Dissertation Writing Guide

Why Is A Dissertation So Important?

A dissertation is the most important body of work you have to compose in your entire academic lifetime. There are many reasons why writing a dissertation is paramount; and these reasons are why universities have made dissertation an indispensable part of their syllabus. The factors have been discussed below:

  • A dissertation reveals your capacity and skills as a researcher
  • This type of assignment adds to your final grades and has the power of affecting your CGPA
  • A dissertation helps in demonstrating whether you posses certain abilities. It helps display whether you’re able to identify your own area of interest, whether you can carry out extensive research on the topic you have chosen, whether you can express yourself clearly through your write-up and whether you have the skills to execute this mammoth task on your own
  • A dissertation helps you to prepare for your career, and a well-written dissertation can land you a really good job
  • A dissertation is a way of testing your knowledge and your grasp of the subject matter
  • Dissertations also have a role to play in the pursuing of higher studies and can determine whether you will get admission in the university of your choice

All in all, a dissertation is one type of assignment that cannot be ignored if you want to have bright future prospects – whether academically or in relation to your career

What Are The Main Parts Of A Dissertation?

Let us begin by deconstructing a dissertation. What are the main parts of a dissertation? What to include and what not to include?

A dissertation as we mentioned before is a formal piece of writing of considerable length which consists of the following parts:

1. Abstract

An abstract is a short summary of the entire dissertation. It consists of the research question along with chapter outlines and the conclusion. This is the first thing that a person is going to read in your dissertation so write it well.

2. Research Question

The next important component is the research question. It is the fundamental question that defines your research and forms the crux of the research. This should come in the introduction; preferably in a separate section. Additionally this portion should be written well since people would be drawn towards the rest of the dissertation by your research question. The stronger the question is, the likelier it is to evoke curiosity.

3. Literature Review

Another equally important part is to give an overview of all the existing research work done on the subject. This is crucial because it serves two purposes: firstly, it lets your dissertation committee know that you have a good grip on the existing literature on the subject and the questions you should be asking. Secondly, it gives a holistic perspective to the students on the topic of your research and helps them to place your research within larger area of study.

4. Chapters

Chapters form the main pillars of your dissertation. A well written dissertation neatly divided into five or more chapters is your best bet. Anything less than three is too short and anything more than five is bit too lengthy. Five chapters seem perfect. Each chapter should concentrate on a particular topic and should be written in a manner so that it can make for an independent reading.

5. Bibliography

Many students think bibliography an unnecessary imposition on the student community already reeling under the pressure of writing a dissertation. A bibliography is a tabular list of the names of the authors who have been consulted by a student while writing the dissertation. All the sources of direct and indirect influences should be mentioned. Although it might seem like an imposition, it is important that you write full length bibliography.

Let’s guide you on how each component of the dissertation should be framed if you are composing a 10000-word long dissertation. Here is a standard dissertation framework.

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What Are The Chief Research Methodologies?

The process used to collect information and data for the purpose of writing a dissertation is called dissertation research methodology. It consists of a number of processes. Here are the 5 top research methods.


An interview is a conversation between two persons (an interviewer and an interviewee) in which questions are asked in order to get information for research purposes. It is quite a popular method for getting qualitative information. It is common in social sciences, marketing and psychology. There are many types of interviews: formal and informal; open and close ended etc. In formal interviews, the same set of questions is asked to everyone. In an informal interview, the style is conversational. In an open-ended interview, questions are deliberately kept broad and open-ended to elicit responses that can be analyzed more cogently. On the other hand, fixed and closed interviews are based on a set of pre-determined question and answers where the interviewer has to choose one of the answers given.

Historical Research

This mode of qualitative research is quite popular in history. There are four key sources for carrying out this kind of information:

  • Archival sources or old historical documents which are preserved in the archives and the museums
  • Secondary sources which include books and journal articles
  • Governmental reports like census data etc
  • And literary sources like autobiographies, memoirs and recollections.
  • Survey

    Among all the methodologies of quantitative research, survey is the most important. Statistical surveys are undertaken to reveal quantitative results about populations. Some examples of surveys are census, polls and market research analysis.

    Case Study

    Being a part of qualitative research methodology, a case study is a research methodology where theories are applied in real life case scenarios in order to examine whether these theories have validity or not. It is quite a popular methodology in social sciences. However, now-a-days, it is majorly used in law and business. In law, a student is given a situation involving a legal dispute and he is asked to come up with a suitable legal outcome of the dispute. On the other hand, a business case study involves a real or a fictive situation of a business enterprise and the student is asked to come up with some business strategies which would help the company to come out of this situation.

    Theoretical Analysis

    This method is quite common for theoretical subjects like philosophy, English, comparative literature, cultural studies, film studies, gender and queer studies etc. Basically, in this method, we try to apply high philosophical theories to literature, cinema, drama and contemporary situations, not just as formulas but as critical exercises which would help us to question given assumptions about our human society.

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