There is no general rule on how you should structure your dissertation. The exactness is determined by your discipline and any specific requirements made by your department. This being said it’s still very important that you do your absolute best to make this document, which is often thought of as a culmination of your higher education work and a likely marker for the start of your professional career.
The introduction will be the first opportunity to connect with the reader. You should provide relevant background information about why you want to undertake the study, what questions you plan to answer, and how your work will impact the specific field of study. You should also include your hypothesis so that the reader knows what your beliefs are right from the start.
This section outlines the relevant work surrounding your topic, as well as gives an explanation of how those works are limited towards answering the questions you will be addressing. You don’t have to include a comprehensive list of all the works you list in the bibliography, only those works which directly support or contradict your hypothesis.
The main purpose of this section is to clearly explain the method in which you plan to collect your data. The idea is that anybody reading your dissertation should be able to replicate your study and arrive to the same results if they follow these steps exactly. Explain the steps you take and provide a description for any of the test subjects or items used in the study.
These sections will vary the most depending on the discipline, but the basic ideas remain the same. What you need to do is present the details of your study and the results. There shouldn’t be any sort of interjection or interpretation in these sections. You should write in as straightforward a manner as possible.
The conclusion of your dissertation should reiterate, using different words, the information presented in the study and results sections, and present the importance of your study’s findings within your field. Never assume the reader will remember everything you have stated earlier. Refer to your thesis or hypothesis and show exactly how the study’s findings answer specific questions posed in the introduction. This will provide a sense of closure to the document and ensure you get the high grade you deserve.
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