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Dissertation Sample: An Overview Of What To Include In Your Dissertation

A dissertation is one of the essential parts of earning a PhD. It is the culmination of all the work that you have done at university, and it often determines whether or not you will graduate. Therefore, ensuring that your dissertation is as strong as possible is essential. To do this, you must know what a good dissertation sample looks like.


The introduction should be short and to the point. It should provide a clear overview of the problem, state what you plan to do, and outline why your study is important.

You want to keep this part introductory and not overly detailed. If you go into too much detail at this point in your dissertation sample, it will likely confuse readers who are unfamiliar with the topic or question being investigated.



The abstract is the first part of your dissertation and helps readers understand what you will discuss in the rest of your paper. It should not exceed 500 words. Here’s what it should include:

  • State the problem/issue you are addressing (if there is one)
  • Explain why this issue is important enough for people to spend time reading about it
  • Explain why you wanted to study this issue
  • Provide a brief overview of how you went about doing this


Your dissertation acknowledgement should be a short thank you to those who helped you throughout your research and writing process.

Include in your acknowledgements:

  • The name of each person who assisted you with this project.
  • A brief description of each person’s role in the study and how they contributed to completing your dissertation.

Contents page


Your dissertation will be a long document, and the contents page needs to be interesting enough for the reader to want to go on. You should include a title, your name, your institution, when you completed it and an abstract, so people know what they’re getting into. Then write down any acknowledgements or apologies for anyone involved with the project before getting started on the actual body of work.

List of tables and figures, if applicable

If you have any tables or figures in your dissertation, list them here.

Definitions, if applicable

If you include definitions in your dissertation, it’s important to define every term used at least once. This can be done in the introduction or conclusion but is most commonly found in the methods section. For example:

Abbreviations, if applicable

You should use abbreviations only if they are standard to your field of study. If you do use them, be sure to define them at the beginning of your dissertation, but define them once and only once. After that, you can use abbreviations throughout your document without further explanation. Whichever way you choose to handle abbreviations in your dissertation, it is important that they be presented consistently so that readers don’t get confused or irritated by inconsistent usage.

Plain English summary, if applicable

A plain English summary summarizes your research findings or critical arguments. It’s meant to help you and your readers quickly understand the main points of your argument. It’s often included in academic papers as a way of summarizing an entire paper for readers (and researchers) who don’t have time to read the entire document.

Plain English summaries are usually between one and three paragraphs long, but they can vary from discipline to discipline. A plain English summary might include:

  • The overall purpose of the research
  • The major findings from each study presented in the paper
  • How do these findings relate to previous research on similar topics

1. Background and context of the problem you are exploring


This is the section where you will discuss the background and context of your problem. You should explain:

  • What is the problem you are trying to solve? How does this fit into the broader context in which it occurs? Why did you choose to address this problem instead of other problems in your field?
  • What is the history of this problem? How has it been addressed before, and how have these previous approaches been helpful or not helpful for people who face similar challenges as yours?

2. Problem statement

The problem statement should be clear and concise. It is a succinct description of the research problem that you are trying to solve.

It can also be called a research question or hypothesis. The purpose of problem statements is to help you identify what you want to answer in your dissertation.

The best way to write an effective problem statement would be by using keywords and phrases that describe your research topic and its problems clearly, without being too general or too specific.

The reason behind this is that when writing a dissertation sample, students need more than one sentence explaining everything about their dissertation studies: how they will conduct it, why they chose their particular subject matter, and who will benefit from reading it (if applicable), etcetera…

3. Scope of the study (what do you intend to accomplish?)


You should also clearly state what you hope to learn from your study. This may be done by summarizing the body of knowledge in this field and how your study will contribute to it. You can also discuss how your work will help other researchers and practitioners in the field.

To ensure that you progress toward accomplishing these goals, you must explain why this particular project is necessary or relevant at this time and place.

4. Research questions

Write the research questions or hypotheses in sentence form, and specify whether they will be tested with qualitative or quantitative methods. For example: “This study examined the effects of gender, age and level of education on self-esteem.”

5. Methodology


In this section, describe your methodology. Include information on the following:

  • The research design (e.g., randomized controlled trial, case study, cross-sectional survey).
  • The data collection methods used (e.g., interviews, questionnaires).
  • The sample and how it was selected.


A dissertation sample is one of the best things to follow to write a dissertation. This article aims to highlight key features and elements of a sample dissertation. By understanding your sample’s characteristics and structure, you can ensure that your work will meet these standards.