Dissertation Outline Writing Guide
A dissertation is typically a long piece of academic writing which is based on very original research and study conducted by the students. Students usually write a dissertation assignment paper of higher academic levels like a PhD and masters. A dissertation assignment paper is the longest piece of writing submitted in an academic career.
How to Write a Dissertation Outline? Example & Guidelines
A dissertation outline is one of the major and earliest steps in the writing process. It helps you lay out and organize new ideas and provides you with a roadmap for deciding the details of your dissertation topic.
A dissertation outline generally contains all the information on various sections in your desertion or thesis. Different parts of and dissertation outline are as follows:
- The anticipated dissertation title
- The abstract
- Your dissertation chapters like literature review, avenues for future research methods, etc.
In the final part, you can also provide any chapter outline for the readers. This is usually a very short paragraph at the terminal part of your introduction to inform your readers about the organizational structure of your dissertation. Your chapter outline is known as the summary or reading guide.
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Outlining your Dissertation:
- Working Title
- Literature Review
- Research method description
- Answers to the given questions
Also Read: How to Write Dissertation: Complete Guide for Beginner
What is a Dissertation or Thesis Outline? Definition and Importance
Always use a dissertation outline template structure that is time-saving.
- Start writing with a hypothesis, keep it on the top of your dissertation page, and connect it with the rest of your paper.
- At the same time, you need to work on your template in the same sequence s you depicted in your hypothesis.
- You also need to make use of the master outline for the entire work and make an outline for each chapter.
- Finally, review each of these outlines and make all the needed modifications. Here, you can delete the details and use new keywords, phrases and sentences via your initial draft.
Useful Tips on Writing Outlines for Dissertation
- Write a good introduction with rationale: In the introductory section, you set the general topic for investigation and focus on your research. This includes the following:
- Given the issue that is intended to be addressed
- A clear statement of your research questions and hypotheses.
- Define the key terms.
- The basic theoretical assumptions.
Your overall aim in writing your dissertation chapter outline is to provide your reader with all the basic information they need to go through your whole dissertation paper.
Sample Dissertation Outline Template for Students
It contains the following sections:
Chapter 1: Introduction
- Issue & its background
- Issue Statement
- Research Questions
- Glossary of Terms (optional)
- Limitations & Assumptions
- Concluding paragraph
Chapter 2: Literature Review
It is the place where you need to introduce the key thinkers, theories and text.
It includes the following:
- A precise overview of the major issues as well controversies in your subject topic
- Certain introductions on the present state of your research and updated work on it to demonstrate your knowledge
- The theorists whose work you are building on modifying
- It would help if you underwent all the studies that can challenge your theoretical presuppositions and hypothesis
All of these will totally contextualize your work by clarifying its significance.
Chapter 3: Methodology
While conducting your original experiment or research, you need to provide all the detailed descriptions and techniques used in your dissertation paper. This includes the following:
- Your whole research approach, like study design, chosen ones, etc.
- Information on your sampling methods
- The way you have gathered and analyzed your data
- All your critical conditions, like consenting while working with human subjects
- All the potential limiting of the methods used by you
Please provide adequate information in this section so your reader can duplicate your study if needed.
Chapter 4: Results with Discussion
While presenting your results and analysis, you need to link it back to the research questions. This section includes the following:
- Presenting and explaining the data using charts as well graphs where needed
- Addressing each research question and hypothesis with regard to the data
- We discussed the statistical results in non-statistical terms.
Here, the key is to explain what your results show very clearly.
Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations
At this place, you need to set up all your findings relayed to your given research questions. This includes clarification of the significance of your results. Here it would help if you did the following:
- Summarize your research paper briefly for helping to contextualize the conclusions.
- Then relate your conclusions back to the literature review and research questions.
- Always make suggestions for the other researchers by identifying the things that are overlooked by your study.
- This section is a full circle; here, you need to return your initial hypothesis. In this section, you must discuss everything related to your research paper.
Also, Read This: 7 Advantages of Dissertation Writing You Must Know
Useful Tips on Writing Outlines for Dissertation
Step 1: Clearly understand what a dissertation is: A thesis or a dissertation is a very formal research piece that reflects the standard research process. A standard research process includes the following:
- Ask a very specific and well-articulated question based on your research topic
- Take note of what the other researchers have said regarding your topic
- Rely on your collected data
- Always answer your questions based on your research analysis and findings
As a whole, your research process is about asking and answering the questions systematically.
