dissertation   Structure of a Dissertation

Dissertation is a lengthy piece of formal document that argues in defense of a particular issue. This final project follows a scientific method that starts with the description of hypothesis and it continues with the collection of relevant evidences in order to support the placed argument. PhD pursuing students research on an utterly new or undiscovered topic as their dissertations so that it gives them an exceptional recognition as a doctorate scholar.

What are the essential features of a good dissertation?

  • Originality and practical implications
  • Significant demonstrations of the issues raised by the researcher
  • Extensive and relevant material
  • Comprehension of the arguments in defense of the particular issue
  • Systematic collection of data and evidences
  • Appropriate interpretation, analysis and evaluation of the collected data
  • Accurate presentation of the data, evidences and facts
  • Ability to think critically. This helps to raise discussion of the issues and not just presentation of findings.

Action plan for dissertation

  • Decide the subject discipline in which you want to conduct your research
  • Outline a time schedule. Frame the time needed to complete each of the research stages
  • Select the appropriate research methods that would bring out significant outcomes
  • In order to make the research more accessible, organize the equipments required to formulate the dissertations
  • Plan your data collection process and set the location, time and respondents to conduct the survey and interview process
  • Interpret and analyze the collected data in a proficient manner in order to impart an exceptional height to the written dissertation
  • Prepare an outline to formulate the write-up
  • Prepare a draft of your dissertation by implementing all necessary actions that you have planned for
  • On revising the write-up, you will encounter a number of flaws that mess up the entire dissertations
  • Make necessary amendments and re-edits
  • Present the final copy of your dissertations.

How to structure a dissertation

The structure of a dissertation primarily includes the following stages and significant chapters.

Research proposal

A research proposal is carried out following the similar approach to write a full dissertation except the conduct of actual research study. It is a way to evaluate the validity of the proposed dissertation and how efficient it is to achieve its aims, objects and research design. In short, a research proposal can be regarded as mini-dissertation.

Moreover, a good research proposal should depict the following:

  • Illustrate the issues you want to solve
  • Describe the way you want to do it
  • Outlines what you desire to attain

Title

The first page of your dissertation is composed of the title. The title should include the following details:

  • The title of the dissertation
  • Write your full name and academic qualifications
  • Academic statement: This dissertation is submitted in fulfillment of PhD degree requirement
  • Name of the Institution
  • Date of submission
  • Name of the Professor/Supervisor

Abstract

Abstract does not represent any chapters in dissertations. It summarizes the arguments and chief findings presented in your dissertations.

Introduction - Chapter 1

  • The first chapter in a dissertation introduces the issues of the selected topic
  • It sets the context of the thesis
  • Reflects a brief idea about the issues that you are going to address in the preceding chapters
  • In addition to it, the chapter concentrates on the need of addressing the issues.

Literature Review - Chapter 2

  • The second chapter in a dissertation introduces the theory that would provide a philosophical viewpoint to your research
  • It considers the theoretical foundations of your research
  • Determines the research that has been done to highlight the research problems
  • Identify the issues, gaps and contradictions in the existing literature
  • Interlink the research hypothesis with that of the gaps in existing literature.

Methodology - Chapter 3

  • This third chapter mainly include the methods used to conduct the research study
  • It contains information about the methodological approach, methods of data collection, sampling process, ethical considerations, validity and reliability of collected data
  • This chapter primarily focuses on the following questions:
  1. Justify the methodological approach chosen by you
  2. Explain the theoretical background of your chosen approach
  3. What are the procedures of data collection?
  4. Explain the selection criteria of your participating respondents
  5. How will you evaluate the collected data
  6. What are the various ethical considerations you must consider in your research?
  7. Ensure the reliability of your collected responses/data
  8. How do you validate the data gathered from the significant respondents

Data Findings and Interpretations - Chapter 4

  • The chief focus of this chapter is to present the data findings and evaluate them to draw a significant outcome
  • Findings consider the representation of collected data in tabular and graphical format. This helps the reader to understand the findings in a better way. Determines whether the participants have responded to your research questions or not. It also identifies the reasons for their active participation
  • Data Interpretation considers the various implications of your findings. Discusses whether the findings prove or discard issues raised in the literature review. Evaluates the importance of findings in context to the research study
  • Data findings and evaluation determines the future of research.

