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Dissertation & thesis template.

If you’re preparing to write your dissertation, thesis or research project, our free dissertation template is the perfect starting point. In the template, we cover every section step by step, with clear, straightforward explanations and examples .

Download the dissertation and thesis template

What’s Included In The Dissertation Template

Our free dissertation and thesis template covers all the essential elements required for a first-class piece of research . The template’s structure is based on the tried and trusted best-practice format for formal academic research projects such as dissertations and theses. The template structure reflects the overall research process, ensuring your dissertation or thesis will have a smooth, logical flow from chapter to chapter.

The dissertation template covers the following core sections:

  • The title page/cover page
  • Abstract (sometimes also called the executive summary)
  • Table of contents
  • List of figures /list of tables
  • Chapter 1: Introduction  (also available: in-depth introduction template )
  • Chapter 2: Literature review  (also available: in-depth LR template )
  • Chapter 3: Methodology (also available: in-depth methodology template )
  • Chapter 4: Research findings /results (also available: results template )
  • Chapter 5: Discussion /analysis of findings (also available: discussion template )
  • Chapter 6: Conclusion (also available: in-depth conclusion template )
  • Reference list

Each section is explained in plain, straightforward language , followed by an overview of the key elements that you need to cover within each section. We’ve also included practical examples to help you understand exactly what’s required in each section.

The cleanly-formatted Word document is fully editable , so you can use it as-is for your dissertation or thesis, copy over the contents to a fresh document, or convert it to LaTeX.

Need a helping hand?

dissertation download pdf

Frequently Asked Questions

What format is the dissertation template (Word Doc, PDF, PPT, etc.)?

The template is provided in a fully editable MS Word document. You’re welcome to convert it to whatever format works best for you, such as LaTeX or PDF.

What types of dissertations/theses can this template be used for?

The template follows the standard best-practice structure for formal academic research projects such as dissertations or theses, so it is suitable for the vast majority of degrees, particularly those within the sciences.

Some universities may have some additional requirements, but these are typically minor, with the core structure remaining the same. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to double-check your university’s requirements before you finalise your structure.

Is this template for an undergrad, Masters or PhD-level thesis?

This template can be used for a dissertation, thesis or research project at any level of study. It may be slight overkill for an undergraduate-level study, but it certainly won’t be missing anything.

How long should my dissertation/thesis be?

This depends entirely on your university’s specific requirements, so it’s best to check with them. As a general ballpark, Masters-level projects are usually 15,000 – 20,000 words in length, while Doctoral-level projects are often in excess of 60,000 words.

Can I share this dissertation template with my friends/colleagues? 

Yes, you’re welcome to share this template. If you want to post about it on your blog or social media, all we ask is that you reference this page as your source.

Can Grad Coach help me with my dissertation/thesis?

Within the template, you’ll find plain-language explanations of each section, which should give you a fair amount of guidance. However, you’re also welcome to consider our dissertation and thesis coaching services .

Dissertation Help

You Might Also Like:

Free Download: Literature Review Template (Word Doc & PDF)



This information and format is essential for personal practice and preparation for academic work


I Want to freely download thesis template

paul omar kamara

am righting on a topic the impact of culture on organizational performance. case study university of sierra Leone please help me how to go about it.


Am writing on a topic titled: The impact of communication on organisational performance. No case study selected yet. Pls how do I go about this. I need help. Am studying programme and project management. Need this topic refined if possible to suit a manufacturing, construction or Agricultural project if possible. Thanks.

Sule Olanrewaju

Am writing on a topic titled : Effect of social media on students academic performance.

Penelope Nanzumwa

Am writing on a topic titled: The impact of e-procurement on the performance of an organisation. Kindly,I need help developing a concept note


Please I am writing on Developing a Sustainable Chocolate Industry in Ghana and I need help on the Methodology as the Research is an Analytical Research


Good work! I learned from this article how to organize my thesis.

Marina van der Hoven

I need help with my research question and methodology.

Chryslee Rolle

Hello I am trying to write a thesis/ dissertation for a master’s degree on the topic : Biblical counseling v psychology counseling and Christianity .

This is so difficult for me because , I am trying to do this after years of not being in school . It would be great to get professional help, thank you in advance.


