Dissertation structure

We will start our overview of dissertation writing with a look at the dissertation structure.

What is dissertation structure?

The dissertation structure is common to most dissertation, with a number of defined sections that must nearly always appear. The sections are as follows:

At the end of your dissertation you will have your references and any appendices.

This dissertation structure is common to nearly all subjects. Whether you are writing a scientific dissertation or a humanities dissertation the sections will still be the same, although the content will obviously be very different.

Why is dissertation structure important?

Having a good dissertation structure is the first step in the process of writing a good dissertation. Developing the dissertation structure should be the first thing you do when you start planning your dissertation, and you should follow the dissertation structure you have developed throughout the time you are writing your dissertation.

The idea of a dissertation structure is to help you lead your reader through your research in the easiest and clearest way possible. You take them from the ideas behind the research, through research that has previously been conducted, and then onto your own research and its findings. Without a good dissertation structure, no matter how well researched your dissertation is, your readers will have difficult following the arguments you present.


A good tip is to set up your document with the dissertation structure already written in as titles. As we go through each of the sections in more detail, you can add in more titles to these sections as appropriate. Only once you have the dissertation structure in place as titles in the document should you start adding the content.

Further reading

What next?

Over the next few posts, this blog will examine each of these sections in detail in order to help you build the best possible dissertation structure.

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