How do you start writing a dissertation

How do you start writing a dissertation

A thesis or dissertation is considered an extended piece of theoretical writing related to unique research. It is normally submitted as a part of a master’s or PhD and occasionally as a part of the graduation degree. It is normally divided into sections and might contain headings and subheadings. Dissertations offer answers for a specific research question and can either report on the empirical study or the basis of the literature-related research.

Though the objective of the dissertation is to answer the questions, the procedure is more significant than the actual findings. To prepare the literature review and further research into the selected topic, one will need to search for reliable and relevant information. The scholar may also be required to carry out experiments or studies involving surveys and interviews. 

Not all the dissertations are exactly organized the same – the procedure of research will rely on the discipline, location, approach, and topic. For instance, dissertations in the subject of the art are sometimes organized more like an extended essay, establishing a complete disagreement to sustain a chief thesis, with sections planned over distinct case studies or themes. But, if you are carrying out pragmatic research in the social sciences or disciplines, the dissertation must usually comprise all the subsequent components. 

Structure of a dissertation

Title sheet 

The exact starting page of the document consists of the title of the dissertation, name, degree course, institution, and date of submission. At times, it may also include the supervisor’s name, student number, and the university’s sign. Several courses have harsh requirements for configuring the title page of the dissertation. 


The acknowledgments section is normally optional and offers space for the scholar to thank every individual who assisted him in writing the thesis. It may comprise participants, supervisors in the research, and family or friends who sustained you.


The abstract is considered the summary of the whole dissertation, normally over 200-300 words lengthy. You must inscribe it at the very close when the respite of the thesis has been completed. In this, one must mention the main title and objectives of the research, explain the approaches being used, abridge the major outcomes and state the conclusions. Though it is a small paragraph, it is the initial part of the dissertation that the people will read, so it is essential to get it right. Should you need any assistance in writing your dissertation abstract, you can avail online assignment help from experienced academic experts.

Table of contents

This section lists all the chapters, subheads, and page statistics. The content page of the dissertation offers the readers an overview of the entire structure and assists in easy navigation of the document. All portions of the dissertation must be in the contents table, containing the appendices also. Students can intuitively produce a slab of contents by making heading styles in a word document.

List of statistics and tables

If your dissertation requires many figures and tables, students must enumerate them in a totaled list. One can spontaneously produce this list by exhausting the insert option attribute in the word file.

Details of abbreviations

Suppose you have made extensive use of abbreviations in the thesis. In that case, you should compose them in the alphabetical review of abbreviations to assist the reader in looking for their denotations.


If you have cast off highly focused terms that may not be acquainted to the reader, including a glossary page in the dissertation may be helpful. List all the terms in alphabetical order and describe each of those terms with a transitory definition or description.


In this section, you fix up the topic of the dissertation, its relevance, and purpose and tell the audience what to suppose in other parts of the thesis. The overview must –

  • Create the topic of research, providing obligatory background evidence to contextualize the whole task
  • Slender down the emphasis and describe the opportunity of the study
  • Confer the formal of current research, indicating the relevance of work to the broader issue.
  • Mention the research queries and objectives
  • Provide an outline of the structure of the dissertation

Literature review

Before starting with the research, you must have reviewed several pieces of literature to understand the theoretical work that is already present on your theme. This means –

  • Gathering sources and choosing the most pertinent ones
  • Critically analyzing and evaluating every source
  • Making connections among them to create an inclusive point

Literature review must summarize the present studies, but you should develop an intelligible arrangement that will lead to a strong basis for your study. For instance, it must aim at showing how the research –

  • Discourses the hole in the literature
  • Proposes a solution to the unresolved problem
  • Strengthens and builds on existing knowledge with the new set of data
  • Takes up a methodological approach concerning the topic


This section details how you have conducted the research, enabling the reader to evaluate its legitimacy. You must normally include – 

  • Type of research and overall approach
  • Methods of gathering data 
  • Methods of analyzing data 
  • Materials and tools being used 
  • Conversation of any hurdles faced while directing the study and how you overpowered them

The methodology aims to adequately report what you have done and convince the audience that this was the most appropriate approach towards answering the research queries or the purposes. Feel free to get in touch with experts who provide dissertation help in UK to students.


This section of the dissertation can be structured around hypotheses, themes, or sub-questions. In a few castigations, the outcomes section is severely detached from the debate, whereas in others, the two are joint. For instance, in quantitative approaches like ethnography, the demonstration of the information will sometimes be interlaced together with the analysis and discussion. Results must be depicted separately before discussing the meaning –

Concisely mention every pertinent result, including applicable eloquent statistics and inferential statistics.

Briefly mention how the outcome supports the hypothesis.

Include figures and tables if they assist the reader in understanding the outcomes 

Report all the outcomes that are reliable to the research questions 


The discussion explores the implications and meaning of the outcomes regarding research queries. Herein, you must construe the outcomes in part, explaining whether they encountered the prospects and how healthy they set with the outline established in former chapters.

Give your clarifications: what do the outcomes present?

Discover implications: why do the outcomes material?

Recognize limitations: what outcomes cannot articulate us?


The conclusion of the dissertation must precisely respond to the major research questions, parting the audience with an adequate indulgence of the dominant argument and laying emphasis on what the research has underwritten. In a few theoretical conventions, the inference is considered the short segment that arrives before the discussion. 

Reference list 

You should include complete details of all the sources that have been cited in the reference list. It is essential to follow a consistent style of citation. Every type has specific and strict requirements for formatting the sources in the list of references. 


The dissertation contains just the essential information that straightforwardly answers the research questions. Documents that have been used and do not fit into the dissertation’s body, like questionnaires, survey questions, tables, etc., can be supplemented as appendices.  

Editing and checking 

Ensuring that all the segments are correct is only the first step towards a well-structured dissertation. Make sure to have ample time for proofreading and editing. Grammatical errors and disordered formatting mistakes might strain down the quality of tough work. You must strategy to inscribe and reread various drafts of the dissertation before concentrating on the linguistic mistakes, inconsistencies, and typos.

Students must tackle the dissertation projects stage by stage, and they will soon complete an essential paper of their whole academic journey. Writing an effective dissertation needs a wide range of research and planning skills that would be of great value in my future career. The topic of the dissertation and the questions must be sufficiently focused that you can gather all the required data within a given time frame, normally about 12 weeks for master’s students. 

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