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Dissertation Structure

In dissertation writing, the dissertation structure serves as the framework for a properly-written paper. It is followed to present a comprehensive, well-structured dissertation. Universities generally provide specific guidelines for dissertation writing; the specified structure of a dissertation should be adhered to in order to ensure that all of the required information is present, as well as all the supporting data, to make the dissertation as comprehensive as possible.


The dissertation structure generally includes the following:


  • Title Page
    This presents the title of the dissertation, including the name of the student, the department and degree, as well as the month and year of submission. The format for the Title Page of the dissertation should follow that of the format specified by the university.
  • Abstract
    The abstract is a short summary of the entire dissertation and should contain all of the important points of the entire paper.
  • Table of Contents
    This lists all of the relevant chapters, sections, and sub sections of the entire document.
  • Table of Figures
    This lists all of the figures inserted into the document. This is optional.
  • Introduction
    The introduction presents the thesis or the problem that is addressed in the dissertation. This provides the readers with an overview or background as to the purpose of the research.
  • Literature Review
    Any write ups, published articles, or theories that are of relevance to the study should be included in this section. Not only that, a discussion as to why these items are relevant should also be included. Students should also remember to provide proper citations and to follow the specified citation format.
  • Dissertation Methodology
    The methodology details how the researcher gathered data to answer the problem presented in the Introduction.
  • Analysis of Data
    A detailed analysis of the data collected and a thorough discussion on the results should be provided. Students should cement the relationship between the data and the problem/thesis on which the dissertation or research was based on.
  • Conclusion
    The conclusion wraps up the research and provides the answers to the problems presented earlier. Recommendations to further address the central problem or thesis should also be provided.
  • Bibliography
    A complete list of references and data sources used in the research should be included.
  • Appendices
    Any supporting materials such as maps, graphs, and raw data should be included in the dissertation appendix.


The items listed above are the sections generally included in a dissertation. For the most accurate idea on the dissertation structure followed by your university, please consult your university's dissertation writing guidelines.

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