A dissertation is the most important writing you will do in your study program. It is not a wonder therefore, that it can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake. To make it less daunting and more easily tackled, make a plan that will keep it manageable. This will help you in selecting the area of interest, choosing an approach and research title, making an outline and finding the sources you need. While there is a basic and generally accepted structure for a dissertation, the structure may differ from one department or university to another hence you should always check the guidelines provided to ensure your dissertation is structured as per the instructions. However, the best structure for a dissertation includes planning for a word limit and chapter arrangement that will best suit the topic. Nevertheless, the dissertation is divided into preliminary pages and the body. The latter has various chapters each tacking a particular issue.
The Preliminary Pages
These include the title page, abstract, acknowledgment, declaration of originality, table of contents, list of figures, list of tables, definitions and list of any accompanying material. The title is particular to the area of interest and the abstract a summary of your dissertation. The acknowledgement gives credit to the people who have specially helped you in your dissertation. On the other hand, the content pages indicate the contents, figures, and tables among others included in your final paper.
This consists of chapters such as the introduction chapter, literature review, research methodology, results or findings, analysis and discussion, conclusions, recommendations, references, and appendices.
- The introduction is a presentation of the research problem and justification as well as providing a brief outline of your work and laying the theoretical framework for your research.
- The literature review on the other hand, is a way of examining existing work and showing the gaps that your research seeks to fill or problems it resolves.
- Next is the research methodology which is an account and description of the methods you will use to conduct the research. These methods should be clearly stated such that future replications of your research can be possible.
- Once you carry out your research the findings, you get a dedicated chapter of their own. These clearly answer the main as well as specific objectives and question that you thesis posed.
- After findings, you are required to discuss and analyze your findings in a way that validates the usefulness of your research. Indeed, in analysis and discussion, always refer to your suppositions and also state any additions made that you had not outlined earlier.
- Finally, draw your conclusions highlighting all the main points of your research and recommend any future work. Add a reference and appendix, and you are good to go!