This template, plus the templates of each section, has been invaluable for me to take my Master’s dissertation draft to a higher level. Thank you so much for such a detailed description that is logical and explains the whys as well as the whats. 🙂

Simeon Lahai Momoh

Hello I need help am writing a dissertation on the topic: the prevelance of needle stick injury among health workers in ahospital

Rajiv Kumar

I read about your GRAD COACH. It would be great to get professional help; thank you in advance.

Jeffery Napi

Thanks l’ve read with great interest. Thank you so much for your professional advice.

Ritu Yadav

hi im writing on feminist public sphere kindly guide


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EBSCO Open Dissertations

EBSCO Open Dissertations makes electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) more accessible to researchers worldwide. The free portal is designed to benefit universities and their students and make ETDs more discoverable. 

Increasing Discovery & Usage of ETD Research

EBSCO Open Dissertations is a collaboration between EBSCO and BiblioLabs to increase traffic and discoverability of ETD research. You can join the movement and add your theses and dissertations to the database, making them freely available to researchers everywhere while increasing traffic to your institutional repository. 

EBSCO Open Dissertations extends the work started in 2014, when EBSCO and the H.W. Wilson Foundation created American Doctoral Dissertations which contained indexing from the H.W. Wilson print publication, Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities, 1933-1955. In 2015, the H.W. Wilson Foundation agreed to support the expansion of the scope of the American Doctoral Dissertations database to include records for dissertations and theses from 1955 to the present.

How Does EBSCO Open Dissertations Work?

Your ETD metadata is harvested via OAI and integrated into EBSCO’s platform, where pointers send traffic to your IR.

EBSCO integrates this data into their current subscriber environments and makes the data available on the open web via .

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W&M ScholarWorks

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Theses, Dissertations, & Master Projects

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Theses/dissertations from 2023 2023.

An Investigation Of Experiential Learning: A Program Evaluation Of The William & Mary D.C. Summer Institutes , Roxane Olson Adler Hickey

Investigation Of Reversibly Assembling Materials Using Force Spectroscopy , Samantha Ivanna Applin

Empire Of Fashion: Luxury, Commerce, And Identity In The Viceroyalty Of New Granada , Laura Beltrán-Rubio

The Association Between Sociodemographic Risk, Parental Substance Use, And Child Emotion Regulation Capabilities , Lydia Fay Bierce

An Unsettled History: Measuring Settlement Population And Sedentism In The Late Woodland Potomac River Valley , Matthew Anthony Borden

Catholic Schools And Covid-19: Paycheck Protection Program (Ppp), Leaders And School Closure , Vincent Bradley

Implementing Pbis: High School Principals’ Perceptions Of The Change Process , Jaimie Clougher Brandt

A Program Evaluation Of A District Designed Virtual Academy In A Small Rural School District , Margaret Anne Bryant

Place-Based Estuary Science Education at Machicomoco State Park , Anna Caputo

Ab Initio Computations Of Structural Properties In Solids By Auxiliary Field Quantum Monte Carlo , Siyuan Chen

Self-Stigma And Problematic Alcohol Use: Risk Factor, Protective Factor, Or Both? , Victoria Olegovna Chentsova

Domain-Specific Optimization For Machine Learning System , Yu Chen

A Qualitative Investigation Into The Ethnic And Racial Identity Development Of Counseling Students , Philippa Chin

The Role Of Stereotype And Moral Values In Predicting Victim Blaming , Jihye Choi

The Faces Of Substance Use: A Reverse Correlation Analysis Of Perceptions Of Alcohol And Cannabis Use , Madison Hallie Colby

Intelligent Software Tooling For Improving Software Development , Nathan Allen Cooper

Succession Of The Late Summer Phytoplankton Blooms In The York River Estuary, Va , Heather Kathleen Corson

Iron Complexes With Tetradentate Aromatic Ligands For Photocatalytic Hydrogen Generation , Jessica Danielle Cropley

Chesapeake Bay Carbonate Cycle: Past, Present, And Future , Fei Da

Spectroscopy And Dynamics Of Atmospherically And Combustion-Relevant Collision Complexes , John Patrick Davis

Biotic And Abiotic Factors Associated With Temporal And Spatial Variability Of Constitutive Mixotroph Abundance And Proportion , Marcella Dobbertin da Costa

