Doctoral dissertation help: a guide to correct structure


Your doctoral dissertation consists of a few key structures. Below you will find a list of the formatting required for your thesis.

  • Title Page
  • Any thesis begins with a title page. This page should include the title of the thesis, the institution you attend, as well as the name of the author.

  • Abstract
  • This is the next piece, which is a concise summary of the research contained in your dissertation. Your abstract is where you state the problem you will address, the method by which you will research the problem, and your conclusions. This area is short, no more than 200-350 words, so it is important that it is accurate.

  • Preface
  • Some institutions will require a preface, which includes a statement that indicates your contribution to the analysis of your data, your research program, and the different components to your research.

  • Table of Contents
  • This is a requirement, which obviously includes a list that readers can use to navigate your paper.

  • List of Tables
  • If your dissertation contains tables you will need this section next.

  • List of Figures
  • If your dissertation includes figures, you will need to list them here.

  • List of Illustrations
  • If your dissertation contains illustrations, this section comes next.

  • List of Symbols, Abbreviations, or other
  • If applicable, this is the next section.

  • Body
  • Now you must include the body of the dissertation. This begins with your introduction wherein you state the hypothesis or the research question you will address followed by any background necessary for a reader to understand the hypothesis or research question.

    Following the introduction you must present your information in the research chapters, which should remain systematic and detailed so that a reader knows how you gathered data and could apply it themselves in a similar situation. Once this is covered, you conclude with the conclusion section. This section is where you describe the contribution your work has made to the academic field. You should reflect on the research, comment on the significance of your report, mention the strengths and weaknesses, and describe the possible research directions that could be taken.

  • Bibliography (Or Reference)
  • This is a required section at the end, which embodies the whole thesis.

  • Appendices
  • This area supports the material and should include copies of any surveys or questionnaires you used during your research, diagrams of unique equipment that was involved, or details for your methodology that still need to be covered.

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