Getting started · Provide preliminary background information that puts your research in context · Clarify the focus of your study · Point out the value.
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- Dissertation Structure & Layout Explained (With Examples) - Grad Coach
Here you can give a brief overview of the current state of research on the topic, citing the most relevant literature and indicating how your work fits in. You will conduct a more in-depth survey of sources in the literature review section or chapter. Depending on your field, your research might have practical relevance e. Young people will determine the future of climate policy, so it is important to gain an in-depth understanding of their engagement with this issue.
While there has been previous research on British youth attitudes to climate change, none has focused specifically on how they engage with current UK climate policy. Furthermore, as the youth politics of climate change has been particularly prominent in the past year, it is important to build on previous work and expand scholarly knowledge of this contemporary phenomenon. The overall aim is often formulated as a research question. The objectives are more specific: they tell the reader how you went about answering the question.
The objectives should give an initial insight into your research methods, giving a preview of the type of data and analysis the dissertation deals with. To help guide your reader through the dissertation, end with an overview of its structure, summarising each chapter to clearly show how it contributes to your central aim.
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A few sentences should usually be enough to describe the content of each chapter. However, if your research is more complicated or does not follow a conventional structure, you might need to elaborate a full paragraph for each chapter. Especially if your structure is unconventional, make it clear how everything fits together.
Have a thesis expert improve your writing. Check your thesis for plagiarism in 10 minutes. Do the check. Generate your APA citations for free! APA Citation Generator. Home Knowledge Base Dissertation How to write a dissertation introduction. To write your introduction, you can break it down into five steps: Topic and context : what does the reader need to know to understand the dissertation?
Focus and scope : what specific aspect of the topic will you address? Relevance : why is this research worth doing? Aims and objectives : what did you aim to find out and how did you approach it? Overview of the structure : what will you cover in each chapter? Example relevance Young people will determine the future of climate policy, so it is important to gain an in-depth understanding of their engagement with this issue. For a step by step guide on how to write a strong executive summary, check out this post.
This section is straightforward.
If you find that your table of contents is overly lengthy, consider removing one level of depth. Oftentimes, this can be done without detracting from the usefulness of the TOC.
The first chapter is the introduction chapter — as you would expect, this is the time to introduce your research…. So, your introduction chapter needs to start from the very beginning, and should address the following questions:. These are just the bare basic requirements for your intro chapter. Some universities will want additional bells and whistles in the intro chapter, so be sure to carefully read your brief or consult your research supervisor.
If done right, your introduction chapter will set a clear direction for the rest of your dissertation. In this section, you will analyse the existing research typically academic journal articles and high-quality industry publications , with a view to understanding the following questions:.
Depending on the nature of your study, you may also present a conceptual framework or theoretical framework towards the end of your literature review, which you will then test in your actual research. Again, some universities will want you to focus on some of these areas more than others, some will have additional or fewer requirements, and so on.
Remember, the dissertation part of your degree is first and foremost about developing and demonstrating research skills. Moreover, for every design choice you make, make sure you justify it. This is perfectly fine. Its natural for you to add an additional analysis technique, scrap an old one, etc based on where your data lead you.
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Typically, Chapter 4 is simply a presentation and description of the data, not a discussion of the meaning of the data. However, some universities will want you to combine chapters 4 and 5, so that you both present and interpret the meaning of the data at the same time. Check with your institution what their preference is.
In other words, its time to discuss what they mean, especially in relation to your research question s. What you discuss here will depend largely on your chosen methodology. It all depends on what your research design choices were. Most importantly, you need to discuss your results in relation to your research questions and aims, as well as the existing literature.
What do the results tell you about your research questions? Are they aligned with the existing research or at odds? If so, why might this be? Dig deep into your findings and explain what the findings suggest, in plain English. In other words, its time to attempt to answer your original research question s from way back in chapter 1.
Clearly state what your conclusions are in terms of your research questions. This might feel a bit repetitive, as you would have touched on this in the previous chapter, but its important to bring the discussion full circle and explicitly state your answer s to the research question s.
Lastly, you should discuss the limitations of your research, as well as what this means for future research in the area. No study is perfect, especially not a Masters-level.
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Discuss the shortcomings of your research. Perhaps your methodology was limited, perhaps your sample size was small or not representative, etc, etc. This is a strength, not a weakness.
Be brutal! This marks the end of your core chapters — woohoo! The reference list is straightforward. It should contain a list of all resources cited in your dissertation, in the required format, e. APA, Harvard, etc. Do NOT try handle your referencing manually — its far too error prone. To this end, I suggest considering either Mendeley or Zotero. Some universities may ask you to include a bibliography, as opposed to a reference list.
These two things are not the same. A bibliography is similar to a reference list, except that it also includes resources which informed your thinking but were not directly cited in your dissertation. So, double-check your brief and make sure you use the right one. The very last piece of the puzzle is the appendix or set of appendices. Importantly, supporting is the keyword here.
Dissertation Structure & Layout Explained (With Examples) - Grad Coach
Appendices should not be used as a way to cut down word count see this post which covers how to reduce word count. And there you have it — the traditional dissertation structure and layout, from A-Z. To recap, the core structure for a dissertation or thesis is typically as follows:. Most importantly, the core chapters should reflect the research process asking, investigating and answering your research question.
Moreover, the research question s should form the golden thread throughout your dissertation structure. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below, or feel free to get in touch with us.
Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The literature review chapter assesses what the current research says about this question.