The Effect Of A Positive Story Intervention On Positivity, Stress, Hope, And Trauma Symptomatology: A Longitudinal Randomized Controlled Trial , Allison Dukes

Engaging Families In The Academic Lives Of Preschool Children: An Action Research Study , Denise Fultz

An Examination Of High School Music Course Offerings In Virginia: A Mixed Methods Study , Natalia Goodloe

Landscapes Of Silence At The First Baptist Church , Victoria R. Gum

Impacts And Uncertainties Of Climate Change On The Chesapeake Bay , Kyle E. Hinson

Achieving Equitable Offshore Wind Development: Lessons from European Stakeholders , Kacey Hirshfeld

Understanding K-12 Teachers’ Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Measurement, And Validation , Ke Huang

Learning-Based Ubiquitous Sensing For Solving Real-World Problems , Woosub Jung

From field to shore: Policy improvements to better protect ecosystem and human health from poultry wastes in Virginia , Rachael A. King

Characterizing Molecular Environments In Acrylic Paint Via Single-Sided Nmr , Lyndi Kiple

Emerging Red Sore Disease Of American Eel (Anguilla Rostrata) In Chesapeake Bay: Etiology, Epidemiology, And Impacts In Aquaculture And The Wild , Amanpreet Kaur Kohli

Recoverable Memory Bank For Class-Incremental Learning , Jiangtao Kong

A Case Study: Teachers’ Perceptions Of The Influence Of Proessional Development On Self-Efficacy Related To Implementing A Balanced Literacy Model , Kathryn Theresa Kryscio

Examining Retention Trends Within A Four-Year Undergraduate Leadership Program , Robert Lange

Landscapes Of Power: A Historical Archaeology And Cultural Astronomy Of Ijebu-Yoruba Palatial Urbanscapes, AD 1000-1900 , Olanrewaju Lasisi

A Black Mount Vernon: Exploring Enslaved Homespace And Family At Mount Vernon Plantation , Heather L. Little

A Reevaluation Of Why Crypto-Detectors Fail: A Systematic Revaluation Of Cryptographic Misuse Detection Techniques , Scott Marsden

Impacts Of Minuca Pugnax On Ecosystem Functioning In Its Historical And Expanded Range , Kayla Shanice Martinez-Soto

Mattanock Town Restoration Plan , Katlin McCarter Grigsby

Material Bodies: Race, Gender, And Women In The Early American South , Morgan McCullough

Elevating Joy In Education Through An Investigation Of How Teachers And School Leaders Make Learning Joyful , Stephanie Lynn McGuire

Seasons Of Change: A Discourse Analysis Of University Rhetorical Response During A Generational Pandemic , Todd S. Moellendick

Weaving a science story: Narratives and language as tools in the science classroom , Claudia Moncada

Mid-Atlantic State Virtual Program Teachers' Instructional Planning Beliefs And Practices , Yanping Mo

"Glory To The English And Protestant Name": Protestant Hegemony In Seventeenth And Eighteenth-Century Rhode Island , Mark Mulligan

District-Based Supports For Alternatively Licensed Special Education Teachers: An Action Research Study , Hayley Flynn Mullins

The Experiences Of Colorism For South Asian Women: A Qualitative Study , Aishwarya Nambiar

Measuring The Impact Of A School-Based Contemplative Practice For Adolescents , Jennifer K. Niles

Impact Of Substrate Type On Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea Virginica) Recruitment And Benthic Community Structure And Productivity In The York River , Jainita Patel

Implementation, Outcomes, And Perceived Effectiveness Of Positive Behavioral Interventions And Supports (Pbis) In A Title I School: A Program Evaluation , Brady Payne

Exploring Pah Partitioning In Oysters Using Immunological Techniques , Kristen Madison Prossner

Women In The Records Of The Virginia Company Of London , Martha Louise Reiner

Compositional Analysis Of Cloud Droplet Residuals By High Resolution Time-Of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometry , Claire Elizabeth Robinson

Justice And Change: An Exploratory Case Study Of The Early Implementation Of The Restorative Justice Whole-School Model And Reculturing In A High School In The American South , Amber Weyland Rodenbo

