The following table offers a suggested structure and approximate word count for a dissertation. This is designed to be altered according to the needs of the researcher, and the stipulations of their supervisor and institution. It is important to understand that the table is offered here only as a set of non-specific suggestions for your (hopefully!) very specific project. All dissertations are different, and your supervisor is the best person to talk to about your specific institutional, school, or college requirements, which may vary quite significantly.
Creating your own outline through discussion with your supervisor gives you both a sense of where you are in the process and what needs to be done, whilst also functioning as a reference point when completing smaller intermediary targets. The examples below illustrate a general principle of successful research espoused by this book: a larger project becomes much more manageable when broken down into smaller, clearly defined sections.
|Why this is interesting?||100|
|Aim and Objectives||300|
|Historical Overview (of Theory)||500|
|Contemporary Review of Theory||1500|
|Context for Study||1000|
|Data Collection Technique||600|
|Sourcing and Selecting Data||200|
|Data Analysis Tool(s)||500|
|Presentation of Data||500|
|Reviewing the Aim and Objectives||300|
|Contribution – Theory||300|
|Contribution – Context|
|Contribution – Method|
|Contribution – Management Practice|
|Limitations and Further Research||300|
Picture by anneheathen under CC license.