How to Structure your Dissertation


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A dissertation, which is a paper required to earn a PhD or Master’s degree, is perhaps one of the longest papers you will write in your scholarly journey. Because they illustrate advanced understanding, they should be meticulously written, clear and organized. We are going to discuss how to organize and stick to the structure of an academic dissertation. 
Note: Not all dissertation papers are the same. Because of this, there isn’t a standard structure to follow. What matters is how well you organize your ideas and weave an argument around the central thesis. 

Title Page

The very first page of the paper, which contains your name, title, name of institution and department, student number, supervisor’s name, and date of submission. 


An optional section to appreciate everyone who gave you a hand in the research. This could include family, research assistants, laboratory supervisors, etc. 


A brief summary that is between 150 and 300 words. Most readers will read the abstract first before deciding whether your paper is valuable to them. This should be written once you are done with the other sections.

Table of Contents 

An overview of the dissertation’s structure, which helps the reader easily navigate the document. Microsoft Word allows you to generate this section automatically. 

List of Tables and Figures

Itemizes all figures, data, and tables that appear on your dissertation in a numbered list. The insert feature tab on MS word will come in handy when creating this section. 

List of Abbreviations

Includes a list of all abbreviations used in the paper, and puts them down in alphabetic order. 


It’s a good idea to explain specialized terms you deem difficult for your readers. Also, remember to put them down in alphabetic order. 


An engaging section designed to summarize the topic, objective of the paper, and relevance to the subject. This section contains your topic of research, background information, scope, existing research work about the topic, research questions and objectives, and an overview of your structure.  You will answer the what’s, why’s, and how’s. 

Literature Review

Contains a review of all existing research studies about your topic of interest. This could be a collection of books and journals that you will closely evaluate to draw a connection between them and your central thesis. 


Details your process of conducting research and the approach you took in crafting the dissertation. 


Might be in the form of statistics or weaved around a hypothesis, sub-question(s), or themes. The reader should be able to understand how your results relate to the subject questions. 


Allows you to emphasize the contribution of your study. 

Reference List

Includes all details about sources you used. You should write them according to your style, whether MLA or APA. 
Even with these tips in mind, not everyone has the inborn ability to craft an A+ dissertation.  Hence, most students opt for urgent essay help to craft top-grade academic dissertations.


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