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A Guide for Writing Dissertation

By hwa_cognate | Publish On: March 1, 2022 | Posted In:
A Guide for Writing Dissertation

A Guide for Writing Dissertation

The most daunting task a student will ever face is “Dissertation writing”. A lot of effort is needed to complete a dissertation. A small error in dissertation writing may lead to academic failure. Dissertation is the key factor to complete graduation or Masters. 

What is Dissertation?

A dissertation is a document submitted by undergraduate, post-graduate and Ph.D level students in support of candidature for their academic or professional qualification. Students are supposed to produce a literature review by undertaking a study and writing up findings and discussing the outcomes in a discussion section. 

Dissertation for a Bachelor’s student varies from that of a Master’s or Doctorate student.

  • Dissertation in under-graduation is a critique of the existing knowledge and look for inconsistencies in viewpoints from different sources and synthesizing arguments.
  • The dissertation in a post-graduation course should be either an assembly of new knowledge or a critique. It should ideally contain propositions that the student must offer in the conclusion
  • In a Ph.D. course, the student must undertake independent research, collect fresh primary data, present them as factual and conceptual findings, and create new knowledge in the form of model or theory at the end.

A Good Dissertation Task Requires:

  • Best writing skills
  • Expertise in research
  • Knowledge to collect reliable and relevant data
  • Data analysis and interpretation skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Substantial amount of time

Key characteristics of a dissertation:

  1. Learner determines the focus and direction of their work
  2. Work will be carried out individually
  3. Collection of primary data or analysis of existing/secondary data
  4. In-depth research of the chosen subject. 

Ultimately, produce a paper with issues of theory, method and methodology and bring them to bear on the chosen topic. 

Checklist for starting dissertation

  • How many credit points dissertation worth
  • Submission date for the final piece
  • Key dates for outlines, sections or requests for the approval of research
  • Word limit for the dissertation
  • Lectures, seminars or workshops associated with the module
  • How are supervisors allocated?
  • Schedule of meeting with supervisor

Dissertation format

  1. Title Page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. List of Tables (if any)
  4. List of Abbreviations (if any), alphabetically ordered
  5. Introduction
  6. Literature Review
  7. Methodology
  8. Findings
  9. Discussion
  10. Conclusions
  11. Bibliography
  12. Appendices

It is essential to present these sections in a prescribed format. Here are some guidelines for some of them:

Literature Review:

It will be like a long essay and should contain the reasons for taking up the research topic and how it fits in with existing work in the area.


Should explain the reasons for opting the methods chosen for answering the topic. Also, the strengths and weaknesses of that approach as a tool for generating knowledge.


Present collected data, evidence or case study to provide logical reasons.


This section should contain all of the strands of the argument together. Think of it as a three-way conversation between the literature, methodology and findings.

Conclusion and Recommendations:

This section should conclude the topic with logical and apt reasons as well as suggesting recommendations for practice.

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