The Main Sections Of An Undergraduate Dissertation: A Guide For Students


When you are working on a dissertation, there are a few key things you need to have.

  1. Title page
  2. The title page is the first sheet that a reader sees. It should have information such as your name, grade, school, and title of your dissertation. Each school has a slightly different format, so you should make sure you follow a template or instructions from your advisor.

  3. Abstract
  4. The abstract is the next section and it should be no more than 350 words in length. The abstract has its own page and is one single paragraph, double spaced. It is not indented. It should summarize the information you will include in your final product including the introduction, the problem, the literature review, the research methods, the results, and the discussion. For every chapter or section you have in your final product, you should have one corresponding sentence in the abstract. **Note: many students neglect to include their results in this section because they misunderstand the purpose of the abstract. You want this abstract to function as a stand alone section, one which can be read on its own and offer a comprehensive yet concise understanding of what is included in the final product. You need to include your results too.

  5. Introduction.
  6. This should give a general overview for the reader, leading to the hypothesis.

  7. Statement of the Problem.
  8. The statement of the problem is exactly what the title suggests: a statement of the problem. This shows the reader what it is that you set out to answer or find in your dissertation.

  9. Background of the Study.
  10. You want to include the review of any relevant literature here. Some schools may ask for a literature review, which is the same as this. The purpose here is to show that you have researched all relevant literature or empirical data that relates to the study, such that it links your hypothesis and research to what has already been done.

  11. Methods and Procedures
  12. This is the main section where you describe the methods that you used, either qualitative or quantitative, to complete the study. You should describe what you studied, how the study was conducted, what tools you used, what controls you applied, and how you ascertained information or data.

  13. Results
  14. This is where you showcase the results of your procedures.

  15. Limitations/Discussion
  16. This is where you discuss any potential weaknesses of your study and how your findings relate to the bigger picture.