertation plan that display extra information that is referred to their investigation, such as diagrams, tables, charts, maps, interviews, or questions. All material from appendices should refer to the main body of your thesis.

Dissertation as a result of scientific publications

The project may also result as a consequence of a range of academic publications ready for submission. For instance, your thesis has to include three parts. You can write three articles related to your research. Each of them will represent one chapter. Thus, you will get a dissertation and three publications that come out of it.

It is one of the most advantageous ways of composing a scientific paper. It is not necessary to worry about structure as a separate paper and to rewrite it several times. The only thing you need is to prepare some articles according to the requirements of the specific journals to which you are planning to send your publications to.

Before submission, you should dedicate at least one day for proofreading and polishing your masterpiece to a shine. Consider contacting a professional dissertation writing service to ensure your paper is reviewed by experts.

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