Main guidelines for dissertation structure Sep 20, 2012
A dissertation is a lengthy essay that is given to a student during his course of study. It is usually written by PhD students as part of the requirement for being awarded a PhD degree. Writing a dissertation
ensures that the student develop essential analytical and problem solving skills that will prove crucial in his professional career. A dissertation just like any other school assignment has guidelines to be followed. There are set of rules for the writing a dissertations. These set of rules forms the structure of a dissertation. The following guidelines should be followed strictly if a student is to write a dissertation.
Every dissertation must have a tile page. The tile page states the topic of the dissertation. It gives the name of the student as well as his unique student identification number commonly referred to as matriculation numbers in some countries. The tile page should specifically state the number of pages of the dissertation. It is not appropriate to have a list of books consulted during the course of work in the title page. These have their special sections where they will be added later. In addition to the above mentioned factors, a title page should contain the name of the lecturer or supervisor in charge of the dissertation research project.
INTRODUCTION AND THESIS STATEMENT
A good dissertation should have a strong introductory statement. The introduction should not take up more than a few pages. They should not be too long and explain everything that will be covered in the main body of the work. A good introduction starts from the broad explanation of events down to the minute details. It gives the readers a broad outline of what the paper is all about. It as well mentions what the paper hopes to accomplish and any shortcomings experienced during the course of the work. Most importantly, an introduction should contain a clear thesis statement. Some institutions require that the thesis statement be written as a sub section of the introduction while others require that the thesis statement be written as a standalone section. Whatever the case may be, a good thesis statement
is given in only a few sentences. In fact just two or three sentences are enough to form your thesis statement. The thesis statement produces facts about the paper. It aims to answer basic questions without raising more issues.
METHODOLOGY, RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
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The hallmark of a good dissertation lies in its ability to present clear facts. These clear facts are stated in the methodology
, results and discussion section of the paper. The methodology tells the reader how any experiment or research carried in the paper was done. It states the sampling methods and materials used for the research. The purpose is to enable any other researcher to be able to carry out the same research given the same circumstances. The results section on the other hand states actions that results from the experiment or research so carried out. This is where the student presents his facts and tries to convince his readers. The discussion section talks about the implications of the research results. It clearly states the author's opinion on the subject matter. These sections should be explicitly stated in a concise and precise manner.