A dissertation or thesis is a long piece of academic writing based on original research, submitted as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The structure of a dissertation depends on your field, but it is usually divided into at least four or five chapters including an introduction and conclusion chapter. Dissertations in the humanities are often structured more like a long essay , building an argument by analysing primary and secondary sources. Instead of the standard structure outlined here, you might organise your chapters around different themes or case studies. Other important elements of the dissertation include the title page , abstract , and reference list.
At Grad Coach, we receive questions about dissertation and thesis writing on a daily basis — everything from how to find a good research topic to which research methodology to choose and how to analyse the data. The terminology surrounding higher education also varies between countries, so keep this in mind. Dissertations and theses are both academic research projects.
A dissertation or thesis is a long piece of academic writing based on original research. This article helps you work out exactly what you should include and where to include it. You can also download our full dissertation template in. The template includes a ready-made table of contents with notes on what to include in each chapter.