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Free sample dissertation outline



People have always been scared of dissertations. They involve taking a lot of time to a single paper to determine whether you will get a doctorate or not. Moreover, you can find that after putting in all time to it, there is a high possibility that you will be requested to do some corrections in chunks of the sections in the paper you are writing. One can get dissertation help in different ways. First, through your instructors and the members of the committee that is to vet you. They offer support 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 who can offer writing and proofreading services.

In this series of articles, I will help you by giving a guideline on how to write a thesis.

Dissertation parts

A dissertation can have three major components: The introductory section, the body part, and the back matter.

The Introduction

Usually, we use Roman numerals, i.e. (i, ii, iii e.t.c) in numbering these sections of the introduction. The distinctive parts of this introductory section include the following:

  1. Half-Title Page

Typically, this is the first page of the dissertation that you count. The subsection consists of the headline of the work you are doing and nothing more. You should make sure that you don’t put your name or extra information on this particular sheet.

  1. The Title Page

This page carries the time, the logo of the university and also the place where you will submit the book. It also includes short info about the academic degree, and unlike the half-title page, it indicates full names of the author and the subtitle.

  1. The Copyright Page

In this section, you have to show who owns the book. Most times, there is a format that the university gives that students should write for this page. It comprises of the copyright notice, the ISSN number, the ISBN and the publisher’s name. In cases where the university doesn’t have these standards, you can put the names of your supervisors and those members that attended your evaluation committee, and it should be alongside yours as the publisher.

  1. The Dedication

For this section, you should ask yourself if there is anyone you would like to dedicate the book too. It allows you to provide a short tribute to them as you highlight how they influenced your work on this dissertation. Remember that this page isn’t compulsory, it’s optional.

An excellent example of this is:

“To my understanding and supportive wife; the hard work you provided to me did help a lot throughout most of this article.

To all my beautiful children for their championing;

To my best instructors and supervisors for their unconditional support.”


The Epigraph

An epigraph is a short poem which usually connects your book to another publication that seems to be alike. In writing, you have to show the source from which you got it. The page is also optional.

Table of Contents

The section which shows the table of contents leads the reader to wherever he/she can find the parts. Usually, you have to indicate the headings of every work before and after the table of contents and write the numbers of the page where it begins. For example, if you mean Chapter one, you should indicate where this chapter starts. In places where titles are too long, break them down for them to fit. However, remember not to include the table of contents in the table of contents. Instead, its heading should merely be Contents.

The List of illustrations

If you use any examples in your work, make sure to indicate them on this particular page. The particulars may include maps used or figures, and you should mention them in the dissertation where the reader will be able to find them. It is once again optional because it applies in areas you use figures or maps. Note that the title is illustrations, but in the table of contents, you should state them as the List of Illustrations

The List of Tables

The page is known as Tables, but when you come to the table of contents, you indicate them as shown above. It shows the number of pages where every reader can access it easily.



This section is merely the summary of the work you are doing. Here, include a brief discussion of what you are discussing in the article show proposed solutions. A short abstract should base on the scientific results instead of the background and the methodology of the study. The person reading should be able to understand the essential elements in the paper based on the abstract.

For a dissertation, the standard length given for an abstract is usually between 280 and 350 words. It is advisable to limit the abstract to one page. Moreover, for the best summary, write it at the end when you have completed the whole work.

The Acknowledgment

It is another critical part of the introduction of a dissertation. This page includes thanking people who have been of great help in making sure you attain your doctorate. They might have assisted you with your academic work, administration, friendship, etc. The first people on your list to thank are the supervisor, co-supervisors and don’t forget the entire faculty. They may have played a role in making sure that you get past the hindrances as you pursued your degree. The next people you have to remember giving gratitude is your family for their endless support at home.

This part is the most straightforward of the whole dissertation, therefore here you are free to be informal and even crack jokes a little bit. Be friendly as you write and engage, though distant enough about your private life and remember not to be too revealing on matters that are personal because your supervisor will go through it. To write a proper acknowledgment, you need to put down all the people you intend to thank first because you can use this statement to choose your committee members

List of Abbreviations                                                            

It is a list that consists of all abbreviations that are part of the dissertation. Here, we give abbreviations a meaning so that they guide a reader wherever he/she comes across them in the thesis. The list of acronyms marks the final section of introduction. You should be aware that numbering in roman numerals (i, ii, v), is essential as from the dedication. Elements that come before have no numbers.

The next part is the body of the dissertation.

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