How to Format a Dissertation Correctly

How to Format a Dissertation CorrectlyDissertation formatting should be done in a way that makes the paper to be expressed in literary form that is consistent with relevant field. It must display scholarly approach and knowledge of subject. The exact format of a dissertation depends upon the field and on the requirements of specific department. The overall format of a dissertation is nevertheless fairly standard. The beginning and conclusion follows the same formats in almost all fields. The body of a dissertation has variations depending on the field.

The format of a dissertation consists of the following sections:


This is the synopsis of entire document which allows the reader to understand the objectives and outcome of actual dissertation. This part should be kept brief and straight to the point therefore the writer should try as much as possible to write less than 130 words.

Contents Page

The content page is point where the writer lists the major parts of dissertation with subsections and page numbers they are on.  Making a rough draft of dissertation format before working on actual one is advisable because it allows for planning of research and writing more efficiently. It is preferable if the contents page is just one.


The introduction should provide detailed overview of background on dissertation topic and the structure to be followed by the paper. The main findings are provided. A writer should also summarize the conclusions gained from analysis of results. The introduction should be based around the journey of a reader. It explains where they are, where they will go and other things that are going to find when passing by.

Literature Review

The literature review simply outlines all the previous research undertaken on the topic that the writer is investigating. The writer should concentrate on the extremely important points that are highly relevant to chosen topic. Literature review should be angled to gain maximum effect.


Methodology is an important section of dissertation layout as it identifies an understanding of data collection methods. It is here that the writer outlines ways of collecting empirical data such as interviews or questionnaires. The reason for using these methods should be substantiated to allow readers understand that these were the best ones for the particular research project.

Data Analysis

This is where you present the empirical data collected and highlight the main issues that have emerged from research. This is the proper position to use diagrams, charts, and graphs for illustrating trends and analysis. If any is too long or wide to fit within specified margins, it should be reduced or if there is textual material, it should be typed in smaller font.

Conclusions should however not be drawn at this point. The right way of structuring data analysis section is showing the collected data. The data should be set out to be used independently of conclusions.


This is the section where the researcher identifies the collected data and evaluates it against each other to develop an analysis and present the main findings.


The purpose of conclusion in dissertation formatting is to summarize what has already been said in the rest of the paper. If it is possible to draw clear conclusions from what was discussed in earlier parts, this should be stated clearly in the conclusion. An assessment of how suitable the conclusion is may also be included with an indication of further analysis or research on how to overcome this issue.


This is where all references should be listed in an alphabetical order regardless of whether the writer quoted anything from them or not. Any material included in the bibliography should include name of the author, title, publication place, publisher and the date.


Appendices are the place where extra information can be placed to safeguard the dissertation paper from becoming cluttered. It is the place to provide readers with fuller picture of information that the paper is about, for instance, blank questionnaire that was used.

Overall, the dissertation format should flow seamlessly. It should not structure the reader to read in a restricted way. It should also not make a reader to be lost on where to move next or read data analysis before literature review. This is why is it is advisable to find a professional who can go over the dissertation and check if the format is the correct one before submission. Remember to observe the right margins, typeface, margins, line spacing and pagination.

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