What is a Dissertation and How to Write it?

what is a dissertation

Dissertation is a basic requirement for the doctoral degree. Without a doubt it is the most significant assignment that you have to do in the university and, correspondingly, the most exhausting one. Your further academic career depends on this paper heavily because it is the last step to undertake on the road to your PhD, after completing your coursework and passing numerous examinations. Therefore, this paper, also known as the doctoral thesis, is expected not only to demonstrate your mastery of the subject, but also to make your own contribution in the field of your expertise.

Basic Dissertation Requirements

The mode of your dissertation will depend significantly on your area of research. If you are in social studies or science, then you will inevitably be expected to conduct empirical research, with surveys and experiments being involved. If you write your dissertation within the field of Humanities, it is going to be predominantly theoretical and therefore more abstract, though not less academic. Specific requirements for dissertation may vary from university to university hence it is of crucial importance to study the dissertation manual of your educational institution attentively. You also need to inquire what is a dissertation proposal that you are expected to write because its format is extremely variable.

What is a Dissertation Structure?

Despite certain variability, the basic structure of a dissertation is typical. It has to contain several sections:

  • Introduction

The introduction sets the research problems and hypotheses of your dissertation and argues the importance of your investigation. It also should provide the theoretical basis for your paper, with all the basic terms being clarified.

  • Literature Review

This section points out the main researchers in this field and briefly analyzes the extent of their contribution. It has to demonstrate that you have the grasp of the basic ideas and discoveries that pertain to your research.

  • Methods

This section provides information about all the procedures and techniques used for the research. This information should be enough to replicate the experiment. It may include such subheadings as participants, measures, research design, procedures and so forth, depending on your area.

  • Results

This section presents your findings, organized in tables and graphs. Interpretation of the results should be reserved for the next section.

  • Discussion

In this chapter the results are presented in the light of other literature, with their implications being discussed. It is also necessary to highlight the limitations that can possibly decrease the validity of your results.

  • References

This section lists all the sources you have cited in your paper. Dissertation references are predominantly formatted in the APA style.

  • Appendices

Here you may include all the data that is too bulky to be put in the body on the paper.

Now that you know what is a dissertation structure you may kick off with your research!

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