Testing The Effectiveness Of Memory Suppression Strategies , Curtis Richard Rogers

An Investigation Of The Quality Of Performance Assessments And Implications Of A Grassroots Approach To Accountability Reform , Molly Sandling

Examining Racial Differences In Psychophysiological Responses To Exposure To Police Brutality , Autumn Scarborough

Climate Impacts On Spatiotemporal Habitat Usage Of Mid-Atlantic Fishes , Adena Jade Schonfeld

Tracing Atlantic Sea Scallops Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology , Will Shoup

Tape-Based Structural Metamaterials , Benjamin Henry Skopic

Ecosystem Transitions And State Changes Rapidly Alter The Coastal Carbon Landscape: Evidence From The Chesapeake Bay Region , Alexander Jason Smith

Professional Learning Communities As A Framework For School Counselor Collaboration And Data Use: An Action Research Study , Adam Rixey Southall

Is Diversity Dammed? Analysis Of Fish Diversity In Dammed And Undammed Estuary Streams Within The Virginia Peninsula Using Environmental Dna (Edna) , Melinda Ann Spence

Identifying Factors Controlling Dinophysis Spp. Feeding, Growth, And Toxin Production Through Field And Lab Studies , Vanessa R. Strohm

Fostering The Funny: A Case Study Of Undergraduate Women In Collegiate Comedy Troupes , Jaymi Courtenay Thomas

Gas-Phase Proton Affinities Of Proline- And Pipecolic Acid-Containing Dipeptides , Trinh Ton

The Influence Of Teacher Attribution For Challenging Behavior On Teacher Self-Efficacy And Expectations For Student Success , Mackenzie Turbeville-McCorry

Watch What You Eat: The Role Of Individual Differences In Determining The Effectiveness Of Video Appeals In Reducing Meat Intake , Daniel Valerio Montero

Development of 3D and 360 GIS-Based Models to Visualize Projected Sea Level Rise in Coastal Virginia , Candice M. Vinson

Insight Into The Evolving Interactions Between Crassostrea Virginica And The Parasite Perkinsus Marinus , Elizabeth Faye Weatherup

Using Process Mapping As A Tool To Improve Institutional Procedures For Rural Transfer Students: An Action Research Study , Alison Rife Weston

Comparing Low Salinity Transcriptomic Profiles Among Hard Clam, Mercenaria Mercenaria, Lines , Leslie Speight Youtsey

Constraining Of The Minerνa Medium Energy Neutrino Flux Using Neutrino-Electron Scattering , Luis Zazueta

Theses/Dissertations from 2022 2022

The Tides Of Time: Temporality And Science In The British Atlantic , Andrew Abrams

Food Supplementation Increases Reproductive Performance Of Ospreys In The Lower Chesapeake Bay , Michael Academia

An Investigation of Experiential Learning: A Program Evaluation of the William & Mary D.C. Summer Institutes , Roxane O. Adler Hickey

Settlement And Sediment / Segregation And Solidarity , Maxxe R. Albert-Deitch

Exploring the Photophysics of Brown Carbon Chromophores Using Laser-Based Spectroscopy and Computational Methods , Megan Elizabeth Alfieri

Refraction: The Prism Of Cultural Identity And How It Is Impacted By Grief And Storytelling , S. Aanjali Allegakoen

Understanding First-Generation Student Perspectives On Sense Of Belonging And A Student Success Program: A Program Evaluation , Angela D. Bartee

Environmental Ecology And Life History Variation Of Perkinsus Marinus , Lydia M. Bienlien

Examining The Quality Of Teacher-Selected Social Studies Performance-Based Assessments: A Responsive Evaluation , Lynne Mardigian Bland

The Age Of Eugenics: Exploring Intersections Of Race, Disability, And Eugenics In United States Culture, 1850-1950 , Jessica Brabble

Deep Learning From Space: Methods & Applications In High-Resolution Satellite Imagery Analysis , Ethan Brewer

“So Pious An Institution”: Religion, Slavery, Education, and the Williamsburg Bray School , Nicole Catherine Nioma Brown

Toward A Comprehensive Water Quality Model For The Chesapeake Bay Using Unstructured Grids , Xun Cai