It would help if you avoided the following things while outlining your research paper:
- Start with a vague and poorly articulated question
- Not taking much time to see what you have already researched regarding the given question
- Collect irrelevant data and information that for not support your question or topic
- Drawing a shaky conclusion
Step 2: Select a unique and valuable research topic: As you have already seen, the first step of your research process is to ask a specific question. Here you need to find a research topic that asks a specific question or a set of questions.
An ideal thesis or dissertation topic has some good attributes. These are as follows:
1st attribute: the research topic needs to be crystal clear about the basic subject area of the given topic and what you want to convey to your audience. There must not be any ambiguities regarding your subject topic.
- A detailed analysis of the consumer-based factors that influence the organization cost of the British brokerage firms.
2nd attribute uniqueness: Your research paper needs to ask questions that have yet to be asked before in any context.
- While using a context, you need to get a good reason for suspecting that all your findings in this context might be different from the pre-existing research.
3rd attribute importance: Your research question must also create value. You must successfully answer all the research questions to add value to them.
Step 3: Writing a convincing research proposal: After writing down a good quality research topic, the very next step is convincing your college assessor to permit you to go into your research. Your research proposal is actually the total of your whole work.
The main purpose of your research proposal is to convince your university assessor that your research topic deserves approval. Here, you might consider the following:
- To clearly articulate a very unique and important topic
- After doing the initial reading of your existing aperture that is relevant to your research topic
- Making a provisional plan on how you need to collect data and analyze them properly
Step 4: write a very strong introduction: After your research proposal gets approved, it is time to get to write your actual dissertation paper or thesis. Here, it would help if you allotted time to crafting a good-quality research proposal. This is divided into 3 chapters- introduction, literature review and methodology. It uses this proposal as a basis.
Check it out: What is a PhD Dissertation and How to Structure it?
What is an Introduction Dissertation Chapter?
The real purpose of your introduction chapter is to make a scene for your research paper so that your reader understands what you want to research and its importance. This part is used to justify your research topic.
What is Included in your Introduction Chapter?
- A precise study background to your field of study explaining the overall research area.
- It is a type of problem statement that explains the issue and its relation to your research paper.
- The research question is a specific question your study field seeks to answer.
- Significance of your study: Why your study is important and how the findings are useful
Step 1: Undertaking an in-depth literature review: You always need to do an initial review of the literature in steps 2 and 3 to find your research gap and write a very convincing research proposal. After reaching your literature review stage of the dissertation, you need to do an in-depth analysis to write a detailed research review chapter.
Reading up your literature review:
The 1st stage in writing your literature review is to go deep into the existing literature, like journals, textbooks, articles, industry reports, chapters, etc., to get a deep knowledge of the correct research topic.
Here you do not need to read all the articles in detail, but you need to cover all the literature that is related to your research questions. In this way, you can create a comprehensive catalogue to be used in your next step.
Step 2nd: Write up the literature review: After working on the literature, you need to write the literature review chapter. Here many students need to consider the literature review chapter as a simple summary of the research. But your literature review is much more than a mere summary. In order to write a good literature review chapter, you need the following three things:
- Synthesizing your existing research
- Highlighting your research gap
- Informing your research methodology clearly
Step 3: Conducting your research: You must develop your research after completing your literature review and understanding it properly. You need to design your research paper uniquely so that you can get the answers to your research questions. Here 2 steps involved research, designing and executing it. Then, you need to present your finding in the best possible way.
The final step of your research paper is to give a good conclusion and inference of what you have finally found through your research paper needs a whole analysis.
Designing your research strategy: In this step, you need to create your research strategy and craft your methodology chapter
Executing, collecting and analyzing data: After working on your research design, you will implement it and start collecting your data. You can do this successfully by hosting a number of online surveys. You can do it in the following ways:
- By carrying out interviews among focused groups by transcribing your auditing data into text.
- You can also collect quantitative survey data using any software tool like STATA, SPSS, or R.
You can always get a very good idea on research by going through the Sample Dissertation or Thesis Outline Template for Students.
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