Guide to Organizing a Proper Masters Dissertation Layout

Getting a Master's dissertation layout right is an essential part of the process and can lose you marks if done incorrectly. Here is the correct layout.

  • Title Page
    A title page for a Masters dissertation needs to include:
    1. The title of the dissertation
    2. Your full name and any academic qualifications you may have
    3. A statement in this format: A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for
    4. the degree of Master of Science in ........................
    5. Institution: The University of ...................:..........
    6. Date submitted
    7. Name of supervisor (if required)
  • Abstract
    A paragraph in length which concisely describes your thesis and includes:
    1. The issues that you have researched and why.
    2. Research methods chosen and why.
    3. Your results.
    4. Your conclusions.
  • Acknowledgments
    Anyone who helps you with the research and writing of your dissertation should be included in this section.
  • Introduction
    The introduction needs to include the background to the problem you wish to address and a statement on it. The purpose of the study and a research question to explore should also be included. The terms related to the project need to be defined as well as your expectations and assumptions on the final outcome.
  • Literature Review
    A literature review is where you deeply analize the literature surrounding your chosen subject to show your understanding of the subject and what has gone before. You should interpret previous work and highlight any controversial issues and formulate questions which are unanswered in the field. It can be done chronologically, thematically or developmentally but must leave the reader with an understanding of the current concepts and why your dissertation question is important.
  • Methodology
    This section explains how you carried out you research, where the data came from and how it served your purposes better than other techniques and justify your choices. Various methods include interviews, observations, documentary analysis and questionnaires and may vary depending on whether you are writing a qualitative or quantitative dissertation.
  • Results and discussion
    In this section, you will restate your research questions and talk about the results you came to based on your research. You will need to discuss the direction in which they led you and ultimately answer those questions. State how you are going to present your findings and make sure you mention the positive and negatives of each result. Don't try to interpret them here and leave that until the discussion section as you want the reader to formulate their own ideas whilst reading.
  • Conclusions
    In this final section, you need to summarize the main text of the paper and make deductions based on it. you also need to give your opinion here and how your finding will make a difference to any future research. This section should also include any limitation of the work and any important facts that have not been mentioned thus far.
  • Bibliography
    Depending on the style used, APA, MAL, Chicago, you will need to use the correct citation method and include all sources used to throughout the research and writing stages.

All you need to do is fill in the information for each section above and you will have met all the requirements needed. See here for more information. Good luck.

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