Dissertation & Thesis Writing Guide

While at university, who haven’t undertaken a dissertation or thesis- the most significant assignment that all students carry out as part of their degree completion at university? A dissertation is a document comprising of a student’s findings and assumptions on an issue or subject and is submitted to a concerned authority for acquiring an educational degree. Also, it is considered as a major indicator of a student’s genuine abilities as a researcher. By developing assumptions and arguments with regards to framed objectives and questions, dissertations are usually divided into chapters that encompass a thorough investigation of an issue or subject. While selecting a topic for dissertations, researchers hold the pivotal role as in most of the cases; the topic selection is based on the interest, acquaintance and knowledge level of a researcher. Since various factors such as time, cost, accessibility, credibility etc. have a crucial function in attaining the successful accomplishment of a dissertation; a huge task is on researchers to negotiate risks arising with respect to selecting an apt and relevant topic for conducting their dissertations. Despite this, an accepted format in drafting theses has to be adopted by researchers as well as performing a dissertation by keeping in mind the given deadline is also as important as topic selection, formulation of objectives and finding results.

Hence, a good dissertation will

1. Topic selection

2. Planning your research

3. Drafting your proposal
A proposal is a logical and brief summary of your planned research study. It encompasses the key issue or problem that you are aiming to cover and also includes a broad area of your study, backing with ample existing knowledge as well as current discussions on the topic. Often, proposal is a negotiated document as the drafting process requires researcher to write, rewrite and resubmit. Hence, consider your proposal as an introduction to your research thesis.
When drafting a research proposal,

Generally, a proposal will have,

Aims should:

4. Drafting your thesis
A finished thesis will have,

Cover page
Most of the dissertations have to be bound and need to have an official cover page. You can get the cover page from your faculty office.

Title page

Statement of Originality and Authenticity/ Certificate



Contents, list of figures or illustrations

CHAPTER 1 - Introduction
This chapter makes a case for the significance of the problem, contextualizes the study, and provides an introduction to its basic components.

CHAPTER 2 - Literature review
This chapter situates the study in the context of previous research, presents a critical synthesis of empirical literature according to relevant themes or variables, justifies how the study addresses a gap or problem in the literature, and outlines the theoretical or conceptual framework of the study.

Literature review:

CHAPTER 3 - Research methodology
This chapter situates the study in a particular methodological tradition, provides a rationale for that approach, describes the research setting and sample, and describes data collection and analysis methods.

Research sample and data sources:

Instruments and Procedures:

CHAPTER 4 - Findings, analysis and discussion
This chapter organizes and reports the study’s main results or findings, including the presentation of relevant quantitative (statistical) and/or qualitative (narrative) data.



CHAPTER 5 - Conclusions and recommendations
This chapter interprets and discusses the results in light of the study’s research questions, literature review, and conceptual framework, concluding with recommendations for policy and practice and action plan (if applicable).



Writing and format
Writing is: