Nova A.
Nova A.

Dissertation Structure - Expert Writing Tips and Examples

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Published on: Nov 9, 2021

Last updated on: Jan 3, 2023

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The dissertation is one of the most important academic documents you will ever write. It not only serves as a milestone to recognize your achievement but also sets you up for success in your future professional life. The structure of this document can vary depending on the discipline and institution that it is being written for. So, it's best to follow what they have set out in their guidelines.

Are you feeling overwhelmed thinking about all the work into a dissertation? Don't worry; you are not alone. This blog post will provide expert tips on dissertation structure and examples to help you get started.

By following these tips and guidelines, you will create a well-organized and concise dissertation that effectively communicates your research findings. So, let's get started!

How to Structure a Dissertation?

The first and foremost step to take after choosing a dissertation topic is figuring out how you want your work laid out. This can be tricky, but if we break it down into simple terms, then everything should become much more straightforward!

A dissertation structure is based on several essential elements that each contribute to the overall success of your project. Although not every dissertation is structured similarly, you need to know what kind (or variant) will suit your needs best.

The structure of your dissertation will depend on the type of paper you’re writing. For example, a humanities-related document has different guidelines than one that deals with science-based topics and theories.

Usually, the structure and format in which your dissertation should be written are provided for you. Make sure to read them thoroughly before outlining any sections or writing up conclusions!

The elements that can be used to structure all types of dissertations are as follows:

Let's discuss these points in detail.

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Title/Cover Page

The cover or title page of your dissertation is the first page. This includes important details such as:

  • Title
  • Your name
  • Your roll number
  • Your supervisor’s name
  • Your department name
  • Institute’s name
  • Degree program
  • Submission date
  • Institute’s logo

It is important to know that a title page will be written according to the format of your dissertation. For example, if you write in MLA or Chicago style, make sure this information is on cover pages accordingly.

Check out the sample below of a title page in MLA format.


A dissertation abstract is the summary of your entire paper. It should contain about 150-300 words and must be written after writing the whole thing to avoid any confusion or mistakes.

The following information should include in the dissertation:

  • The main topic of your dissertation
  • Objectives and research methods used in it
  • The most important part is to summarize what you found out during analysis so that other people can read about them while not wasting too much time on details!

To make people want to read your dissertation, you need an interesting and informative abstract. Ensure that all relevant information is included in this first paragraph without any unnecessary details; prove how great it would be for them to read!

Table of Contents

The table of contents is a list that shows which chapter and heading each passage belongs in. Each entry has page numbers, so you can easily find the right place for any given piece of writing!

The table of content is one of the most important parts of any document. It helps readers navigate and provides an overview of how your dissertation will be structured, so make sure to include it.

List of Tables and Figures

Tables, charts, and figures are an integral part of any dissertation. This section lists them all down for your readers to follow along with what you're saying.


The glossary is a useful resource for those who want to understand the terms and concepts in the text. It includes definitions of unfamiliar words to make it easier for you.

To ensure that no important term is left out, list all the glossary terms alphabetically and provide their definition or explanation. Usually, this step comes after writing your dissertation but can be done earlier if needed.

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The introduction of the dissertation is often where you make your first impression. It's important that this section grabs the reader’s attention and provides sufficient information about what they will be reading throughout all future sections, so it should contain some exciting content.

The introduction of your dissertation is an opportunity to introduce readers to all the relevant information they need before diving into research. It includes objectives, purposes for writing this particular paper, and the thesis statement, which will be explained in more detail later on.

The following information contains in the dissertation introduction:

  • Introduce the research topic
  • Give some background information
  • Provide the focus of your study
  • Present your research scope
  • Provide a reference for your topic’s existing research
  • Tell how your research contributes to the broader issue
  • State your major research question
  • State our dissertation aims
  • Give an overview of the dissertation structure elements

All the information in your introduction should be explicitly presented to engage readers. Ensure that you give them a complete picture of what, why, and how this research was conducted so they can have an enjoyable time reading about it!

Literature Review

The literature review is an integral part of the dissertation. It's written to have a complete understanding of your topic through already existing works by academics in that field.

To write a literature review, you need to follow these steps:

  • Choose the most relevant and credible sources to gather information for your work (books or journals).
  • Evaluate and analyze each source
  • Make a connection between the themes, gaps, conflicts, etc.

