How Long Are Dissertations? Let's Find Out!

What is a dissertation paper? A dissertation is an extensive piece of writing that envisages individual research. It can be based on any topic relevant to your major. A typical masters dissertation word count is between 20,000-50,000 words. Apart from a word count requirement, there are a number of major and minor criteria that your work should meet. To familiarize with them, professors recommend visiting a library. However, if you have checked a dissertation structure template online and looked through theses samples in your library but still wonder, for example, how long are dissertations or how to write a dissertation proposal, this article is for you. Have all of your questions answered.

The most important thing that you need to know about these papers before writing is dissertation structure plan. It will serve as a skeleton for your work; thus, you should start the writing process with learning about it. Guide on how to write a dissertation plan suggest to use the following widely accepted structure, which, however, might be slightly modified by the administration of your educational institution. It includes a title page with a title, abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, results and their analysis, conclusion, bibliography, and appendices.

Experts' Advice How to Write Dissertation Structure

  • Research proposal. Before the start of dissertation writing, you will be required to submit a research proposal by your school. It is necessary for the assessment committee to see that you have made a decision about a topic, have a clear of how the work is to be done, understand what is required from you, and realize the vitality of this paper to your academic success.
  • A title page. It should contain the title of the work, your name, academic qualification that you have so far, institutional affiliation, departmental affiliation, the name of a supervisor, and the date of submission.
  • Abstract. The key to how to how to write an abstract for a dissertation well is to prioritize. The abstract is a brief summary of the paper, which covers its content from the introduction to conclusion. The rule of prioritizing suggests that you should select only the most valuable and interesting information to be included in the abstract. In such a way, it will be focused, well-organized, and easily fit in with the 250-word limit.
  • Introduction. This section is basically the same as that in a simple essay or small research papers that you compose to different classes. It should present a problem, put it in the context, outline main research questions and objectives, as well as articulate the purpose and significance of the study.
  • Literature review. The section is about accumulating the data about the topic under consideration and analysis of views that other scholars have on it. The process of creating this section allows to detect gaps or inconsistencies in current knowledge and address these issues in own research.
  • Methodology. This is the place where you have to tell about the design of your research and justify own choice. You should indicate whether the study is qualitative or quantitative, what the sample is, what the procedure of testing is, how the results are to be recorded and analyzed, etc.
  • Results and discussion. The section(s) should provide the information about the key discoveries that you have made and offer their analysis in the context of the literature overviewed. In this part of a dissertation, you are advised to use tables and graphs to visualize the findings and ease the perception of raw data for a reader.
  • Conclusion. The closing section of a dissertation should be a focused reflection on your experience of writing this paper. You should remind your objectives, emphasize the significance of the work, point out the limitations, and make a suggestion regarding future research.
  • Bibliography. One of the last elements of the thesis should be a list of references or a bibliography. It must be a list of all the sources that you have applied in the course of writing. If you do not give credit to the authors of the information, you will be accused of plagiarizing and academic dishonesty. So, be sure to mention all the sources and cite them duly in the text.
  • Appendix. Here, right after a bibliography, you might decide to show the additional materials that are crucial to the work. These might be the samples of instruments used in the research, for instance, a survey, or lengthy tables with statistical data. All appendices should be properly numbered and referred to in the text so that a reader could know when the best time to check them is.