A Comprehensive Guide On How To Write A Complete Dissertation, written by Marilyn Camp
One of the most hectic assignments and tasks to take care of while in your college and university is dissertation writing. It’s a long version of an academic assignment where you are supposed all the research in the world.
Whether you are writing an undergraduate thesis or a postgraduate thesis, you need to take care of a thesis format in order to achieve your desired grade. There are some chapters of a dissertation you have to no matter where you are studying or what the format of your dissertation is. Don’t you know how to write a dissertation proposal? Here is how you should approach it:
- Introduction to your topic
- Relevant review of the literature to prove the credibility of your dissertation
- Material and methodology
- Results and discussion to show your findings and results
- Brief conclusion or a summary of your entire dissertation
It doesn't matter what kind of thesis you are writing; the first page of your dissertation has to be your title page. On your title page, there are some critical pieces of information you should add, like your name, your registration number, department, institute, name of your degree, supervisor's name, submission date, etc. Every institute has its own set of requirements as per as a title page is concerned, so you have to follow the instructions of your Institute. Your title page is the first impression of your dissertation, and it has to be perfect as far as the dissertation structure is concerned.
Acknowledgment is a section of a dissertation in which you have the authority to thank everyone you want to thank who has have you in completing your dissertation. Student takes this section of a dissertation for granted, but it is a very important part of your dissertation. Normally students write the name of their supervisors and some other teachers, but we suggest you thank each and every individual who has how to you in writing your thesis. Never forget to mention your parents in your acknowledgment because they are the ones who were with you every time.
An abstract is not more than a short summary of a thesis. Professors who don’t have enough time to read the entire dissertation read the abstract of any dissertation to get an idea about the research as well as about the quality of a dissertation. You should write your abstract in a way that if someone reads your abstract, he/she will come to know about your research and topic.
The Abstract has to be very precise and to the point. It is recommended not to add irrelevant pieces of information in an abstract. It’s a chapter of the dissertation you should write at the very last of your thesis when you are done with the research. Here are critical things you need to consider before writing your thesis’s abstract:
- Write your main topic and the purpose of your research
- Write briefly about the methods you have used to conduct your research
- Describe all the result you have obtained after your research
- Summerise your results
An abstract is a very first thing someone will read in your dissertation, so it has to be flawless and engaging by all the possible means. The aforementioned points will definitely help you how to write an abstract, and once you’ve written a great abstract, you are good to go then. Make sure you follow a thesis format when you are writing your abstract.
Writing your dissertation introduction is as important as anything else. This is a chapter where you have to explain your topic in the best possible fashion. After reading your introduction, readers should know about your main topic. Avoid adding irrelevant and false information. Here is how to write an introduction:
- Define the topic of your dissertation is the best possible way
- Discuss a bit about the work that is available on the topic, and relate it to your topic
- The objectives of your research have to be there in your introduction. A thesis introduction without some main objectives is considered as an incomplete thesis.
- The introduction has to be an overview of your entire dissertation
One of the biggest issues which are associated with a thesis is, the student often confuse introduction with the review of the literature. A review of literature is all about the work that has been done in the past. Whereas, in your introduction, you should focus mainly on your topic and your research. Those who want to know how to write a dissertation proposal should focus a lot on the introduction section (because this is where you can engage your reader). Make sure you follow a thesis format when you are writing your introduction.
Review of literature
This is one of the lengthiest chapters of a dissertation. Before conducting your research, you have to go through the literature to get to know about your main topic. All the previously available data that is available on the internet should be read, and you have to add relevant pieces of information in your review of the literature.
If you want to know about the sources from where you can get data for your literature review, here is everything you need to know:
- Get the source from books and journals. Make sure you pick the right and relevant sources for your review of the literature
- Before adding any relevant source in your review, always make sure to check it and critically analyze it
- The review of literature has to connect with your research in order to make your overall impression
Writing a good dissertation is only possible if you know how to write a review of the literature for your thesis. You don’t need to summarize previously conducted studies, but you need to make a connection to these studies with your study and research. You need to find a clear and sound base for your own research, and here’s how it is possible to be done:
- If you think there is a gap in the literature, make sure to address the gap
- Never use previously used approaches and methodologies. Always use new and innovative methodologies to prove your point
- Advancing a theoretical debate is a good strategy to increase the quality of your dissertation
- Enrich previously available data with your own research
If you have any descriptive research questions, the literature review is the section where you should answer that question. In-text citations matter a lot when we are writing a review of the literature. Every institute has its own set of requirements, and you need to follow that pattern for citation as well as for references.
No matter how amazingly you have written your review of literature, if there are issues in terms of citation, your professor will think that you don’t even know how to write a dissertation.
Materials and methodology
This is where you start approaching your thesis the way you want to approach. Here, you don’t have to tell you about the literature, but make sure you tell the world how you have conducted your research to get significant results. Usually, the materials and methodology chapter should explain whether the research was qualitative or quantitative.
The data collection method is one of the most important things for your dissertation. For example, if you have conducted interviews, or research or surveys, all the data has to be there in the materials and methodology chapter. This chapter should provide a detailed explanation of when and how you have conducted your experiments.
Once you are done with these things, it’s the time to explain your data analysis methods. There are usually two types of analysis
- Statistical Analysis
- Discourse Analysis
For scientific studies, statistical analysis is the most suitable one. Make sure you follow a thesis format when you are writing your materials and methodology.
All the tools and materials you have used to conduct your research should be explained in that chapter to let the reader know how critically you have carried your experiments. Last but certainly not least, you should explain the obstacles you have faced in conducting your research. Make sure to evaluate your methods at the very last of this chapter.
Once you are done with the materials and methodology chapter, you need to write your results, and that’s the most important and challenging chapter of your dissertation. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing an undergraduate thesis of a postgraduate thesis; the results of your research will set the tone for your dissertation. It is recommended to structure your research around your hypothesis and main topic.
Students often state all the results they have obtained during their research, but that’s not the way to go. Your results section should have only credible and relevant results that are connectable to your main topic. Nobody likes reading a result section that doesn’t revolve around the main topic. This section or chapter can be combined with the discussion chapter, and some institutes ask their students to write these two chapters as separate ones.
There are two types of methods you can use to complete your thesis.
- First is the qualitative method
- Second is the quantitative one
If you have chosen a qualitative method for your dissertation, you need to write a discussion along with your results. On the other hand, if your research is a quantitative one, you should present your results separately before your discussion section.
If you don’t know how to write a dissertation chapter, consult your professor, and you will be able to know everything you need to write a flawless results chapter. If you are comfortable with adding tables and graphs in your thesis, you should go for it.
You have got your results, right? What to do now? Now is the time to discuss your results. Always keep one thing in mind; your discussion should complement your research question. All the results you have obtained from your research, you should provide an in-depth explanation of your results, so anyone can easily understand what your research was all about.
All the results cannot be significant, so there is no point in adding only significant results. Make sure you add both significant and non-significant results in your discussion and relate them to your research question. If you have gotten an unexpected result, explain in your discussion why did that happen?
One important thing, you should provide references in your discussion to let others know what the results of other scientists were and what are the results you have obtained. Further recommendations are highly appreciated.
A dissertation conclusion is where you need to answer your main question. After reading your conclusion section, your reader should have a clear understanding of your research and the main topic. It is recommended to add recommendations in your conclusion to make it look more appealing.
That’s a perfect way to know how to write a dissertation.