How to Write a Good Dissertation: A Complete Guide to Structure

How to write a good dissertation

One of the most challenging phases for a student is knowing how to write a good dissertation. It is a substantial section of academic content based on original research, which is the critical distinction. According to most curriculum, it typically comes as an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, like a Ph.D. dissertation. There are several characteristics a student should consider. Although the format and other factors depend on the course and topic, sticking to simple rules significantly improves dissertation writing. Our professional online assistance with a dissertation has developed a structure that allows you to understand the structure, guide and content that will save time and yield adequate outcomes.

What Is a Dissertation?

A dissertation or thesis is a lengthy academic writing assignment delivered as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree program. It is based on original research. Your field will determine how you organize a dissertation, although it will typically have at least four or five chapters (including an introduction and conclusion chapter).

In the social sciences, the most typical dissertation format includes:

  1. An introduction to your subject;
  2. A study of the literature that looks at pertinent sources
  3. A description of your approach
  4. A summary of your research’s findings
  5. A review of the findings and their relevance
  6. A summary that highlights the value of your research

A master’s degree applicant receives their degree based on their MA dissertation, which is a scholarly project. Since you may quickly get a high-paying job in the specialization with such a degree, this title is far more helpful than a bachelor’s or specialist position.

How do I obtain a degree?

You must first finish a master’s thesis and have the requisite research abilities to defend a master’s degree. Due to its lesser degree and slight complexity compared to a research project, this article is not as challenging as a doctoral thesis.

How is a doctoral thesis different?

In comparison to a master’s dissertation, a Ph.D. dissertation is a more serious and scientific endeavor. Completing it can take years because it requires serious attention to practical investigation and a sizable reservoir of theoretical knowledge. The applicant may receive the Ph.D. title due to the defense process, a significant advancement in one’s scientific career.

What else should I remember?

Usually, master’s theses serve as the foundation for Ph.D. articles. The candidate defends their dissertation in a rigorous academic council as the last step in postgraduate studies. Not everyone, though, is eligible for admission to defense. You must put in much effort and, more importantly, have your publications, written monographs, and an appropriately issued author’s abstract before reaching this stage.

These two sorts of dissertations differ in that way. You may find helpful recommendations on how to write a good dissertation and the best advice to reduce the stress associated with writing a dissertation below!

How to Write a Good Dissertation Landing Page

How do you write a thesis

First Page

The first page should have the following:

  • The title of your dissertation
  • Your name
  • Department
  • Organization
  • Degree program 
  • Submission date. 
  • Your student ID number
  • The name of your mentor/supervisor, and 
  • The university’s emblem. 

Many programs have rigorous guidelines for the dissertation title page’s formatting.

When printing and binding your dissertation, the title page is the cover.


The section, which is typically optional, allows you to express gratitude to everyone who supported your dissertation’s creation. This may include your mentors, study subjects, and close friends or family who helped you.

The Abstract

It is typically between 150 and 300 words long and provides a succinct description of your dissertation. When you’ve finished the remainder of the dissertation, you should write it last. 

  1. Clearly state the main topic and objectives of your research in the abstract.
  2. Describe the techniques you applied.
  3. Highlight the key findings.
  4. Summarize your findings.

Despite being relatively brief, the abstract is the first—and occasionally the only—part of your dissertation that readers will read, so you must get it correctly. Read our advice on creating an abstract if you’re having trouble developing a compelling one.

Tables of Contents

List all of your chapters, subheadings, and page numbers in the table of contents. The contents page of your dissertation helps the reader browse the document and provides an idea of your structure.

The table of contents should list every section of your dissertation, including the appendices. In Word, a table of contents is automatic.

Tables and Figures List

You should list all of the tables and figures you used in your dissertation in a numbered list if you used many of them. You create automatically by using Word’s Insert Caption feature.

Abbreviations List

If you’ve used a lot of acronyms throughout your dissertation, you might want to include them in an alphabetized list so that readers can quickly search for their definitions.


Including a glossary may be a good idea if you employ a lot of highly technical terminologies that are unfamiliar to your reader. You should describe and list each term before listing alphabetically.


After establishing a dissertation’s topic, goal, and significance in the beginning, let the reader know what to expect from the body of the paper. The introduction should:

  1. Identify your research question and provide the background information to contextualize your work.
  2. Define the research’s scope and narrow down the focus.
  3. Discuss the current status of research on the subject, demonstrating the connection between your study and a more significant issue or debate.
  4. Clearly define your goals and research questions, then explain how you plan to respond.
  5. Describe the general layout of your dissertation.

