Structuring Your Masters Dissertation

A Guide to Writing and Structuring Your Masters Dissertation

Before writing a masters dissertation or thesis you should have some knowledge about what it is supposed to be. It is basically lengthy academic work that is founded on research conducted by the student. A dissertation is submitted as part of a postgraduate or undergraduate degree.

The structure of this assignment depends on the field and is divided at least into four or five sections. It also contains an introduction and conclusion. The dissertation frameworks commonly used in social sciences and science fields have the following chapters:

  • A topic introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • Research outcomes
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

While dissertations written for the humanities department are in the form of an extensive essay. The arguments presented in them are built on the analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Instead of the above-mentioned structure, your chapters can be organized according to relevant case studies or themes.

Other essential sections of the masters dissertation include an abstract, title page, and reference list. If you don’t know which structure is needed for your dissertation, it is best to consult your supervisor.

This way you can avoid making an error that is near impossible to rectify later on. Once you are sure of that, this dissertation writing help outlined by our expert academic writers will ease your way.

The Title Page and Acknowledgment

Your dissertation will start with a title page that will contain these details:

  • Your name
  • Department
  • Institution
  • Degree program
  • Submission date

At times, it includes your supervisor’s name, university logo, and student number. Make sure if your university has a strict formatting style the title page. It will also serve as the cover of your printed dissertation draft.

The acknowledgment section is mostly optional. It is a space to show gratitude to everyone who guided and assisted you during the writing process.

Anyone from your supervisor to research participants and supportive friends or family members can appear there.


This is a concise summary of your dissertation, with a 150–300 word count. It is better to write it after completing the rest of the paper. The abstract will state the topic and objectives of your research. Furthermore, it will describe the methods you used, summarize the basic results, and exhibit the conclusion. It is a rather brief section but holds great importance, as the reader will study it first. So, make it as convincing and powerful as possible to lead them further inside your research.

Table of contents

List all the chapters, subheadings, and page numbers of your dissertation here. Including the table in your dissertation formatting will give the reader a structural overview. Moreover, it helps in easier navigation of the research. Make sure to add every single part of your paper in it along with the appendices.

Lists of abbreviations, figures, and tables

In case your dissertation consists of several figures and tables you will require a numbered list for them. The same applies if you have used a large number of abbreviations. We will put it in an alphabetized manner for the further convenience of readers.


This section will set up the topic, aim, and importance of your masters dissertation and tell the reader what to expect. It provides the necessary information to create context and defines the scope of the study. The introduction will also discuss where the current research stands on the topic and its existing gaps. you will also clearly state your research question and objective in this section.

Literature review

Literature reviews are conducted pre-research to gain an in-depth understanding of academic work relevant to your topic. It will not merely summarize the sources but build a coherent argument. This will clearly justify your research and its purposes. It is often the foundation for a theoretical framework, defining and analyzing key concepts, theories, and models of your study.


This section will show how the research was conducted and allow readers to assess its authenticity. You will relate your approach and research type, methods of data collection, and data analysis. The materials and tools used will also be mentioned alongside a discussion about obstacles faced during the research. Lastly, it will contain the evaluation of your methods.

Research outcomes

As evident, your research results will be presented here. The section can be structured around topics, sub-questions, and hypotheses. Only report results that are related to your research questions and objectives. In some disciplines, the results are separated from the discussion section, while in other subjects they are combined. It is helpful to include graphs, tables, and charts in this section to support the results.


The discussion section explores the implications and meaning of your research results. Explain the results in detail here, assess whether they match your expectations and fit in with your constructed framework. state the reason for any outcome that is unexpected. It is ideal if you consider alternative data interpretations and discuss limitations which might have influenced your results.


And this, as the final section of your dissertation should precisely answer your research question. The readers must have clear comprehension of the central argument once they have read it. Reflect on what your research consisted of and how you conducted it while wrapping it up. It can also include further recommendations for practice and research. You should be able to demonstrate how your research contributed to the field and why it matters.

Reference list

Add complete details of all the sources cited in your work in the reference list. It is necessary to follow a consistent style when referencing. Each one has specific and strict rules of formatting. The most commonly used referencing styles are Harvard and Vancouver. Check with your supervisor about your university’s preference of reference style before applying it


Masters Dissertation writing is not a simple task. But having these straightforward and easy-to-understand guidelines will make things more convenient. With rigorous practice and hard work, you can attain the skill needed for mastering this academic research pattern. Soon enough you will be ready to carry out an excellently structured and insightful study.

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