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Guide on Writing and Structuring Your Dissertation

The dissertation is a long piece of writing that is based on original research. This structure taken by any dissertation is based on the field of study of the student. In almost all the cases, the structure is divided into 5 to six chapters. 

Several important features are included in a dissertation and we shall be taking a look at some of the features that make up the dissertation through a general lens that mirrors all that is needed in a dissertation irrespective of where you stand in the scheme of things.  

Title page

This is the first page of your dissertation and it contains all the titles that you are going to include as part of your work. Included here are names, department, institution, degree program, and submission date.


This is an optional part of the structure. It is the section that is devoted to thanking those that has rendered one help or the other towards the successful completion of the job. The list can include the participants in the research; your family members or the supervisor that supervised the research.


This is where you are expected to state a summary of your work. It includes the statement that details a summary of your work. You are expected to describe the methods that you used and go on to summarize your main points. The conclusions that you have must be stated here as well. 

The abstract is not more than about150-300 words. It is very short but plays an important role in your dissertation because it is the only part that your readers will read. You are expected to get it right with the abstract.

Table of contents

All the chapters that make up the dissertation are included in the table of contents. This is where an overview of the structure of your work will be given and you are expected to present something that will be pretty easy to navigate through. 

List of tables and figures

In a situation where you used a lot of tables and figures; you must itemize all the items in a list.

List of abbreviations

When you used numerous abbreviations, it can be included in a list of alphabetized order that will make it easy for the reader to easily look up the meaning.


When your dissertation included a lot of specialized terms, then it is recommended that you include a glossary. The items should be listed in alphabetical order and each term is described briefly.


This is where you are to explain what your work is based on. It should contain a brief highlight of what the reader is y expect through the work. If you wanted to achieve the best on offer; then the introduction should be written last after concluding your research and putting your data together.

Literature review

The research that you took part in before you arrived at your conclusion should be stated here. In this section of the paper, it is expected that you describe a coherent structure that will justify your point of argument. Your literature review must justify the gap that you intended to fill.


This is the statement on how you concluded your research. Everything should be laid bare for your readers to understand the approach that you used to arrive at the data you are presenting to them.


The report of your research findings must be clearly stated for your readers under the results section.


The meaning, as well as the implications of your results, must be itemized under the discussion section of your research.


This is where you are to answer the main research questions that you set out to provide answers to in the first place. 


Include a list of all the references that you used in your paper. It is important to cover all the reference materials to avoid plagiarism. 


All the documents that you used but are not directly relevant in the main body are included in the appendices.

Final thoughts

The totality of what is involved in the structure of the dissertation has been described above

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