Conclusion and Recommendations - Chapter 5

  • The last and final chapter draws a conclusion of entire research work conducted in the previous four chapters
  • It mainly considers the impact of research on the identified issues
  • Determines the contribution of findings in the field of study
  • Finally, anticipates recommendation from the researcher that would improve the solution of the identified issues.

Bibliography and References

Your dissertation must contain a list of references or bibliography respective to the expectation of your instructor. Inadequate citation of sources will lead to serious breach of copyright act and leads to complete failure of your dissertation. This increases the chance of plagiarism and counts on your academic grades.

Appendix

This section considers the examples or samples of various items that have been utilized to accumulate evidences for your research study. Such examples include the questionnaires, physical quantities, survey, ICT, letters, statistical tables, illustrative materials etc. Moreover, two similar materials are configured under the same appendix and numbered accordingly. For instance, two different questionnaires presented in the same appendix are numbered as 1a and 1b

Tips to follow

  • Strictly follow the guidelines provided by your instructor
  • Implement strategic actions to work out the following sections
  • Advance the research study once your research proposal has been accepted by the instructor
  • Exaggerated details may trivialize the academic nature of your research. Keep the content precise, concise and formal.

Skills to structure a dissertation

Critical Thinking

A successful dissertation can be prepared by the implementation of critical thinking. The overall formulation of thesis can be preceded by assessing the critical point of view. Such an approach would result into a factual research that offers an efficient coverage of the useful parts of the concerned topic. If we consider in a broader sense, a decisive nature of critical thinking can bring out worthy judgment and significant conclusion respectively to the given issue.
 

Originality

Unlike any other coursework, a premium quality dissertation can be framed with originality. In order to attain this goal, the researcher should have insight knowledge about the chosen topic. Implement advanced and entirely new perspectives to support your arguments. The originality reflects on the contributions that have not been seen, found or proved before. Your research paper must highlight the innovative ideas that would add to knowledge, successful in changing the reader’s perspectives, advance the field forward, improve the state of situation and convey various policies and procedures.

Excellence

The quality of dissertations depends on the excellence of the researcher. While planning and evaluating your project, make sure to identify the chief components that would impart an exceptional height to the research. Place strong evidences in support of your arguments that would probably lead you towards a substantial dissertation. Make sure to depict a firm understanding and command of the pre-existing literature.

Style of writing

The presentation of your research study depends on the writing style to some extent. In order to execute the project in a proficient manner, map and organize your data efficiently. Maintain a scholarly tone of writing that would reflect practicality in your formal piece of document. Make sure that your presentation of dissertation is meticulous to communicate the purpose and connect well with the reader.

Flaws by students while formulating their dissertations

Dissertation help in the transition from a student to a professional in the significant discipline. Moreover, this is a coursework where students attain the ability to conduct independent research on a noteworthy issue. However, there are significant flaws that restrict majority of students from formulating well-versed dissertations.

Unconscious

Majority of research scholars are unconscious about the structure of dissertation. A dissertation is unsound without its significant structure. It has been observed that students unaware of the structure tend to amalgamate all of the included chapters, leading to a complete mess in paper.

Inadequate planning

This is the most crucial blunder that limit the exploration ability of students. Without proper outlining of the dissertation, you will not be able to express the noteworthy features of your claim.

Writing tone

Dissertation is a formal piece of writing that discusses the serious issues of a significant discipline. However, the casual approach of learners is easily identified in their writing style. A well-versed dissertation highly anticipates scholarly tone of writing that reflects practicality in your paper. Moreover, students who cannot present a well-versed dissertation eventually lose the opportunity to demonstrate competency in their desired discipline.

Lack of research

This is another critical flaw that hampers the academic grades of students. Most of them are incapable of using reliable data from multiple sources. The reasons being shortage of time and hectic academic schedule. Inappropriate research study spoils the overall purpose of the write-up.

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