Plan a dissertation structure that will enable you to present the argument effectively
Your doctoral dissertation should be properly structures to enable you to present your argument effectively. The nice part is: almost every doctoral dissertation is structured in the exact same way. So all you have to do in order to effectively present your argument is follow the format below:
- *Please note that some institutions have different requirements and their specific structure or format may vary. This should only serve as a foundation and you should ensure you have copies of your guidelines and adhere to those precisely.
- You start with the title page. This is the page that contains your title, as its name suggests, as well as your name and your institution.
- You add an abstract. This serves as a concise summary of the research that you will present in your dissertation. You want to state your problem, how you researched the problem, and what conclusions you found during your research. This is often one paragraph, between 100 and 300 words, but again, contingent upon the requirements of your institution.
- Acknowledge those who helped you, contributed to the project, bought you pizza on late nights, etc… Then lay out the path that the reader will take with the table of contents. This will help the reader find any particular section they want to review.
- If you have tables, figures, illustrations, symbols, abbreviations, etc… you should have a list for them as well beneath your table of contents.
- Then comes the body of your work. The body is the bulk, the meat, the heart of your paper. It starts with your introduction. You want to introduce to the reader the research question you will address, or the hypothesis you want to solve. You should give the reader any background they need to better understand this question or hypothesis. For example: if you are making an argument for in vitro fertilization compared to natural fertility treatments, the reader may not know what natural fertility treatments are, or what fertility/infertility is, and you have to cover this in the introduction.
- As you lay out the body of your text, make it detailed and systematic. The reader should be able to logically follow the data you have gathered and its application. You don’t want them getting lost mid-way through.
- The conclusion is where you bring it all together, reflect on the research you concluded, and comment on the significance of said research. You can discuss the strengths of your work and the weaknesses, followed by any possible research that might come of your work.
- At the end, you need your references and your appendices. Make sure these follow the format required by your institution.