Break your PhD dissertation into separate parts
A PhD dissertation is a big book-like paper that you will be required to complete at the end of your doctoral study year. This big section of work is generally broken down into three medium segments, all of which are then broken down further into smaller sections.
Understanding these sections renders your assignment a lot less threatening, so let's take a look at how to break down the sections of your dissertation to make it easier to work through.
The first section
Often referred to as the 'front matter', this part of your dissertation will resemble the same components one would typically find in most books. The smaller sections contained in this medium part include:
Your title page
- A copyrights page (if your paper has or is being published)
- An optional dedication to someone influential in your life
- An epigraph (a quotation or poem as stated by someone who was acclaimed in your field of study)
- Your page of contents (organized after your dissertation is complete)
- An abstract (summary of your work - this is most commonly the first thing your professor will read before going any further)
- Some acknowledgements (to anyone who helped you with your writing - if applicable)
The second section
The 'main body' of your dissertation is the easiest to format, but takes by far the longest to write. It includes:
- Your introduction
- The first chapter of your dissertation
- All following chapters of your paper
Try to further break down each chapter within the main body, numbering subsections and sub-subsections as follows: E.g. Chapter 4; (Subsection) 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, etc; (Sub-subsection) 4.3.1, 4.3.2, etc.
The third section
Typically called the 'back matter', this section closes off your dissertation with some important reference information that should never be neglected if you want your dissertation to be accepted. This medium section is broken down into the following smaller parts:
- A conclusion (which should be formatted as a mini book within your dissertation to include an mini introduction, chapters and a conclusion)
- An appendix (if any changes or additions have been made to your research or writing material - your dissertation can contain more than one appendix)
- A bibliography (A detailed list of all the published or online references you used while writing your dissertation)