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Structure and Content of a Doctoral Dissertation

A doctoral dissertation is not just a scientific study. This is a job that requires perseverance, patience, attention, diligence and creativity. It reflects global problems and ways to solve them. The results of the doctoral dissertation represent a major scientific achievement that can change the life of society for the better.

There are two main blocks in the structure of a doctoral dissertation:

  1. Theoretical aspects on the topic, which discusses the main theses, key points, the formulation of one or more interrelated problems, the rationale for the need to solve them. Only new literature (recent scientific publications, articles, dissertations and monographs) is allowed here.

  2. Practical section. In this part of the study, the author must offer “his own way” of solving the problem, show how his hypothesis can solve problems, how effective and applicable it is in science or industry.

Each of these blocks can contain several chapters. It is important that they are connected logically. Conclusions are mandatory at the end of each subparagraph and chapter. In his doctoral dissertation, the author conducts an in-depth study of the problem. Often, his previous works (master's or candidate's dissertation) are the basis, which are studied in even more detail. The research topic must be relevant.

The work must include:

  • Introduction: substantiation of relevance, setting goals and objectives, defining the subject and object of research, reflecting scientific novelty, the degree of development of the topic, methodological base, practical significance of the study;

  • Basic material: detailed study of the issue, comparison of current and early theories, identification of problem areas (what was poorly studied, gaps), development of measures to solve problems, substantiation of their feasibility and effectiveness, reflection of the practical significance of the project, testing results;

  • Conclusion: the main conclusions on the work, the degree of achievement of the goal, the significance and applicability of the project in life or science.

As a rule, the main material contains 4 chapters: theoretical aspects on the topic (research of theories, methods), study of the subject and object of research, development of recommendations and ways to solve the problem, conducting an experiment (testing). This is the basic structure that can be amended if necessary.

More resources: Key Milestones of Writing A Study Biological Abstracts Scientific Indexing Base Features Biological Abstracts How Not to Order a Dissertation? Basic Principles When Ordering Work

Karl Rockwell

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