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Especially at lower levels such as BA, many dissertations consist of secondary research (drawing new conclusions from already published primary research), or even tertiary research (assessing existing secondary research, such as surveying the impact of an author’s research in the literature).Every dissertation includes one or more substantive chapters, an introduction and conclusion.
Dissertations are structured rather differently from essays and more akin to academic books (though, not textbooks).
Dissertations are normally expected to be original research of scholarly quality, but the meanings of “original” and “scholarly” can vary with discipline and level.
The number of chapters varies according to the length of your dissertation but the average is from three to five.
The idea of the chapter structure is very much like the paragraphs of an essay in that each should address a different aspect of the dissertation you are presenting in your dissertation but never lose sight of the main argument.
This is mandatory if the dissertation consists of primary quantitative or qualitative research, but may not be needed in dissertations in theory subjects or focused on secondary or tertiary research.
The importance and size of this section varies with discipline and with the method chosen.Some (particularly qualitative and secondary) dissertations will also include a separate theory chapter, which is similar to the method chapter and sets out the theories used to interpret evidence.How to Write a Dissertation Methodology Again usually mandatory for primary research and some other topics, a literature review surveys the current state of the literature on the dissertation area or areas, and explains why the dissertation is original and fills a hole in the literature.The body of the dissertation, however, contains variations from field to field.Review the basic structure of a dissertation, and get yours underway.It should be an in-depth study of the field/s of literature related to the dissertation and how it has informed or is corrected by the dissertation. In the case of theory dissertations and secondary/tertiary research, the substantive chapters may engage in ongoing dialogue with the literature, in which case a separate literature review chapter may not be necessary.How to Write a Literature Review The main body of your dissertation is comprised of sequential substantive chapters.The introduction should close with a paragraph leading smoothly into the main body of the dissertation.Some but not all authors write the introduction after the substantive chapters are written.Your department should specify if an abstract is required and what length and format it should be.How to Write a Dissertation Abstract Although placed at the front of the dissertation after the title page or abstract, the contents page is usually written last in the dissertation; it lists the starting pages for the different sections.