How Long Is a Dissertation? Expert Writing Guidelines

One of the biggest challenges a graduate student will face in his or her academic career is the dissertation project. It is a requirement that comes just before earning a master’s degree or a Ph.D. in most disciplines. It’s a year-long project that can go longer than this depending on the subject and amount of time a student can dedicate to researching and writing. One of the most common questions a student may have about the dissertation length. This article will address this and explain a bit about the document’s chapters.

So, How Long Is A Dissertation?

The simple answer to this question is that there is no “one-size-fits-all.” There are a lot of different factors that go into determining dissertation length. The three biggest factors are the department’s requirements, the type of study a student wants to conduct, and the amount of time one has to successfully conduct research and write the document.

A student will need to work closely with his or her advisor to determine the thesis dissertation length. The project will first require approval and will likely go through many changes as the work begins. What may have started as a shorter dissertation of about 125 pages may turn into a larger project that exceeds 200 pages. Each project is unique and the ultimate page count is contingent on what is required to adequately address each research question.

Dissertation Chapters

The standard thesis dissertation includes at least 6chapters: the introduction, the literature review, the methodology, the results, the discussion, and the conclusion. Because each discipline varies it’s advised that a student search for dissertation examples available online and at the university library.

The introduction tells the reader what your study is all about by summarizing the content of the entire dissertation. The literature review identifies available content related to your study and lets the reader know about the limitations of those documents. The methodology section discusses how you will go about conducting your study and identifies the materials you will be using. The results section provides the actual results without any interpretation. This is followed by the discussion which explains what those results mean. Finally, the conclusion informs the readers about your findings throughout the research process as well as inform them of additional work you believe should or could be done.

The dissertation acknowledgments section is an opportunity for you to give thanks to any person or group that has played a positive role in helping you complete the dissertation project. It usually is placed at the start of the document after the title page and is no more than a paragraph. The person or group you choose is entirely up to you – but it’s generally a good idea to stick to tradition. It’s a good idea to check out a few samples before writing this section to ensure you consider everyone.

Check out some of the other articles we posted on our blog. They are meant to assist you in navigating your way through college and graduate school. We have tips, topics, guides and much more. We like to hear from you, so comment below or send us a direct message. Share your ideas and we’ll make sure to spread it to other students.

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