Seen And Unseen Friends: Becoming Global Citizens In The U.S. Empire, 1914-1941 , Katherine Cartwright

Diel, Seasonal, And Interannual Changes In Coastal Antarctic Zooplankton Community Composition And Trophic Ecology , John A. Conroy

Electronic Transport In Topological Superconducting Heterostructures , Joseph Jude Cuozzo

Quantum Sensing For Low-Light Imaging , Savannah Cuozzo

Perceptions Of Fraternity And Sorority Advisors On Alumni Chapter Advisors , Samantha Margaret Easby

'Great Weights Hang By Small Wires': Households And The Making Of The British Empire, C.1650-1713 , Phillip Louis Emanuel

Across-Scale Energy Transfer In The Southern Ocean , Laur Ferris

Inclusive and Inelastic Scattering in Neutrino-Nucleus Interactions , Amy Filkins

Developing A Measure Of Leadership Development For Sport Club Student Leaders: A Cross Sectional Research Design , Daniel Gardner

Invertebrates In A Migrating Salt Marsh , Emily Marie Goetz

Flexible And Robust Iterative Methods For The Partial Singular Value Decomposition , Steven Goldenberg

Navigating The Male Preserve Of Higher Education Leadership: A Feminist Poststructural Discourse Analysis Of Presidential Inaugural Addresses By Women At Colonial Colleges , Amanda Gwen Goldstein

The Origins Of Inspiratory And Sigh Breathing Rhythms: Ion Channels, Bursting Mechanisms, And Synaptic Topologies Studied In Vitro And In Silico , Cameron J. Grover

Page 1 of 65

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What Is a Dissertation? | Guide, Examples, & Template

Structure of a Dissertation

A dissertation is a long-form piece of academic writing based on original research conducted by you. It is usually submitted as the final step in order to finish a PhD program.

Your dissertation is probably the longest piece of writing you’ve ever completed. It requires solid research, writing, and analysis skills, and it can be intimidating to know where to begin.

Your department likely has guidelines related to how your dissertation should be structured. When in doubt, consult with your supervisor.

You can also download our full dissertation template in the format of your choice below. The template includes a ready-made table of contents with notes on what to include in each chapter, easily adaptable to your department’s requirements.

Download Word template Download Google Docs template

  • In the US, a dissertation generally refers to the collection of research you conducted to obtain a PhD.
  • In other countries (such as the UK), a dissertation often refers to the research you conduct to obtain your bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Table of contents

Dissertation committee and prospectus process, how to write and structure a dissertation, acknowledgements or preface, list of figures and tables, list of abbreviations, introduction, literature review, methodology, reference list, proofreading and editing, defending your dissertation, free checklist and lecture slides.

When you’ve finished your coursework, as well as any comprehensive exams or other requirements, you advance to “ABD” (All But Dissertation) status. This means you’ve completed everything except your dissertation.

Prior to starting to write, you must form your committee and write your prospectus or proposal . Your committee comprises your adviser and a few other faculty members. They can be from your own department, or, if your work is more interdisciplinary, from other departments. Your committee will guide you through the dissertation process, and ultimately decide whether you pass your dissertation defense and receive your PhD.

Your prospectus is a formal document presented to your committee, usually orally in a defense, outlining your research aims and objectives and showing why your topic is relevant . After passing your prospectus defense, you’re ready to start your research and writing.

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The structure of your dissertation depends on a variety of factors, such as your discipline, topic, and approach. Dissertations in the humanities are often structured more like a long essay , building an overall argument to support a central thesis , with chapters organized around different themes or case studies.

However, hard science and social science dissertations typically include a review of existing works, a methodology section, an analysis of your original research, and a presentation of your results , presented in different chapters.

Dissertation examples

We’ve compiled a list of dissertation examples to help you get started.

  • Example dissertation #1: Heat, Wildfire and Energy Demand: An Examination of Residential Buildings and Community Equity (a dissertation by C. A. Antonopoulos about the impact of extreme heat and wildfire on residential buildings and occupant exposure risks).
  • Example dissertation #2: Exploring Income Volatility and Financial Health Among Middle-Income Households (a dissertation by M. Addo about income volatility and declining economic security among middle-income households).
  • Example dissertation #3: The Use of Mindfulness Meditation to Increase the Efficacy of Mirror Visual Feedback for Reducing Phantom Limb Pain in Amputees (a dissertation by N. S. Mills about the effect of mindfulness-based interventions on the relationship between mirror visual feedback and the pain level in amputees with phantom limb pain).

