Structure for Dissertation Writing

Structure your dissertation

So, have you done understanding what a dissertation assignment is? Have you got the dissertation topic selected and the research proposal approved? Yes? Wonderful. Now it’s a suitable time to start the real dissertation writing journey.

To write an appealing thesis or dissertation, the basic thing to learn is the structure of the dissertation. In this article, you will come across the fundamental layout and structure of a dissertation assignment in a stepwise procedure.

We’ll start by showing the outer picture and help you zoom in and understand the essentials to create a winning dissertation for yourself. All the core content will be discussed briefly to help readers with ease throughout their research journey.

A Caution:

In the following article, we will be discussing the traditional thesis/dissertation layout and structure, which is used generally in most universities across the world. Whether you are in the UK, US, Australia, or Europe, this article is going to be a helping hand. Nonetheless, some universities might have variations in the layout or structure such as extra chapters, somewhat different ordering, merged chapters, etc.

So, we encourage you to make sure if your university has its own prescribed layout and structure for the students to follow. If not, you are welcome to the structure we will be provided below.

A Dissertation Assignment

Generally, a dissertation consists of 6 chapters(which may vary as stated earlier). Regardless of variations, the aim of the dissertation assignment is the same – to reflect a research process. The overview of how to start a dissertation is as below:

  1. The first and introductory chapter consists of aims and core research questions.
  2. The second chapter, known as a literature review consists of the details to what the current research has to say about the question.
  3. Then come to the chapters known as methodology, results, a discussion which encompasses new research about the question.
  4. At last, the chapter of the conclusion tries to conclude the whole research to provide a valuable answer for the core research question.

Precisely, the layout and the dissertation structure reflect the procedure of research by asking distinct questions, research, and then providing an answer to that question.

Since we are done with the wider picture, let’s zoom into the details without any further ado.

Title Page

A proper title of a dissertation assignment is a must as it helps in putting forward a first impression to the reviewer. So, a little brainstorming is required to make your title page stand out. Now, you might wonder what essential factors make a good title page? A strong title requires the following 3 things:

  1. Concise Self. i.e: it should be too lengthy.
  2. Particular (Not obscure or hazy)
  3. It should be representative of your research topic


This page provides you an opportunity to thank all those who have helped you throughout your research journey. Usually, this page does not affect your marks but it is an academic practice that is appreciated.

Now, who are you going to thank? Well, there is no structure and requirements, but generally, the following people are mentioned:

  • The supervisor of your dissertation or committee
  • Any lecturers, professors, or academic consultants who have helped you with the methodology or the topic.
  • Any advisors, tutors, or mentors.
  • Your friends and family, mostly spouses if the learner is married.

There’s no requirement for extended meandering aimlessly. Simply state who you’re grateful to and for what (for example much thanks to my manager, John Doe, for his interminable persistence and mindfulness) – be earnest. As far as length, you should hold this to a page or less.

Abstract or Executive Summary

The abstract of a dissertation (or leader outline for certain degrees) serves to give the first-run reader (and marker or reviewer) a higher perspective on your research project. It should give them a comprehension of the critical experiences and discoveries from the research, without them needing to peruse the remainder of the report – at last, it should be enough in its own self.

For it to be enough, your dissertation abstract should cover the following central issues (at least):

  1. Your core research questions and aims– what key question(s) did your research want to reply to?
  2. Your methodology – how did you approach investigating the topic and discovering replies to your dissertation question(s)?
  3. Your findings – following your own examination, what did you find?
  4. Your conclusions – in light of your findings, what determinations did you make? What answers did you discover to your exploration question(s)?

Thus, similarly, The paper structure impersonates the research process, your theoretical or chief outline ought to mirror the examination interaction, from the underlying phase of posing the research process to the last phase of addressing that question.


Table of Content

This part is direct. You’ll regularly introduce your chapter by chapter list (Table of content) first, followed by the two records – figures and tables. We suggest that you use Microsoft Word’s programmed table of contents generator to produce your TOC.

On the off chance that you find that your chapter by chapter guide is excessively extended, consider eliminating one degree of sub-sections. Oftentimes, this is possible without taking away the value of the TOC.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Since we are done with the admin sections of the dissertation assignment, we are good to move forward to the core chapters. These chapters are the zest of your thesis or dissertation and their credibility makes your assignment a winning one. The name of the first chapter must have given you the idea. In the introduction – you are going to introduce your research.

Here a thing needs to be understood. Regardless of the fact that you have discussed your research in the abstract, you have to write the introduction section as if the reader has not read the abstract. (Remember, the abstract is a standalone document). How to write a dissertation introduction? The chapter of the introduction should encompass everything from the beginning, and should have the answers to the questions provided below:

  1. What will you research (in plain-language, higher perspective level)?
  2. For what reason is that worth researching? How could it be critical to the scholarly community or business? How could it be sufficiently original?
  3. What are your research aims and exploration question(s)? Note that the research questions can at times be introduced toward the finish of the literature review (next chapter).
  4. What is the extent of your review? At the end of the day, what will you cover and what will not you cover?
  5. How might you move toward your exploration? Ultimately, what procedure will you take on?
  6. How might you structure your dissertation? What are the core chapters and what will you do in every one of them?

These requirements are the basic ones to be included in your introduction. Some universities might require some extra features in the introduction chapter, so carefully review the requirements or consult your supervisor.

If done with effort, your introduction chapter will provide a clear path to the reviewer in order to understand your dissertation. In particular, it will make it clear to the reviewer (and marker) precisely the thing you’ll research, for what reason that is significant, and how you’ll be approaching the investigation. Then again, if your introduction leaves a first-time reviewer thinking about what precisely you’ll investigate, you’ve actually got some more work to do.

