Dissertation Format

To craft an important and effective dissertation, the first thing that a student needs to know is the dissertation format.  In this blog, the content will take you through the general dissertation format and layout in every step. If you are a beginner or are just going to start the research journey, this blog will help you give one better concept and clear idea. This post will cover big-picture and show the dissertation process. 

 The dissertation consists of 6 chapters as, Introduction, Literature review, Methodology, Results, Discussion and conclusion, and dissertation format. It holds the title page, acknowledgement page, abstract, Table of content and the important chapters.

  1. The introduction chapter portrays the research aims and research question.
  2. The next important chapter is a literature review; it explains the present research of the dissertation.
  3. The methodology section, discussion and results chapters take a new path in the research paper.
  4. The final chapter, ‘conclusion,’ answers the research question.

Dissertation format and dissertation layout shows the research process which defined, question, investigation, and answering the dissertation’s question- 

Title Page

The title page of a dissertation creates a good impression. A strong and effective title required three things.

  1. Succinct
  2. Specific
  3. Representative 

A good title is important for any dissertation because it grabs the attention first and also explains the research topic. The other important part of the dissertation format is Acknowledgements.


This page offers students a great opportunity to be thankful to those who helped them throughout their research work. Please note this section does not carry any marks. This is an important process to start the journey. It has no necessary word count so that a student can mention the names and their respective professor and friends and relatives.

Abstract/ Executive summary

The abstract or executive summary gives a whole framework of the dissertation with an entire picture view of the research project. A strong executive summary creates a great impact on readers. Abstract of the dissertation covers some important key points such as

  1. Research questions with the aim of the study
  2. Methodology
  3. Findings
  4. conclusions 

Table of content (TOC)

The TOC section is straightforward; it comes after the acknowledgment page. Sometimes TOC is overly lengthy. Do you consider removing the depth level of TOC?

Chapter 1: Introduction

 A few chapters should be used in the dissertation format and these chapters are where a researcher starts to earn good marks. The first chapter of the dissertation is the introduction chapter. This chapter will execute the overall scenario and introduce the research. Still, it is important to keep in mind what has been elaborated in the abstract portion that should not be repeated in the introduction part. Introduction chapter required to start from the beginning and address the questions:

What will be investigated in the entire research paper

Why is your investigation worth it?

What are the research questions and research aims?

Discuss the Scope

How will you structure the entire dissertation?

These are the bare requirements for the introduction chapter. As per some universities, they put some additional bells along with whistles in the introduction chapter. The introduction chapter set a clear direction for the entire dissertation.

Chapter 2: Literature review

 In this chapter, researchers will analyze academic journals, articles, and various industry publications. Few questions should be followed in this section; those are:

What does the literature presently say about the subject you’re investigating?

Is the literature missing or properly hooked up? Is it divided or in disagreement?

How do your studies fit into the larger photograph?

How does your research contribute something original?

How does the methodology of previous studies help you develop your own?

Chapter 3: Methodology

The methodology part is the other important chapter of the dissertation. According to the dissertation, it depends on how many questions the researcher needs to frame, but the researcher needs to address a minimum of two critical questions:

  1. Mention your research design, like how the researcher will carry the research work
  2. The second one is to explain why that research design has been chosen to proceed to the next step.

This segment, in particular, necessitates specificity; don’t skimp on the information. Please specify what you’ll be doing, who you’ll be doing it with, when you’ll be doing it, how long you’ll be doing it, and so on. Furthermore, make sure you can explain any design decision you make. In practice, you’ll probably return to this chapter after completing all of your data collection and review to revise it based on the improvements you made during the analysis process. This is completely acceptable. It’s normal to add another research strategy, scrap an old one, and so on, depending on where the data leads you.

Chapter 4: Results

You’ve now gathered your data and begun your study, whether qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. You will provide the raw results of your analysis in this chapter. For example, in the case of quantitative analysis, you can present demographic stats, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and so on. Typically, Chapter 4 is merely a summary and explanation of the data rather than reviewing its significance. In other words, it is descriptive rather than analytical; the significance is explored in Chapter 5. Some colleges, however, would need you to merge chapters 4 and 5 to present and understand the data at the same time. Check with the institution to see what they want.

Chapter 5: Discussion

After presenting the data collection findings, it is time to view and analyze them. On the other hand, now is the time to talk about what they say, especially your research question (s). What you explore here would be strongly affected by the approach you pick. For example, if you’ve taken a quantitative approach, you might speak about the relationships between variables. If you took the qualitative path, you might learn about the main themes and their interpretations. It all depends on the study design decisions you made. Most critically, you must address your conclusions in terms of your research questions and goals, as well as the current literature. What do the findings reveal about your study questions? Are they consistent with current studies or contradictory? If that’s the case, what could be triggering it? Investigate the observations thoroughly and clarify what they imply in plain English.

Chapter 6: Conclusion

In this final section, You’ve made it to the end of the novel! Now that you’ve addressed your analysis of the findings, it’s time to go back to the beginning. In other words, it’s time to (attempt to) answer your initial study questions (from way back in chapter 1). In terms of your research questions, state your findings clearly. As you would have discussed in the previous chapter, this may seem redundant, but it is critical to bring the full topic circle and clearly state your answer(s) to the research issue (s).

 Following that, you’ll typically talk about the consequences of your conclusions. In other words, you’ve addressed your study questions, so what does this entail in reality (or even in academia)? What do you do better now that you’ve acquired new insight?

 Finally, it would help if you talked about your study’s shortcomings and what this means for future research in the field. No analysis, particularly at the Masters’s level, is perfect. Discuss the flaws in your analysis. Perhaps your technique was constrained, or your sample size was small or unrepresentative, or both, and so on.

Reference list

The comparison list is uncomplicated. It should include a list of all references referenced in your dissertation in the appropriate format, such as APA, Harvard, and so on. For your dissertation, you could use reference management tools. DO NOT Attempt TO MANAGE The REFERENCES BY HAND – it is just too error-prone. You’re bound to find an error on a multi-page reference sheet.

Few universities may need a bibliography rather than a reference list. These are not the same thing. A bibliography is equivalent to a reading list in that it contains materials that inspired your thought but were not quoted explicitly in your dissertation.


Your appendices should contain material that is “good to read” but is not vital to the central research. Appendices should not be used to reduce the word count. To put it another way, don’t put material vital to the central research to save the language. You will not get credit for any material in the appendices, so don’t attempt to game the scheme!

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