How To Use A Proper Format For A Postgraduate Dissertation: Good Advice

Writing your postgraduate dissertation requires you to follow a specific format, often one prescribed by your school. In most cases, this format will follow some general guidelines, and this is the approach we will take today.

Title Page

The Title Page should present the Title of your dissertation according to the school's guideline for title placement.


The abstract should be about 350 words and should give an overview of the dissertation. It is usually written last after the dissertation is completed. It should include your aims and objectives, boundaries and conclusions.


This is a brief statement giving credit for any assistance received while confirming that the dissertation is your own original work.

Contents Page

This page will detail your chapter headings, references, appendices and where they can be found by page number. Any included tables and lists should also be described on this page.


Your introductions should lay out the way your research was conducted; any relevant trends or information the reader needs to be made aware of; why the issue is an important one; why the research was conducted; and what particular research questions you chose to address.

Literature Review

The purpose of the Literature Review is to show what published material is relevant to your paper, and provide a foundation upon which the work you have done can be evaluated.

Research Methodology

Begin this section by restating your research objective, and then the particular methodology you used to reach it. This section needs to justify each step in your research or reading as part of your work.

Results and/or Findings

In this section, you will present the data you have gained through your primary research, and upon which your research questions are based. This will be a fairly large chapter because even a tightly focused research project will generate a considerable amount of data that muse be considered, and all of it should be presented here in a logical order.


This is the main thrust of your dissertation and should be thorough and detailed. It must present not only your opinions and conjectures, but the particular paths of research and logic that led to them.


This is where you blend all of the work in the previous chapters together to form a coherent conclusion from all of the data obtained. You will detail for your reader just how closely you have come to the original research goals set forth in your Introduction, and your claims must be fully substantiated by the results and findings from the research performed.


List here all of the references you used when writing the dissertation. Your reference list should detail whether each reference was a quote or a paraphrase, and should be listed alphabetically by the names of the Authors.


Appendices can be used to provide substantiating evidence that affirms the conclusions and supports the claim to originality of the work. This is not necessarily a required chapter, and may not even be read by your examiner. Appendices should be used only when you feel that its presence will enhance the

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