Chapter 2: Literature review

Since you’ve set an unmistakable course with your introduction chapter, the following stage is the literature. In this part, you will dissect the existing research (regularly academic journal articles and top-notch industry publications), with the end goal of understanding the following inquiries:

  • What does the literature at present say about the topic you’re researching?
  • Is the literature lacking or grounded? Is it partitioned or in conflict?
  • How does your research fit into the master plan?
  • How does your research contribute something unique?
  • How does the procedure of past investigations assist you with developing your own?

Depending upon the idea of your review, you may likewise introduce a conceptual frame of work (or hypothetical structure) towards the finish of your literature review, which you will then, at that point, test in your real research.

Once more, a few universities will need you to zero in on a portion of these spaces more than others, some will have extra or fewer requirements, etc. In this way, as usual, it’s essential to review your brief or potentially examine with your administrator, so you know precisely what’s generally expected of your literature review chapter.

Chapter 3: Methodology

Since you’ve investigated the present status of information in your literature review chapter and know about the current key theories, models, and systems, it’s a chance to plan your own research. Enter the methodology chapter – the most “science-ey” of all chapters…

In this section, you need to resolve two critical questions:

  1. Precisely HOW will you complete your research (for example, what is your expected research plan)?
  2. Precisely WHY have you decided to do things according to this plan (for example how would you justify your plan)?

Keep in mind, the dissertation part of your degree is most importantly about creating and exhibiting research abilities. Hence, the markers need to see that you know which techniques to utilize, can obviously verbalize why you’ve picked them, and have the expertise to convey them adequately.

Critically, this section requires detail – don’t keep down on the particulars. State precisely the thing you’ll do, with who, when, for how long, and so forth Besides, for each plan decision you make, ensure you justify it.

Practically speaking, you will probably end up returning to this section once you’ve embraced all information assortment and investigation and amended it according to the developments you made during the research stage. This is totally fine. It’s normal for you to add an extra research strategy, scrap an old one, and so forth depending on where your information leads you. Obviously, I’m discussing little changes here – not a major change from qualitative to quantitative, which will probably send your administrator in a twist!

Chapter 4: Results

You’ve presently gathered your information and embraced your investigation, regardless of whether qualitative, quantitative, or a blended strategy. In this chapter, you’ll present the crude consequences of your investigation. For instance, on account of a quant study, you’ll present the segment information, engaging insights, inferential measurements, and so forth.

Generally, Chapter 4 is just a show and depiction of the information, not a conversation of the significance of the information. As such, it’s unmistakable, as opposed to insightful – the importance is examined in Chapter 5. Notwithstanding, a few universities will need you to join chapters 4 and 5, so you both present and decipher the importance of the information simultaneously. Check with your institution what their preference is.

Chapter 5: Discussion

Since you’ve introduced the information investigation results, it’s an opportunity to decipher and break down them. Simply put, it’s a chance to talk about what they mean, particularly corresponding to your research question(s).

What you talk about here will rely to a great extent upon your picked strategy of research. For instance, in the event that you’ve gone to the quantitative course, you may talk about the connections between factors. In the event that you’ve gone to the qualitative course, you may talk about key topics and the implications thereof. Everything relies upon what your research plan decisions were.

Above all, you need to talk about your outcomes according to your research questions and aims, also the existing literature. What do the outcomes inform you concerning your research questions? Is it true that they are lined up with the existing research or in conflict? Assuming this is the case, for what reason may this be? Delve deep into your discoveries and clarify what the discoveries propose, in plain English.

Chapter 6: Conclusion

The final chapter – you’ve made it! Since you’ve talked about your interpretation of the outcomes, it’s an opportunity to take it back to the start with the conclusion chapter. All in all, it’s a chance to (endeavor to) answer your original research questions (from way back in chapter 1). Obviously state what your conclusions are as far as your research questions are concerned. This may feel a bit monotonous, as you would have addressed this in the previous chapter, yet it’s essential to bring the conversation round-trip and clearly express your answer(s) to the research question(s).

Then, you’ll normally examine the implications of your discoveries? All in all, you’ve addressed your research questions – however, what’s the significance here for the present reality (or in any event, for the scholarly community)? What should now be done another way, given the new understanding you’ve created?

Finally, you ought to examine the limits of your examination, just as how this affects future research nearby. No review is perfect, particularly not a Masters-level. Examine the weaknesses of your examination. Maybe your approach was restricted, maybe your example size was little or not delegated, and so forth, and so on. Try not to be reluctant to study your work – the markers need to see that you can recognize the constraints of your work. This is a strength, not a shortcoming. Be ruthless! If you are wondering How long should a dissertation conclusion be, well, it should be long enough to put forward a concluding self of your dissertation without being dragged to increase the word count.

This denotes the finish of your center sections – woohoo! From this point forward, it’s quite going great.

Reference List

Referencing is an important part of dissertation assignments. It consists of a list that encompasses all the resources that are cited in the dissertation. This reference section has to be in the APA, Harvard, etc.

Here, we suggest the students use reference management software to deliver flawless work. Moreover, some universities might require a bibliography with the exception of a reference list. The bibliography is similar to the reference list, besides that it contains the resources from which you have taken the idea but have not cited them in your dissertation.


To complete this puzzle, an appendix or group of appendices is the last piece. This section includes all the supporting data and evidence that has supported you in incorporating your dissertation assignment.


Students of universities are seen struggling in writing dissertation assignments, sometimes the reason is lack of knowledge and other times lack of guidance. We have incorporated this article to help you know about the general layout or structure of a dissertation. If some of you require a Sample dissertation introduction chapter, DissertationHelpZone is a reliable site to get yourself covered. Our team wishes you the best of luck in your dissertation writing journey!

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