What are the Core Elements of a Dissertation--A Simple Guide--

What are the Core Elements of a Dissertation–A Simple Guide–

Dissertations are complex and challenging academic papers. And they are extremely hard to write. That’s why many students may end up with bad grades. But why are these papers so difficult? Well, the answer is simple if you understand the core elements of a dissertation.

Most students in the UK know how to work on their academic writing submissions. However, not all take the time to understand the fundamental elements fully. In the end, that leads to a significant downfall in academic performance. However, our team has reviewed all the elements of a dissertation so you can score good grades! But first, let’s answer the following.

What are the Core Elements of a Dissertation?

Understanding a dissertation may seem difficult at first. But that’s only complex because you don’t know the flow of the core elements. Fortunately, we have a simple guide that explains everything by discussing each element in great detail. So, you get a clear picture of how to focus on the structure and writing of a dissertation. So, let’s begin!

Dissertations have several basic elements. These include everything from introductions, like essays, to more complex components such as methodology and results. This is because a dissertation is a research paper at its core. And research papers require significantly more work than your average academic submission. Moreover, they’re also the final thing you submit as a student before you get your degree. Therefore, they are extremely valuable and important to any student.

Each element of your dissertation needs to flow well. If not, you might face trouble with everything! You won’t be able to draw in readers or convince them your research holds value. And in the end, you will be left with a bad grade from your professors.

Given below is a quick introduction to the core elements of a dissertation. Each one is absolutely vital to the grading and research process. So, try to note them before analysing how our simple guide explains them.

Elements in a dissertation

Every dissertation includes the same elements. That’s something all students should be aware of. However, the style and direction may vary between different writers. Therefore, before moving forward to our simple guide for individual core elements, students should make a note of the following:

According to our writers, there are nine core elements to -understanding how to write a dissertation. These include title, table of contents, abstract and acknowledgements. After that, we have the chapters. These include the introduction, literature review, methodology and discussion, results and conclusion. Lastly, we have the citation elements like references and an appendix for additional support.

Let’s go over each in detail below:

Sub headings

1. Title

It is the first of the core elements of a dissertation and is very important. It may seem irrelevant, but it’s not. There’s a lot of importance to a good title and title page. This is because it sets the tone, mood, and sentiment for the rest of your dissertation. Moreover, it also adds an element of professionalism as you follow your institution’s guidelines for what you need to include.

Therefore, students should focus on creating a good and concise title page for their dissertation. In addition, try to refine the scope of your dissertation title too.

2. Table of content

Our second element of a dissertation is the table of contents. But why is this a core component?

Students need to understand many people will read their dissertation. And due to the length of the document, it can be extremely hard to navigate the contents. After all, the average dissertation at a PhD level is over 40000 words!

Therefore, students should add a clear and easy-to-understand table of contents. This will allow any reader, both professors and general audiences, to understand and navigate your work.

3. Abstract

Next, we have the abstract of your dissertation. This works like a summary but does not add any more information. Instead, it simply summarises the overall direction your dissertation will take. It’s important to note this is not an introduction. Therefore, students should not treat it as such. The abstract should appear after your table of contents and highlight any proposed solutions.

Focus on understanding what an abstract is. Read more sample dissertations. Or discuss it with your professors to add more to the overall flow of your dissertation.

4. Acknowledgement

An acknowledgements section is not vital, but it adds a professional tone to your work. It highlights and thanks all the people who have helped your academic writing. These can include supervisors, funders, and other academics. However, students can also thank their friends or family members. In fact, they can thank almost anyone who has helped them throughout the writing process.

Add a short and simple acknowledgements section. Do not drag it out. Instead, you can use examples to understand how to add this element.

5. Introduction

We can now move on to the next major chapter of a dissertation — the introduction. This chapter is the ground upon which you explain the research chapters ahead. It’s designed to inspire the reader to keep reading more. In addition, it also allows you to provide more background details about your selected topic and research questions.

So, try using this dissertation element to set expectations about the main theme, methodology, and more. Students can even focus on the findings in a way that piques the reader’s interest.

6. Literature Review

Up next, we have our favourite section: The literature review. It is one of the simplest core elements of a dissertation. This is because students do not need to put too much effort into doing this well. It simply requires research on existing information and studies. Students must add existing research to provide context for their topic choices. What current literature says can further emphasise the importance of your work.

That’s why we suggest students pay extra attention to this element.

7. Methodology and Discussion

Up next is the methodology and discussion. These are crucial elements because they are the core of research, results, and understanding. That’s why students need to include them. In the methods section, students will include the entire research structure. Thus, taking audiences through a step-by-step format to understand the core.

Next comes the discussion, where students will explore the results and why they matter to the research. Thus, helping the readers take your work seriously by showing them what’s important through evidence.

8. Reference

In the end, we have one element where you provide external information for your readers. This is the references section—for example, the bibliography. Students need to add details of all sources they consult during the project. Thus, allowing your readers to explore any evidence or data further you provide. This content will follow an alphabetical list format for background readings, articles, and books cited.

Students should note that the reference section can be quite tedious to edit. However, it should be started when you begin your dissertation.

9. Appendix

Finally, we come to a dissertation’s last core element, the appendix. It provides additional data and information that wasn’t used in the dissertation. Instead, it serves the purpose of providing additional material to readers. Therefore, students should include all unused data in this section. This can include charts, tables, figures, literature, etc.

For more details in the appendix, students can review a summary of our sample dissertations. We have a detailed explanation of what it includes and what additional data looks like.


To recap, dissertations are complicated. They’re challenging to understand and difficult to write. Moreover, there are many components to the elements of a dissertation, for example, the introduction, methodology, and more. These make the process of writing seem impossible. But that’s why our guide above is designed to teach you more.

We have covered the importance of these elements. And our team has provided you with a clear structure. So, you should have no trouble with your work. But in the end, there are still many things to notice when analysing dissertations. Chapters, sections, components, research and more are all a part of it. But there are still others you can learn more about while you work. These core elements of a dissertation are vital for students to learn and understand before writing effectively. So make sure you use our simple guide to get through. We hope our short guide helped you learn about the different core elements of a dissertation. But if it didn’t, we still have other options to help.

Students can contact our team and further discuss the core elements of a dissertation that they find unclear. We have the exceptional quality of professional industry writers to help with the concepts and concerns of academic writing. Simply call the dissertation writing service team today! And we’ll help you with everything from proposal writing to core elements of a dissertation.