How do I Choose the Best Dissertation Layout?

Article Details
  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Choosing the right dissertation layout can often be a very important aspect of writing a dissertation, since the proper layout will help make the piece easier to navigate for both you and your readers. One of the first things you should consider is whether your school has any specific regulations regarding layout. Some schools will have very specific expectations and may even provide you with a layout they want you to follow. Beyond that, you can find a wealth of information regarding potential layouts on numerous websites and in publications. You should also ask your dissertation adviser about any recommendations regarding your dissertation layout.

A doctoral dissertation is one of the most difficult and exhaustively researched pieces of writing most students will ever complete. With the proper dissertation layout, the text can become more accessible for the reader and easier to navigate for you while presenting your oral defense of your work. The wrong layout, however, can at the very least make your work unwieldy and difficult to read for your advisers and at worst lead to rejection of your dissertation. You should look for a dissertation layout that serves your work and presents your research and findings in a way that is clear and concise.


One of the easiest ways to get a sense of different types of dissertation layout is to look over some previous dissertations with which other people had success. You should also consult with your dissertation adviser and your school. Many schools have specific standards and formats they want followed in any dissertation prepared at the institution. This can provide you with a formal, easily followed dissertation layout that you can simply plug your work into in the way that is most appropriate.

Other common types of dissertation layout include the use of a six chapter system and an abstract. The abstract briefly presents an overview of your ideas and what is included in your dissertation, making future research and reference to your work easier for others. The six chapters consist of an introduction that presents the problem or issue you are addressing, definition of new terms, the concept or theme of your work and solution, your experimental or research work depending on your field of study, variations and extensions of ideas you have presented, and a conclusion that summarizes the ideas presented in your work and opens possibilities for future continuation of your work. With this type of dissertation layout, you may consider beginning from the inside out, starting with the problem, solution, and research or experimentation and then expanding it into a larger, complete dissertation.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?