The very first page of your document contains your dissertation title, your name, department, institution, degree program, and submission date. Sometimes it also includes your student number, your supervisor’s name, and the university’s logo.

Read more about title pages

The acknowledgements section is usually optional and gives space for you to thank everyone who helped you in writing your dissertation. This might include your supervisors, participants in your research, and friends or family who supported you. In some cases, your acknowledgements are part of a preface.

Read more about acknowledgements Read more about prefaces

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The abstract is a short summary of your dissertation, usually about 150 to 300 words long. Though this may seem very short, it’s one of the most important parts of your dissertation, because it introduces your work to your audience.

Your abstract should:

  • State your main topic and the aims of your research
  • Describe your methods
  • Summarize your main results
  • State your conclusions

Read more about abstracts

The table of contents lists all of your chapters, along with corresponding subheadings and page numbers. This gives your reader an overview of your structure and helps them easily navigate your document.

Remember to include all main parts of your dissertation in your table of contents, even the appendices. It’s easy to generate a table automatically in Word if you used heading styles. Generally speaking, you only include level 2 and level 3 headings, not every subheading you included in your finished work.

Read more about tables of contents

While not usually mandatory, it’s nice to include a list of figures and tables to help guide your reader if you have used a lot of these in your dissertation. It’s easy to generate one of these in Word using the Insert Caption feature.

Read more about lists of figures and tables

Similarly, if you have used a lot of abbreviations (especially industry-specific ones) in your dissertation, you can include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations so that the reader can easily look up their meanings.

Read more about lists of abbreviations

In addition to the list of abbreviations, if you find yourself using a lot of highly specialized terms that you worry will not be familiar to your reader, consider including a glossary. Here, alphabetize the terms and include a brief description or definition.

Read more about glossaries

The introduction serves to set up your dissertation’s topic, purpose, and relevance. It tells the reader what to expect in the rest of your dissertation. The introduction should:

  • Establish your research topic , giving the background information needed to contextualize your work
  • Narrow down the focus and define the scope of your research
  • Discuss the state of existing research on the topic, showing your work’s relevance to a broader problem or debate
  • Clearly state your research questions and objectives
  • Outline the flow of the rest of your work

Everything in the introduction should be clear, engaging, and relevant. By the end, the reader should understand the what, why, and how of your research.

Read more about introductions

A formative part of your research is your literature review . This helps you gain a thorough understanding of the academic work that already exists on your topic.

Literature reviews encompass:

  • Finding relevant sources (e.g., books and journal articles)
  • Assessing the credibility of your sources
  • Critically analyzing and evaluating each source
  • Drawing connections between them (e.g., themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps) to strengthen your overall point

A literature review is not merely a summary of existing sources. Your literature review should have a coherent structure and argument that leads to a clear justification for your own research. It may aim to:

  • Address a gap in the literature or build on existing knowledge
  • Take a new theoretical or methodological approach to your topic
  • Propose a solution to an unresolved problem or advance one side of a theoretical debate

Read more about literature reviews

Theoretical framework

Your literature review can often form the basis for your theoretical framework. Here, you define and analyze the key theories, concepts, and models that frame your research.

Read more about theoretical frameworks

Your methodology chapter describes how you conducted your research, allowing your reader to critically assess its credibility. Your methodology section should accurately report what you did, as well as convince your reader that this was the best way to answer your research question.

A methodology section should generally include:

  • The overall research approach ( quantitative vs. qualitative ) and research methods (e.g., a longitudinal study )
  • Your data collection methods (e.g., interviews or a controlled experiment )
  • Details of where, when, and with whom the research took place
  • Any tools and materials you used (e.g., computer programs, lab equipment)
  • Your data analysis methods (e.g., statistical analysis , discourse analysis )
  • An evaluation or justification of your methods

Read more about methodology sections

Your results section should highlight what your methodology discovered. You can structure this section around sub-questions, hypotheses , or themes, but avoid including any subjective or speculative interpretation here.