The opening should be concise, engaging, and pertinent to your research. The reader should understand your research’s what, why, and how by the end.

How to Write a good dissertation Literature Review / Theoretical framework

Before beginning your research, perform a literature study to understand the scholarly work done on your issue. It implies:

  1. Gathering sources and choosing the most pertinent ones (such as books and journal articles).
  2. Analyzing and assessing each source critically
  3. Making links between them to create a more significant argument (e.g., themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps)

Logic and Structure

Instead of summarizing previous research in the dissertation literature review chapter or section, construct a logical structure and line of reasoning that establishes a vital foundation or rationale for your investigation. For instance, it might demonstrate how your study:

  1. It fills a void in the literature
  2. Offers a solution to a problem that has not yet been solved
  3. Adopts a novel theoretical or methodological approach to the subject
  4. Furthers a theoretical argument
  5. add new facts to current knowledge to strengthen it

A theoretical framework, which defines and analyzes the critical theories, concepts, and models that frame your research, is frequently built on the foundation of the literature review. In this section, you can respond to descriptive research questions on the connections between ideas or variables.


The methodology chapter or section describes your research methods so that your reader can evaluate the validity of your findings. Generally, you should include

  1. The general strategy and kind of study (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, experimental, ethnographic)
  2. How you go about gathering data (e.g., interviews, surveys, archives)
  3. Information on the location, timing, and people involved in the research
  4. Your techniques for data analysis (e.g., statistical analysis, discourse analysis)
  5. Equipment and supplies you utilized (e.g., computer programs, lab equipment)
  6. A review of any challenges you encountered while performing the research and how you overcame them.
  7. A review or defense of your techniques

In the methodology, you want to describe what you did while persuading the reader that this was the best strategy for achieving your goals.


You then present your research findings. This section is on specific subjects, hypotheses, or sub-questions. Report findings only if they are pertinent to your goals and research questions. While the results and discussion sections are entirely separate in some fields, we merge others.

In contrast to quantitative and experimental research, where the results are separate before you examine their significance, the presentation of the data for qualitative approaches, such as in-depth interviews, will frequently woven together with discussion and analysis. If you’re unsure, speak with your supervisor and review examples of dissertations to choose the ideal format for your study.

Tables, graphs, and charts are frequently beneficial in the results section. Think carefully about the best approach to show your statistics, and avoid using tables or figures that summarize what you have written. Instead, they should offer additional details or help your readers better understand the results.


In the discussion, you should examine the significance and consequences of your findings in light of your research questions. Here, you should thoroughly interpret the conclusions, addressing whether they met your expectations and how well they complemented the framework you developed in prior chapters. Explain any unexpected outcomes and any potential causes, if found. It’s a good idea to address any restrictions that might have affected the results and consider different interpretations of the data.

The discussion should cite other academic works to demonstrate how your findings align with previously published research. You can also suggest directions for additional study or actual action.


You should briefly address the critical research topic in the dissertation conclusion, leaving the reader with a clear comprehension of your main contention. Finish your dissertation by summarizing what you accomplished and how you did it. 

In conclusion, there are suggestions for future study or application. It’s critical to demonstrate how your findings advance knowledge in the field and the relevance of your research in this part. What new information do you bring to the table?

List of References

All cited sources must have complete information in a reference list (sometimes called a works cited list or bibliography). Maintaining a consistent reference style is crucial. The structure for your sources in the reference list must adhere to precise guidelines unique to each style.

Students in UK universities, Vancouver and Harvard’s utilize referencing. Your department will often specify the preferred referencing style; for instance, psychology students typically use APA, while students in the humanities frequently use MHRA, and law students always use OSCOLA. Check the requirements carefully, and if you’re unsure, ask your supervisor.

Use our free APA Citation Generator to format citations correctly and consistently while saving time and constructing the reference list.


Only crucial details that directly address your research issue included in your dissertation. You can include documents you’ve used as appendices if they don’t fit in the main body of your dissertation (for example, interview transcripts, survey questions, or tables with all the data).

In the following sections, we’ll provide helpful advice based on our approach to writing dissertations and some practical advice.

How Long is a Dissertation?

