The Main Parts of the Academic Dissertation

The Main Parts of the Academic Dissertation

A dissertation, a project or a thesis are all different kinds of university assignments. In this case, you are not given a trial and error and you will not be allowed to make corrections once your writing is approved. Note that a dissertation is one of the most crucial pieces of writing you need to qualify for your degree. In other words, this is your last chance to show that you are knowledgeable in the academic world.

A dissertation must contain a beginning, body, and conclusion. However, the real sections as well as outline vary between institutions and also from one field to another. Nevertheless, you can find commonly mutual components.

For instance, an academic dissertation must start with an introduction that enlightens about the background to the study question which the research defined in the dissertation is meant to state. The main purpose of the written paper is usually to provide a solution to an inquiry or assess a proposition.

In the body section of the paper is where a depiction of the method that meant to provide a rejoinder to the inquiry or examine the proposition is presented. This part can similarly showcase the outcome of the study in a way suitable for a particular discipline.

The last section could contain an argument of the outcome in the perspective of different writings in the discipline and conclude with a complete wrap up of the dissertation. The writer/author might showcase an approach that brings everything together.

At the final section of the paper is a bibliography or references section where a list of all of the materials is presented. However, the author can as well decide to list the references or bibliography as a wrap up of every section of the dissertation.

Main Parts of the Academic Dissertation

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • Results and Analysis
  • Discussions and Conclusion
  • References/Work cited/bibliography


At the beginning of a standard dissertation is an introduction. Here, the author introduces readers to the project, describes the background, objective and importance of the work. The author provides brief information about the overall project.

In the introduction section, comes the research question that has been assessed, inspiration of the work, need of the work to be done. The author may decide to break down the research question into sub-questions to simply it. But it must be explained in the introduction. Note that the stronger the question is, the likelier it is to induce the readers’ interest.

Literature review

The second and main part of the academic dissertation is the literature review where the author gives an overview of relevant studies related to the author’s research. This section is important since it highlights two purposes:

Makes the dissertation committee know that you are knowledgeable about the current literature on the topic and questions you should be inquiring.

It provides a complete view to the students on the subject of your research and aids them to place your research within the greater area of learning.


In this section, the author presents all the approaches used to conduct the research. Note that this part is crucial and it will determine the grade you will score for your research and whether your whole project would be approved or not.

In fact, this is the most complex part to accomplish. The significance of this part is to show the reader of the way you will conduct your research for your project.

Results and Analysis

In this part of the academic dissertation, the author presents the outcome of the survey or experiment conducted to the readers, either in form of graphs or charts depending on the author’s area of study. The author also creates and presents statistical interpretations obtained from the study in this part.

Discussions and Conclusion

Every standard dissertation must have a conclusion- else a research can be seen as a futile interpretation and simply a review of unclearly related thoughts. The author emphasizes the core findings of the study and makes a comparison of the current and past findings of other researchers. The author could also list the implications of the current findings with relevant recommendations.

References/Work cited/bibliography

Citing sources vary widely, from one field to another so you must be aware that you need to comprehend and adhere to the rules governing references in your area of specialization and the university you are studying from. The author must establish the style that the dissertation committee wants for in-text-citation.

Note that the main aim of the dissertation is to showcase your capabilities and capacity to carry out research in your field of study, and deliver the outcome via a unique piece of writing that will provide value for the educational and technical community.