How to Structure Your Dissertation - From Start till Success?

How to Structure Your Dissertation - From Start till Success?



Where to begin your dissertation writing?

Student usually face a lot of difficulties in indulging themselves in a project that would eventually takes time and energy. You may find yourself confused, frustrated and puzzled with a topic that has to be interesting at the same time could solve a problem. That okay, because you are still in a learning phase.

Why not go to your supervisors for suggestions? Well, most of the students do not rely on supervisors just like me! because some of them are not even corporative or helpful enough to guide kids about basic dissertation structure.

The other option is, value your own opinions or ideas. Think of a problem you might want to get deeper into. Make a list of those few odd opinions and be confident with it.

For example, you observe the buying behavior of the customers are changing due to the deadly virus erupt in the country.

  • So, you identify a problem for your dissertation to tackle
  • question 2: why it is considered a problem for a scientific community, researchers or academic staff.

Answer: As it conveys the scientific community the work of your professional journey and will help people outside or inside of your field to gain a proper information about the issue.

  • why is it necessary for you to find out the solution?

The point of finding a solution, is to showcase your skills and capacity to conduct research in your particular field.

  • what sources will you choose to search for the answer?

There are many sources you might get help from. Such as internet, your course books other than that, Google scholar is a well written journal and an academic source where you can find multiple research papers or articles from reliable journals.

Through these above questions you may be able to complete your final commitment. Remember one thing, your research question should have all the valuable element and theme that is unique to follow till the end of the research. The question you will choose should also lead to testable hypothesis that could give stronger argumentative results.

Understanding on how to write a dissertation for beginners

First of all, you must understand writing a dissertation is like writing a book. As said by Toni Morrison “if there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. This is what dissertation is all about.

Secondly, write it in a third form. You are not writing for yourself basically is writing for others, so there is no (me) or (I) involve when identifying the existing debate.

For example: In the existing debate of coronavirus changing the pattern of buyers there is also a percentage of buyers who are impulsively purchasing products without even checking the price labels. By making your research valid and reliable, religiously add quotations into your arguments. As the dissertation encourage an argument to take its place, and to support this argument you need a logical evidence said by other authors.

For example: William. l Albert state that, “consumers buying pattern changes due to the uncertainty or risk associated with a product, what if in the near future the certain product is not available in the market or the prices of the particular product goes high.”

Let’s go ahead with the dissertation structure

Every dissertation is written in the same way as PhD dissertation. However, the slight difference is of the style or the terminologies you would add into your dissertation structure to convey the information.

  • Title Page:

The title or a topic signifies an important element about what is your research all about? Before brainstorming your research topic, go onto a search hunt, gather relevant subject matter that won’t bore you till the ends of the research paper.

Remember, your research topics should consist of variables. Variables?? What are variable?

Variable are the object, thing, place, person or any phenomenon you are trying to measure. There are two main variables called independent and dependent.

For example: Impact of consumer buying behavior on the spread of the deadly virus in the south Korean market.

According to the above example the topic has the independent and dependent variable and also is suitable for doing research as the title is not vague or too broad.

  • Abstract:

The abstract is short session of summary which is written before the acknowledge and table of content but after the title page. The separate page is set for writing a 150 to 300 words of abstract that is concise and clear. It defines the readers to understand what, why and how the research was conducted and in conclusion what results and implications have been accomplished.

The abstract is break down into four main headings that will make it easier for you to understand what should be added in the paragraph.

Introduction (It displays the main agenda of the research and highlight the problem)

Methods (It defines descriptive analytical study, how the results were conducted through questioners, interviews or focus group and these all data was analyzed by SPSS software.

Results (Summarize the methods and analysis, highlight the main results or findings that is important for the readers to understand, such as

“Our analysis shows a strong correlation between the buying behavior and the deadly virus.”)

Conclusion (You need to state the conclusion as what is the answer to the issue or problem you highlighted, secondly mention the clear agenda of your research whether it has proved or solved a particular problem)

  • Acknowledgement:

First chapter of a dissertation is called introduction, but in practicality the second chapter called ‘literature review’ has to be worked upon first.

It is a section or an opportunity to give credit to all those who have helped them in carrying out the research paper.

Who are the people or entity you should mention in your acknowledgement session?

  • Your supervisors
  • other academic staff
  • your University or institution
  • or friends or family
  • Table of content:

It is a session where you guide readers to navigate them about the research chapters and page numbers on which each chapter is presented.

The significance of the topic will also be discussed with clarity.

  • Introduction:

Though the introduction session is mentioned first after the table of content and is the first chapter of the research paper. However, the common practice of dissertation introduction is to be completed at the last. For an introduction to be powerful enough and can draw the readers with a strong beginning, it need to have a clear purpose and correct directions.

The introduction defines the two most important questions

  • why have we chosen this particular topic?
  • what’s our dissertation highlighting?

The other common elements mentioned in the introduction are,

  • Scope of the study
    • what is your target audience you would cover?
    • specific theme or the agenda of the topic your dissertation highlights
    • Geographical area you are focused on
  • relevance/importance of the study
  • limitation of our study

It is clearly important to mention the restrictions you might be facing while conducting the research. such as the information related to the topic is limited and the targeted audience are limited to related to the topic

For example, factors influencing fashion consciousness in hijab fashion consumption among hijabistas in Indonesia.

  • Objective of the study
  • Literature review/ Review of the literature

In the 2nd chapter you will discuss the empirical studies regarding the topic you have chosen. All of the researchers who have contributed their knowledge, theories and methods have to be mentioned in your research paper.

The purpose of a literature review is to identify research gap and gain knowledge on the areas you closely need to refer. Moreover, it helps you plan and evaluate your research gap.

Citations and references in the literature review section is as important as defining your problem statement. Try to add those credible sources into your research writing to make it sound more authoritative and accurate.

If you have any problem in citing your literature review oscola reference generator will makes things easier and simply format your references according to the criteria of your University.

  • Methodology and findings

The third chapter of the research writing assist you to highlight the methods or approaches you may have used in your research paper.

It explains the readers on how you conduct the research, what type of method you choose and what tools and analysis procedures you adopt while performing your study.

There are two main types of methods that helped you in analyzing and finalizing your findings.

Qualitative methods approach: In this approach you find results through surveys, questionnaires which helps in generalizing, measuring and identifying samples.

Quantitative method approach: In this approach you find results through interviews, questionnaires and focus groups which helps in getting in-depth information, interpreting and conceptualizing concepts or areas of research.

  • Tip:

In the methodology section you have to write in a past tense form.

  • Results

In the last chapter of your research paper you need to mention all your results, analysis and findings which is discussed. When all the results are evaluated the researcher will interpret based on the knowledge and understanding. These results are comprised of graphs and charts which explains the results in a valuable date format.

  • Conclusion

In the final section you will discuss the conclusion or the ending point of the research paper. Similarly, mention the valuable or necessary points that wasn’t highlighted in the overall study.

You need to address three main agenda in your conclusion section

  • what research contributes to the field
  • why was the research important?
  • what were the prospects of the research as the results of the finding discussed?
  • References list

It consists of all the citations, sources mentioned in the study and the knowledge you took from others research has to been credited for reliability.

Make sure you follow the required citation style according to the University criteria or the discipline community.

According to the course work service, there are mainly three common citation styles

  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago style

Let’s begin writing

Don’t just wait for the deadline to come hook you up or make you nervous as times goes by. Start working on things one by one, schedule your own working pattern and stick to it till the end.

I know it is very boring and difficult to maintain a consistency and follow the same set of routine. If you work for 12 hours in a week and 2 hours in a day, it will help you achieve possible results in no time.