Your initial instructions and the specific scientific subject will always be relevant. Your institution might occasionally impose a word limit. If you have a Ph.D. thesis, it may be up to 100,000 words if you apply for a specific education level. An undergraduate dissertation typically ranges from 8,000 to 15,000 words. You must compose a master’s dissertation between 12,000 and 50,000 words long. This makes it challenging because your appendices and the samples that must be accounted for in the final word count must be included.

The Best Dissertation Writing Tips

You must provide a precise response to the query “why.” You need to start on your dissertation. A person should have a powerful motivation to begin this activity because it is difficult and frequently unpleasant and can require several months of intensive work.

Choosing a suitable supervisor is crucial but not essential

Your decision on a supervisor is the first and the most critical when learning how to write a good dissertation paper. They help specify how and where to look for information and when you need thoughts on best executing and preserving the completed work. However, they will not help you during the writing process.

Search for the topic

Here, the supervisor is necessary since they will frequently have helpful suggestions for topics and concepts that might serve as the foundation for your writing, at least one of which should interest you. When interested in a topic, quickly check the Internet to see whether previous works is on the same issue.

Where can I find additional ideas?

Alternative sources for topic ideas include anything that piques your attention, such as an article from a scientific publication or an online resource. Do not, however, discount the significance of this step. The theme you choose will determine your success in part. As a result, when you locate a topic you want to write about, have the supervisor approve it first because he needs to recognize a topic’s “complexity.” Even if the topic is attractive, students may not have many opportunities to explore it.

Avoid taking some scarce topics. However, you should also steer clear of those that are overly popular because, in one scenario, you will experience all the challenges of being an inventor. In the second scenario, you will become weary of demonstrating its novelty.

Organize the work

When a student defines the topic, he typically still needs to figure out what to write in his paper. This is when many students become stuck and need help for days or even months to develop a list of ideas. We advise students to begin by organizing all of their dissertation chapters. You can locate an example of a good organization online, in a library, or in publicly available dissertations on your topic. You may then see how it typically appears.

An approximate table of contents can help to understand the situation considerably. You might still need more writing inspiration, but you will know the proper places for various pieces of information. You can use this to further your research. By doing this, you won’t be confused about what to look for, and you’ll also have a solid outline on how to write a good dissertation, to which you may add notes as you conduct your research.

Making a Note

To avoid losing valuable sources or missing crucial details, you should write down any queries, information, ideas, connections, and other findings in a separate file. Furthermore, this may be helpful in the future. Even if you don’t use the information you’ve gathered immediately, it might benefit you later when working on a different project or publication. Of course, this advice seems overly simple. You’d be shocked at how many students end up in a bad situation because they misplaced their notes or failed to record some vital information they subsequently forgot.

The Steps to Writing a Dissertation

 Steps to Writing a Dissertation

When planning how to write a good dissertation, you complicated and convoluted issues quickly, therefore adopting a quick dissertation guide might help you establish your starting point and proceed step-by-step:

Step 1: 

Describe your topic in detail and discuss your goals in light of it and the related study works that have impacted your decision to pursue this or that. You should write in abstract form and include your dissertation’s keywords to make it easy to find.

Step 2: 

Provide introductory background information that aids in setting your research in the proper context. It should contain numerous data and survey-related details that help introduce your issue and explain why it was picked and has to be explored. It is the example-filled set.

Step 3: 

Clearly state the study’s purpose and describe your methodology. It should outline the methods and strategies you’ve chosen to discover certain aspects and the organizational structure your dissertation will take. Depending on your topic, it can be the “cause-and-effect” or “argumentative” approaches.

Step 4: 

Describe the significance of your research by highlighting its key findings and sample data. You should discuss how your dissertation study improve things. Doing it one way or another in a complex blend combines several diverse aspects. It ought to be persuasive and well-written.

Step 5: 

Describe your study goals and the motivations behind your decision to investigate your topic. Tell us what you hoped to accomplish and how using your methods, you were able to achieve some accomplishment. The sections of your dissertation that define your aims should come first and last.

Step 6: 

Proofread and edit your dissertation! Keep in mind that editing always comes first, so concentrate on the content and readability by removing the weak passages. You should fix any grammar and spelling errors as you proofread. Don’t forget to double-check your sources and appendices to avoid plagiarizing due to improper referencing!

Start with an overview, adapt it as you offer materials, and examine the ones you already have in most situations. You can make adjustments and keep your topic focused with its assistance. Most importantly, take your time before you begin writing, and don’t rush; explore and consider every angle. When unsure of how to write a good dissertation, list the essential points or focus on your subject to make your material distinct and compelling.

