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What is the best way to format your dissertation?

The formatting guideline for dissertation is different in every university. Also, the departments in universities follow different guidelines in formatting of dissertation. Many students need dissertation formatting help while writing their dissertation. There are many easy ways to do so and in this reading you will find some interesting and easy methods. There are two ways to format your dissertation. One is to follow the guidelines and format accordingly and second one is to include peers, take feedback etc. to improve your work.

How to structure dissertation

The dissertation structure must be kept simple and conventional if there are no particular requirements from the university or department BEUK. The dissertation structure and format also depends much on the location, discipline, topic as well as approach. However, the most common dissertation formatting include various elements such as,

  • Title page 
  • Acknowledgement 
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents
  • List of table or figures
  • Abbreviation list
  • Glossary 
  • Introduction 
  • Literature review
  • Methodology 
  • Results 
  • Discussion 
  • Conclusion/recommendations
  • List of references 
  • Appendices 

This is the basic structure of formatting dissertation and must be followed accurately. It is important to keep it in mind that if you are required to format your dissertation according to particular requirements of university then must follow them. 

Numbering headings and sub headings 

After making headings it is important to number them accordingly. Suppose your chapter one is about introduction that includes, aims, objectives, research questions, and problem statement significance, rationale so on and so forth. All these are sub headings of main heading introduction therefore must be numbered accordingly. For instance, 1: introduction, 1.1 aims and objectives etc. The purpose of the numbering is to make the document readable. It makes it easier and appealing for the readers to understand the structure of dissertation chapter wise. Similarly, the chapter two is also numbered as 2 and 2.1 formats. It helps in reducing redundancy in the dissertation and chapter as well. These dissertation proposal examples are the most helpful for students who are looking for best formatting and structure. 

Deep Intro About Literature review

A literature review is a deep and thorough analysis of the existing body of work on a particular topic. It is used to identify trends, debates, and gap in the research, and to set the stage for new research.

A literature review must be conducted with a critical eye. It is not a simply a summary of the existing literature. Rather, it is a synthesis of the literature that provides a critical evaluation of the current state of knowledge on the topic.

When conducting a literature review, the researcher must be mindful of their own biases and assumptions. They must also be aware of the limitations of the existing literature. A literature review is not a definitive study, but rather a snapshot of the current state of knowledge on a particular topic.

Proofreading your work 

Proofreading your work is the most important element of writing a dissertation. When you proof read your work or you allow your friend to do this favor to your, it helps in improving formatting. When the work is proof read it minimise the chances of mistakes in the work. Proof reading allows you to look at the points that you might have missed otherwise (Kornuta and Germaine, 2019).

It makes you capable of finding your own errors and ensures that such mistakes are not repeated in future. Some students are not good at speaking or writing English as they have no native background so in that case having minor mistakes are common. In such case, it is highly recommended that you must ask someone to proof read your work. This will allow you to avoid plenty of mistakes and delays in completion of your dissertation. 

Taking feedback from tutors

The tutors in the universities act a backbone while providing support to students working on dissertation. They allow students to learn working of dissertation step by step and also make them learn to format their dissertation (Terrell, 2022). You must use this opportunity to enhance your exposure regarding the formatting issues if you are facing any. You can simply go to your tutor and ask them to provide you with feedback on your work.

They might guide you to work on your weak areas. For instance, you showed a dissertation document to your tutor, they may ask you to write abbreviations or make a list of figures as well. They may suggest you to use heading three and two appropriately. This rule also has exemption because you tutor may feel exhausted and tired by reading hundreds of pages. So it is advised again to proof read your work, highlight weak and then take feedback on those areas to improvise them. 

Headings must reflect the content written in them

While writing a dissertation it is important to be smart about the headings. The material written in the headings must be reflected by their main headline. Suppose you are writing about artificial intelligence so you need to make a heading like 2.1 role of AI in block chain technology.

By reading this heading readers gets an idea that what might be the content written inside this heading. Therefore, heading must be smart. It saves time of readers and also considered as a part of effective formatting as well. Some people may make vague headings this is not a good practice. It confuses readers and peers a lot. It can even irritate your tutor or supervisor. That is why students are always asked to be smart and creative about headings. Also the length of headings must not be long and boring, instead short and meaningful. 

As you read over what you have written, it is important to reflect on the content to make sure that it accurately portrays what you intended to say. This can be done by reading it over again and thinking about what it is saying.

How to make a reference list 

Some students find it hard to make reference list, although it must be the easiest part to perform and format in a dissertation. Students also often complain about being tired and ending their dissertation abruptly. This can raise problems at the end in your dissertation formatting. It is highly recommended that students must make a proper referencing list by using the right formatting as that of paragraphs such as leaving first line or indent spacing. The second important thing that is highly significant in referencing and must be in the list is the alphabetical order of the reference list. The references list must be aligned alphabetically to format the ending of document in an appropriate way as well (Williams, 2018). 

How to write perfect Conclusion/recommendations for the specific topic

A conclusion is like the final chord in a song. It makes the listener feel that the piece is complete and well done. The same is true for your audience. A good conclusion will make them feel that your work is complete and well done. Here are some tips to help you write a perfect conclusion:

1. Restate your thesis.

Your conclusion should remind your audience of what your paper was about. A good way to do this is to restate your thesis. This will help your audience remember what your main argument was.

2. Summarize your main points.

Your conclusion should also summarize your main points. This will help your audience remember what you talked about in your paper.

3. Make a final point.

Your conclusion should also make a final point. This point should be something that you want your audience to remember. It should be something that is important to your topic.

4. End with a bang.

Your conclusion should also end with a bang. This means that you should end your paper with a strong statement. This statement should be something that will make your audience think about your paper long after they have finished reading it.

What is Appendices and How can we write it

An appendix is a collection of supplementary materials, usually appearing at the end of a report, journal article, book, or another document. It includes data, definitions, explanations, and other information that supports the main text but is not essential to understanding it.

Appendices are often used to include detailed information or data that would be too lengthy or distracting to include in the main text. For example, an appendix might contain a table with data from a study mentioned in the paper, or it might include detailed instructions for replicating an experiment.

To write an appendix, start by collecting the information or data you want to include. Then, decide on the best way to present this information or data in a way that is clear and easy to understand. Once you have decided on the format, write a title for the appendix and include it in the table of contents for your document. Finally, add the appendix after the reference list or bibliography.


Kornuta, H.M. and Germaine, R.W., 2019. A concise guide to writing a thesis or dissertation: Educational research and beyond. Routledge.

Terrell, S.R., 2022. Writing a proposal for your dissertation: Guidelines and examples. Guilford Publications.

Williams, K., 2018. Planning your dissertation. Bloomsbury Publishing.

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