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Basic Dissertation Structure: A Step-by-Step Guide

What is the Basic Dissertation Structure?

In this article, we will discuss the basic dissertation structure that needed to be followed in writing a dissertation. A dissertation is a lengthy topic and it may consist of 100 to 300 pages so it is better to follow the basic structure of a dissertation to make it attractive and effective. Although it’s a very rigorous task to write a dissertation it’s a must in order to achieve your degree. 

What is Dissertation?

What is Dissertation?

A dissertation is a lengthy process of writing that can be as long as 30,000 words. It is an original document and the purpose is to contribute to the respective field of study. This can be in Ph.D. degree programs as well as master’s and bachelor’s as in the US dissertation are only done at the Ph.D. level while in other countries it can be done in Master’s as well as bachelor’s level degree programs.

This is one of the longest and most difficult parts of achieving the degree. That’s why it’s better to choose a subject that you understand better. There are two types of dissertations 

    1. Empirical Dissertation: In this dissertation, the data needed to be gathered or collected from the psychological dissertations are examples of these dissertations.
    2. Non-empirical Dissertation: This includes the research on data that is already published such as books, articles etc. 

The dissertation has several benefits such as 

  • It is a contribution to real life or a specific field. 
  • It improves the research skills of the student
  • It improves the time management, communication and adaptability skill of student.
  • Risk management skills are managed as new and fascinating challenges are faced by students. 
  • Betterment in academic writing skills

What are the Parts of the Dissertation?

There is a basic dissertation structure that is needed to be followed this structure has several parts we will discuss every part one by one.


The title of the dissertation is one of the major and most crucial parts so it is mandatory to select the clearest, succinct, and accurate title for the dissertation. It shouldn’t be vague or confusing. One should spend time selecting a title. The dissertation title should be precise, descriptive, and explanatory.

There should be no use of abbreviations or acronyms title should include important components as well as the research strategy of the dissertation. The best way is to write a title and separate them with a colon for example

“The New Generation: technological advancement and its Adaptability in the new generation.”


The first and foremost thing the reader will read after the title and get an idea about the dissertation is the abstract. The abstract is written at the end of a dissertation as it should contain a summary of every concept of the dissertation such as aim, objective, problem, finding, etc. One cannot write it unless the dissertation is completed. 


The introduction should contain all the important factors that are founded in the majority of academic essays, reports, assignments as well as research questions. The major purpose of the introduction is to give a scenario to the audience or set a scene for them this can also include the focus topic and research questions of the dissertation.

There should be a catchy attention-grabbing statement with a background and context this may include the topic, theories, and concept used in the dissertation there should be a summary of research questions and the strategy you are going to use for solving them. 

Literature Review

It is that part of the report in which it is written what research has been done on your topic and what were the findings of that research. This is one of the most important parts of the dissertation. so it’s important to give time to this part in order to succeed in the dissertation.

It is not a description it is a summary of every research that is already done or the research you have read before doing a dissertation. It includes evidence, studies, data, readings, and evaluation as well as the opinions that have been posted on it.

The advisor and committee members will go through it thoroughly so it is advised to use a critical approach and identify all the strengths and weaknesses in order to answer the difficult questions asked by the committee members.


In this part, one has to explain to the reader the researches that have been done. You have to explain in depth about the method you are using and why this also includes the things such as method is going to be qualitative or quantitative and why to use the specific method, who is going to take part in the research, any document or organization you are going to analyze you also have to put forward the reason of why you are analyzing them.

You have to explain every ethical consideration as well as the step you have taken one by one. The better way is to state what was done rather than writing about what you did this is better as someone else can get help from it. 


In this part, you have to state the findings of the research you also have to write the most important and significant procedures you have gone through in your dissertation. You can also use figures as well as tables. These tables and figures are the graphical representation of all the findings of your research.

So you must add the data that is written in the dissertation as well. There is no need to add any theoretical critical analysis in this part as we have a discussion part for that. 


In the part of the discussion, you critically analyze the findings and what exactly those tables and figures mean. Any kind of limitation should also be mentioned in this part. Every strength and weakness must also be explained in this part. Also, add the suggestions you want to give for more related findings.

In short, you have to give in-depth detail of your finding and also have to analyze and evaluate them. You have to state your findings with reference to the previous findings as well.


In this part overall summary of the dissertation or research is given. It encompasses one liner of every step of dissertation background, aim, introduction, objectives etc. The major point to remember is that you should not add any kind of fact that is not discussed in the dissertation it will become a hurdle in your defense. 


To finish the plagiarism, it is recommended to cite and rephrase text and reference part is where you maintain the list of all the links you have used as a source of your research. The only sources you are mentioning should be the one you have cited in the document. Never add those reference that haven’t been appeared in the research.


This is the part where every extra information goes and your reader may be interested in this information so you tag them as appendix A, B, or C depending on the need. This helps the reader to get a better understanding of your research or overall dissertation. These can be any kind of tables, figures, or even data. 


Now concluding the article, the dissertation is one of the most essential and most difficult things for achieving a degree it may be any kind of Ph.D., bachelor’s, or even a master’s one. The length of the document may vary according to the program.

It is time-consuming and very intimidating but with the help of advisors and teachers, it can be done much more effectively. Writing and research skills are much needed in this dissertation writing task.

There are several parts that needed to be followed in order to write a good dissertation and every one of them has its own importance as we have discussed above. Dissertation is an important method to get the understanding of any field in a specific area with a related literature.

The most important thing for writing a dissertation is the approach to used basic dissertation structure to write a dissertation more effectively. This can include time management as well as planning done in writing a dissertation

Basic Dissertation Structure: A Step-by-Step Guide


  • How many words should be in the Dissertation?

It usually depends on the fields but normally for an undergraduate dissertation of 8,000 words 15,000 words is enough and for a master’s dissertation 12,000 – 50,000 words are enough and for Ph.D. 70,000 to 100,000 words are enough. 

  • How can we minimize plagiarism in the Dissertation?

The only way to minimize plagiarism is to rephrase sentences and cite other people’s work or research. If these things are not done your content will be plagiarized and it will be a trouble after all your efforts. 

  • What is the basic Dissertation structure?
    The basic dissertation structure includes, the title, abstract, literature review, findings as well as conclusion.

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