How Should a PhD Be Written? Common Errors

Insufficient scientific novelty

It is a significant problem that many people encounter when preparing for their work, even though it may seem like a mild problem. It is a shared secret that every scientific research needs to be current and innovative. Still, even today, many students overlook these requirements and fail because they need help explaining what is novel about their studies.

The proposed method’s drawbacks

It is always important to state clearly under what circumstances the approach is relevant and produces superior results than analogs. It should be used correctly, in conjunction with other methods, or not at all. 

You should be wary of unsupported assertions that a method has a broader application when, in fact, there are specific situations in which it cannot be used. Feel free to declare that a process is not appropriate for something.

There is no comparison with rivals

You can find the criticism “insufficient examination and comparison of the proposed method with the existing analogues” in nine out of ten dissertations, which you should try to avoid.

What does it mean? 

To demonstrate the novelty of their theories, many authors offer a summary of existing techniques and their drawbacks. However, they rarely objectively compare their techniques to others without promoting their superiority. And it’s essential to avoid making this serious error.

What happens in this circumstance? 

As a result, the person discusses the suggested approach and provides many facts, theories, and examples that support his notions. However, it needs to address why your method is superior to approach X, which also addresses this issue. Thus, this person is unsuccessful in an oral defense. The candidate needs to say something in defense of his approach, and the concepts put out lack any logical justification and fail to distinguish themselves from other options.

Refrain from considering those in front of you as “fools”

You will likely have a firmer grasp of the subject than most Dissertation Council members. You’ve been researching a specific topic for the past few years. They could also have utterly dissimilar scientific interests.

However, this does not imply that they won’t be able to quickly evaluate what you did and identify all of the mistakes you made or things you omitted to do. And in this situation, treating people with respect will be beneficial.

Do not assume that your opponents are fools, which is a separate aspect of this rule. Therefore, refraining from plagiarism and copying and pasting your text—including translating foreign articles. You must acknowledge that today, the only people who do not know how to utilize the Internet or specialized programs to detect plagiarism are those who don’t want to be caught.

Likewise, avoid viewing others as your enemy. The commission comprises people who are not trying to harm you in any way; instead, they are just members of the opposing team and must examine you per all of their standards and regulations. Be courteous and respectful as a result!

Dissertation Conclusion

How to write a good dissertation entails gathering data, and other processes for protecting this scientific work are highly complex, diverse, and challenging, as we discussed above. Therefore, if you still believe that “there is too much information, I can’t write my thesis and can’t understand what is going on,” we will summarize the entire piece.

  1. A dissertation is the kind of document that you must write entirely based on your research. It should include several fresh scientific findings and recommendations for protecting the general population. It should be coherent internally and reflect the author’s unique contribution to science as a scientific effort.
  2. The novel concepts and approaches put out in the work should be justified and subjected to a rigorous analysis in light of the established, previously mentioned approaches. The use of the acquired scientific results in practice must be discussed in dissertations with practical worth. In contrast, instructions for applying scientific discoveries must be included in dissertations with theoretical significance.
  3. The dissertation’s content should be based on fundamentally new information, including descriptions of novel facts, phenomena, and patterns, as well as a synthesis of data that has previously been known from other scientific perspectives or from an entirely different perspective (to understand what is a synthesis, just read our article with synthesis essay ideas). In this regard, such content can include debate points on adjusting current opinions and submissions. The thesis’s content must adhere to the regulations’ standards for originality, distinctiveness, and originality.
  4. The dissertation’s method of presentation should be distinguished by a high level of abstraction, active use of mathematical tools and logical thinking techniques, as well as the correctness of the facts provided and reasonableness of judgments. The dissertation should incorporate in the text all accessible sign apparatus (formulas, graphs, diagrams, tables, etc.) or everything that is “the language of science,” which is only understood by professionals, focusing on readers whose level of professional preparation is the highest. The peculiarities of the scientific style of speech, whose fundamental characteristic is the objectivity resulting from the specificity of scientific knowledge, should be used to guide the linguistic and stylistic design of the content.

How to a Good Write a Dissertation: Conclusion

The information discussed above is helpful when crafting how to write a good dissertation. However, if you need help writing independently, you can ask for assistance from our expert writers. Take a look at our prices and the writers who will stun you.

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