A literature review is more than just a summary of the relevant studies. Instead, it requires you to develop an argument and structure that further becomes its basis for justification. This provides insights into your work and summarizes other people's findings.

  • Existing work gaps
  • Discuss your research outcome into the theoretical framework and underlying assumptions
  • State a solution to a problem
  • Start a theoretical debate
  • Strengthens the knowledge with new information


The methodology chapter is a crucial step in the process, as it discusses how to conduct your research and collect data.

This section begins by explaining how the writer achieved their findings and reasons for reliability. The methodology includes:

  • What is the approach of the research? (whether it is qualitative, quantitative, ethnographic, or experimental)
  • What techniques do you use to collect the data? (interviews, surveys, etc.)
  • Define the “how, what, when, and where” of the research.
  • What type of research will you do? ( empirical or non-empirical research and is it primary or secondary research)
  • What methods were used to analyze the data (for example, statistical analysis, etc.)
  • The materials and tools used in gathering the data should be clearly described. For example, computer programs (Excel or STAT)
  • State research limitations and problems faced during the research.
  • Provide an evaluation of the methods used.

The major objective of writing this section is to report what the writer did in their research. Moreover, it persuades readers that approaches and methods used successfully solve problems, making them feel more confident about exploring a similar situation themselves!


The research results are reported in this section. The goal of writing it is to make only relevant information available that supports your argument or objective, so you don't waste space with unimportant statistics and details.

The final dissertation chapter is often summarizing all the information gathered throughout. It can be difficult to keep track, so it's best if this part has tables and charts too! This will help readers understand what was said and how it fits into their own life or work environment.


The meaning and implications of research findings are discussed in a discussion section concerning your main question. Interpretations can be more detailed by including relevant examples or analogies that illustrate points better than discussing them on paper.

The discussion section is an opportunity for the writer to make recommendations about future research. This can be done by noting any new findings or predictions related to their study and how these results fit into existing knowledge.


The conclusion section should leave readers clear on what they need to know about the main argument. It can be written to answer any remaining questions or strengthen points made earlier.

It should be analytical enough not to seem sentimental when closing out an entire paper with its conclusions. The conclusion is the final stage in a dissertation, where you can share your thoughts about what has been learned from conducting research and how it will help others.

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The bibliography or reference list is where all the information about sources is provided. This includes citations relevant to your research explanations and authorship details for each entry included in your dissertation.

The bibliography is written following the chosen citation referencing style, APA and MLA. This section has certain requirements that need to be fulfilled for each specific format of citations, given they're different from one another.

Dissertation Examples

Students need examples to understand the format and structure of a dissertation proposal. Experts also recommend looking at a few already written samples to make sure they write theirs successfully!

Here are some great dissertation examples to help you write your own winning paper.

Dissertation Writing Tips

When it comes to academic work like dissertations, the process is both time-consuming and daunting for writers. But with some professional tips, you can make this arduous task more manageable and enjoyable.

Follow these tips to ensure you have a top-notch dissertation.

  • Start with your research paper early, and make sure to set deadlines for each day of work so you can stay focused on completing it in time.
  • Make sure you read, study and take notes on the relevant information for your dissertation. Write as much of it in a rough form to provide insight into its subject matter before moving forward with any final drafts.
  • The goal of every research project is to come up with a thesis statement that will guide your findings.
  • Spend time determining which methodology(s) you want and need for this particular study before starting any data collection efforts or analyzing them once they're done.
  • So, if you are stuck on a specific section of your paper and can't seem to get out, then don't give up! Remember that every part of the research process helps build knowledge. So move forward with other parts until this one is easier for yourself.
  • It is important to conduct research on your topic; it will help you write a great literature review.
  • The abstract summarizes the entire work that you will be presenting. Therefore, it is a good idea to write an abstract at the end to summarize your paper well.
  • When you are stuck in the introduction of your dissertation, it's best to start working on your body paragraphs.

Organizing your dissertation is essential. Instructors and the audience expect work advancing their knowledge in this field, so it’s important to be organized with all aspects of it, from writing skills down to research accuracy.

If you are struggling to write a dissertation, seek help from our writing company. At, we offer services that can assist with all of your academic needs- be it simple essays or complex master's dissertations; we do it!

So, whether it is a research paper, case study, lab report, or any other academic assignment, they’ve got you!

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Nova A.


Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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