Posted on: 7th Mar 2020

How to Structure a Dissertation

The structure of a dissertation is completely based on the type of investigation you are conducting. An expert team of Singapore assignment help has written an article for assisting students in determining an appropriate dissertation layout.

If you do not have knowledge about the dissertation structure then the guideline provided in this article will help in creating the proper dissertation layout for the dissertation. You can also seek advice from our expert team, as they will help you in determining proper dissertation structure.

Before going further, lets first understand the meaning of dissertation

How to Structure a Dissertation

What is a dissertation?

A dissertation can be referred to as substantial paper which is based on research. It is basically an academic paper that consists of detail information about a specific topic or subject.

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How to structure a dissertation?

Dissertation structure can be defined as organizing the different elements or chapters in the dissertation in a systematic and logical manner. Preparing the layout will provide you with ease in writing a dissertation.

The main purpose of designing the proper layout of the dissertation is to improve the quality of content.  Another objective of structuring a dissertation is to enable the reader to develop an understanding of the objectives of the investigation. It assists readers in maintaining their concentration on the subject,

Before writing a dissertation, it is very much crucial to formulate a dissertation plan . As detail outlining of headings will help you in getting an idea about the different sections to be included in the dissertation.

While structuring a dissertation it is very crucial for you to consider the following elements such as selected approach for research, topic, academic field, etc. Students pursuing studies in the field of humanities will need to structure their dissertation in the same format as a lengthy essay. In the context of the dissertation for the humanities field, you need to include arguments for supporting the thesis statement. You should also organize dissertation chapters according to research questions.

For example, you are writing a dissertation involving empirical research then in such case it is very much important for you to include the parts of the dissertation mentioned below :

1. Title page

It is the first element in the dissertation structure. In the title page, you are required to include the name of your topic, college name, your name, department, name of supervisor and date. You should also check the university guideline as there could be a requirement of additional information.

2. Acknowledgment

This is the second element in the structure of the dissertation. On this page, you need to thank all those people who have helped you in the completion of your dissertation. You can write this page after the completion of your dissertation.

3. Abstract

This section in the structure of a dissertation should consist of a minimum of 200 to 300 words. The word count to be used for writing the abstract is based on the length of your dissertation. The abstract is basically the shortest section of the dissertation.  It is basically a short summary of the dissertation. You should write the abstract very clearly. As it is the section by reading which the reader develops the interest of reading further. In this section, you need to provide detail of the topic and also information about the methodology that has been used.

4. Content page

It is the third element of the structure. This section includes a list of the heading that has been covered along with their page number in front. You can insert or update a table of content after completion of the dissertation.

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5. Introduction

This chapter in the dissertation structure demonstrates the objective and relevance of the investigation. It is a crucial element in the structure of the dissertation, you need to describe the topic. The introduction section of the dissertation also includes aims and objectives, research questions. It also defines the purpose of the way research will be accomplished. Here you need to provide background information about the topic.

You are required to clearly define the problem. There is no need of providing too much detail about the problem in the introduction section. You can define the issue in one sentence only.

In this section, it is important for you to highlight the significance of the investigation on a specific topic.

In an introduction section, you need to include the detail about the things you are going to concentrate on while writing a dissertation.

6. Literature review

This is the dissertation literature review section. this section is considered to be the backbone of the dissertation. You need to search for already available information related to your topic. In simple words, you need to collect information about existing literature on a particular topic. This section in the structure of a dissertation consists of arguments related to the topic in the existing literature.  It also comprises of other authors’ view about the particular issue. The procedure to be conducted for writing a literature review section for dissertation include:

  • Gathering of facts from relevant sources:
  • After that, you need to properly analyze the data collected from primary or secondary sources.
  •  Then finally you need to address the literature gap and require to analyze the concepts from different perspectives. It is the tactic that will help you in getting the answers to research questions.

For this topic on how to structure a literature review for a dissertation, you need to include a summary of existing literature. While writing the literature review you should consider the way the findings of an investigation conducted by you will help in filling the literature gap.  You also need to think about whether research conducted by you will help in resolving a specific issue or not.  In many situations, you can easily develop new theories by analyzing the literature review section in the structure of the dissertation.

7. Methodology

It is the methodology section of a dissertation that includes detail information about the techniques which have been used for performing an investigation. In this chapter of the dissertation, you are also required to provide the proper reason for selecting a specific methodology. It is a section in the dissertation by reading which reader will get an idea about the techniques which have been utilized for performing different research activities.

8. Substantive chapters

The number of chapters to be included in the structure of the dissertation is completely dependent on the length of the dissertation. Normally basic dissertation consists of five chapters.  The fourth chapter of the dissertation consists of the result section. It is the part of a dissertation where you need to present your research findings.  here, you can make use of a graph, chart, table for presenting your result in a systematic manner.

9. Conclusion

it consists of key findings in summarized form. In this section, you need to mainly emphasize on the significance of your research findings.

10. List of references

In this section, you need to provide the list of sources from where the information about a specific topic has been gathered. The number of references to be included is completed based on the length of the dissertation.

11. Appendices

This chapter in the dissertation mainly consists of additional information that could be helpful and useful for the reader.


  • You should also include a thesis while designing the layout of your dissertation.
  • The above-suggested structure can be utilized for writing the dissertation for undergraduates,  Masters and Ph.D. courses.

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How to structure a dissertation proposal?

The  dissertation proposal structure  includes the following elements these are :

  • Establishment of Aims and objectives of the dissertation: It is a component in the dissertation proposal layout where you need to clearly define the aims and objectives of the dissertation.  You need to make sure that the aims and objectives which you have set are specific.
  • Research problem:  This component in  the structure dissertation proposal
    where you should provide the detail about the issue on which the investigation has been performed.
  • Define the way research findings will be valuable for the community:  Here, you need to demonstrate the significance of the investigation being performed on a specific topic.  This component in the structure of the dissertation proposal Defines the way research findings could be applied for the benefit of society.
  • Provide Information about techniques that will be used for reaching the conclusion: This component in the dissertation proposal layout consists of detail about the techniques used for performing the investigation.

How long is a master’s dissertation structure?

The table presented below presents the dissertation structure and suggest the word count of the different chapters in the dissertation.  Word count of each chapter is completely based on the length of the dissertation. You can seek support from your tutor for preparing the outline of the dissertation and for determining the word count for each section. A review of the guideline provided by the tutor is also a very much important task to be done before drafting the dissertation layout. The components which are to be included in the dissertation structure are :

How Long be a Dissertation Word count
Introduction 1500
Pre- Theory overview 500
Reason for selection of topic 100
Objectives of the investigation 600
Aims and objectives 300
Literature review 3000
Historical overview of the hypothesis 500
A contemporary review of models 1500
Context of study 1000
Methodology 2000
Philosophy 500
The technique of data collection 600
Sourcing of facts 200
Research ethics 200
Analysis of facts 500
Empirical material 2000
Presentation of information 500
Analysis 1000
Findings 500
Discussions 2000
Discussion 1800
Formulation of hypothesis 200
Conclusion 1500
Review of aims and objectives 300
Contribution context 300
Review of methodology 300
Limitation of research 300
Overall conclusion 300

Author Bio:

Laura Tan

I am an academic writer since 2003 and associated with Singapore Assignment Help. I have expertise in making dissertation proposal. Till now i helped more than 2000 Singaporean and Malaysian Students in completing their masters dissertations thesis and other academic papers.