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A Few Words About Academic Writing: What Is The Basic Dissertation Format?


How to write the best dissertation to receive one’s PhD degree or Masters’ degree?


When writing one’s dissertation, you must understand that it will determine whether or not you will receive your PhD or Masters’ degree.

The writing process of one’s dissertation needs to be taken seriously and should be the student’s number one priority.

The dissertation has to be written per the professor’s instructions and specifications.

The subject matter for the dissertation should be based on the student’s field of study and needs the approval of the dissertation committee.

The subject matter or topic for the dissertation has to have enough information from many sources that will be used to write the dissertation.

The dissertation sources used to write it need to be reliable, credible, and current.

It is advisable not to use too many secondary sources or website sources for one’s dissertation.

The best sources to use for the writing of a dissertation are as follows:

  1. Books by credible authors.
  2. Textbooks.
  3. Journals.
  4. Periodicals.
  5. Newspapers.
  6. Published writings of college professors.
  7. Unpublished writings of college professors.
  8. Studies, experiments, and surveys.

How should the dissertation be written and formatted?


The dissertation should be formatted and styled per the instructions of the professor and dissertation committee.

Here are the main format styles for dissertations:

  1. APA format (American Psychology Association);
  2. MLA format (Modern Language Association); and
  3. CBE format (Chicago Basic English)

The dissertation has to be written in the format style that the professor prefers it to be in written.

What is the general format for the dissertation? Should include the following sections:


  • Abstract: States the background information for the dissertation, subject matter, how the paper was written, and how the writer came up with their perspective on the subject matter. It includes the thesis statement or hypothesis question.
  • Table of Contents: provides the outline of the page numbers where each section of the dissertation can be found.
  • Introduction: provides information on the topic, thesis statement, and main pointers of the thesis.
  • Fact Section: Gives general information on the basic facts regarding the thesis statement, subject matter, and hypothesis.
  • Experimental Section and Test Results: Gives information on the experiments and tests done to answer the hypothesis question.
  • Figures and Graphs: Outline the results for all experiments and tests.
  • References: states the references that were used in the experiments and tests.
  • Methodology: Gives an explanation of the different tests and experiments used to respond to the thesis statement and hypothesis question.
  • Terminology: Defines any terms that the targeted reader may not understand.
  • Conclusion: Wraps up the dissertation and re-emphasizes the thesis statement, answer to hypothesis, and main points of the topic.
  • Bibliography: List all the sources cited in the dissertation (primary and secondary).
  • Appendix: List unpublished sources used.
 

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