Dissertations are scary. They involve putting in thousands of hours to just a single paper that is to determine whether or not you get a doctorate or not. Moreover, after putting in all those hours, there is a high probability that you will be asked to make corrections in chunks of areas in the paper.
Dissertation help can be manifested in different ways. First, through your instructors and the members of the committee that is to vet you. They offer help by guiding you on the best way to write your paper. You can also get dissertation help online from professional writing service providers such as Paperperhour.com. They can offer writing and proofreading services.
In this series of articles, I will provide you help by giving you a guideline on writing a dissertation.
A dissertation can be divided into three main parts: The introductory part, the body section, and the back matter.
The numbering of the sections of this part is done using Roman numerals (i, ii, vii). This introductory part has the following distinctive sections:
This is the first page of your dissertation that is counted. It contains the title of your book and nothing more. Do not write your name or any other details on this page.
Unlike the half-title page, this one is also inclusive of the subtitle and the author’s full name. Moreover, it contains the university logo, the time and place of submission of the book, and a short text of the academic degree.
You have to indicate the ownership of the book that has been written. Most times, the university has a standard format for this page. It includes the name of the publisher, the copyright notice, the ISSN number, and the ISBN number. Where the university doesn’t have the standard for this page, you can indicate the names of your supervisor and the members who sat in your evaluation committee. This should be alongside yours as the publisher.
Is there a specific person to whom you would like to dedicate the book? This page allows you to write a short tribute to them where you could mention how they influenced the writing of this dissertation. This page is, however, optional.
“To my supportive wife. The strength you gave me aided me throughout most of this book.
To my wonderful children for their championing.
To my instructors, for their unfailing support.”
This is a short poem that usually links your book to another respected publication. You have to indicate the source from which you lifted it. This page is optional as well.
Table of Contents
The table of contents directs the reader to where they can find specific sections. Usually, you indicate the title of everything before and after the table contents and write the page number where it begins. For example, where you are indicating Chapter One, indicate where this chapter begins. Where the titles are long, you can break them down to enable them to fit. However, don’t include the table of contents in the table of contents, and its tile should be simply Contents
List of Illustrations
Are there any illustrations that you have used in your book? Indicate them on this page. These may include any used maps or figures, and you should indicate the pages in the dissertation where they may be found. Again, this is optional and applies only where there are maps or figures used. The title under this page is Illustrations, but in the table of contents, it should be indicated as List of Illustrations.
List of Tables
The title of this page is simply Table and indicated as shown above in the table of contents. This page shows the page numbers where every table can be found for easy access.
The abstract for your paper is simply a summary of your dissertation. Here, you should give a short discussion of the problem being discussed in the paper and their proposed solution. A concise abstract should be based on scientific results rather than the research methodology and background of the study. Basically, the reader should have an understanding of the major elements in your paper from the abstract.
The standard length of an abstract for a dissertation is between 280 and 350 words. You are advised to limit your abstract to a single page. Moreover, a good abstract is written at the end after you are done with the whole book.
This is another of the compulsory introductory part of a dissertation. In this page, you are to thank the people who played a role in ensuring that you get your doctoral degree. The support might be through academic help and supervision, administrative support, and friendship, among others.
The people you thank should first include your supervisor, the co-supervisor(s), and the administrative faculty in general. They will have probably played a major role in ensuring that you have gotten past a number of obstacles as you pursued your doctorate. Next, ensure that you thank your family for their continued support at home.
The acknowledgment is probably the most informal part of your dissertation, therefore you are allowed to be informal and joke a bit. Just ensure that you are not too revealing of your personal life as it will be read by your supervisors. Be informal and engaging yet distant enough about your personal life.
To pull off a good acknowledgment, first, write down a list of the persons you intend to thank beforehand. The acknowledgment can also be used as a basis for picking the members of your defense committee.
This is a list that contains all the abbreviations that have been used in the dissertation. Here, the abbreviations are given meaning to guide the reader where he comes across them.
This is the final part of the introductory part. Note that the numbering of this part in the small roman numerals (i, ii, vi) is done as from the dedication. The previous parts are not numbered.
The next article will deal with the body section of a dissertation.
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