Your results section should:

  • Concisely state each relevant result together with relevant descriptive statistics (e.g., mean , standard deviation ) and inferential statistics (e.g., test statistics , p values )
  • Briefly state how the result relates to the question or whether the hypothesis was supported
  • Report all results that are relevant to your research questions , including any that did not meet your expectations.

Additional data (including raw numbers, full questionnaires, or interview transcripts) can be included as an appendix. You can include tables and figures, but only if they help the reader better understand your results. Read more about results sections

Your discussion section is your opportunity to explore the meaning and implications of your results in relation to your research question. Here, interpret your results in detail, discussing whether they met your expectations and how well they fit with the framework that you built in earlier chapters. Refer back to relevant source material to show how your results fit within existing research in your field.

Some guiding questions include:

  • What do your results mean?
  • Why do your results matter?
  • What limitations do the results have?

If any of the results were unexpected, offer explanations for why this might be. It’s a good idea to consider alternative interpretations of your data.

Read more about discussion sections

Your dissertation’s conclusion should concisely answer your main research question, leaving your reader with a clear understanding of your central argument and emphasizing what your research has contributed to the field.

In some disciplines, the conclusion is just a short section preceding the discussion section, but in other contexts, it is the final chapter of your work. Here, you wrap up your dissertation with a final reflection on what you found, with recommendations for future research and concluding remarks.

It’s important to leave the reader with a clear impression of why your research matters. What have you added to what was already known? Why is your research necessary for the future of your field?

Read more about conclusions

It is crucial to include a reference list or list of works cited with the full details of all the sources that you used, in order to avoid plagiarism. Be sure to choose one citation style and follow it consistently throughout your dissertation. Each style has strict and specific formatting requirements.

Common styles include MLA , Chicago , and APA , but which style you use is often set by your department or your field.

Create APA citations Create MLA citations

Your dissertation should contain only essential information that directly contributes to answering your research question. Documents such as interview transcripts or survey questions can be added as appendices, rather than adding them to the main body.

Read more about appendices

Making sure that all of your sections are in the right place is only the first step to a well-written dissertation. Don’t forget to leave plenty of time for editing and proofreading, as grammar mistakes and sloppy spelling errors can really negatively impact your work.

Dissertations can take up to five years to write, so you will definitely want to make sure that everything is perfect before submitting. You may want to consider using a professional dissertation editing service or grammar checker to make sure your final project is perfect prior to submitting.

After your written dissertation is approved, your committee will schedule a defense. Similarly to defending your prospectus, dissertation defenses are oral presentations of your work. You’ll present your dissertation, and your committee will ask you questions. Many departments allow family members, friends, and other people who are interested to join as well.

After your defense, your committee will meet, and then inform you whether you have passed. Keep in mind that defenses are usually just a formality; most committees will have resolved any serious issues with your work with you far prior to your defense, giving you ample time to fix any problems.

As you write your dissertation, you can use this simple checklist to make sure you’ve included all the essentials.

Checklist: Dissertation

My title page includes all information required by my university.

I have included acknowledgements thanking those who helped me.

My abstract provides a concise summary of the dissertation, giving the reader a clear idea of my key results or arguments.

I have created a table of contents to help the reader navigate my dissertation. It includes all chapter titles, but excludes the title page, acknowledgements, and abstract.

My introduction leads into my topic in an engaging way and shows the relevance of my research.

My introduction clearly defines the focus of my research, stating my research questions and research objectives .

My introduction includes an overview of the dissertation’s structure (reading guide).

I have conducted a literature review in which I (1) critically engage with sources, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of existing research, (2) discuss patterns, themes, and debates in the literature, and (3) address a gap or show how my research contributes to existing research.

I have clearly outlined the theoretical framework of my research, explaining the theories and models that support my approach.

I have thoroughly described my methodology , explaining how I collected data and analyzed data.

I have concisely and objectively reported all relevant results .

I have (1) evaluated and interpreted the meaning of the results and (2) acknowledged any important limitations of the results in my discussion .

I have clearly stated the answer to my main research question in the conclusion .

I have clearly explained the implications of my conclusion, emphasizing what new insight my research has contributed.

I have provided relevant recommendations for further research or practice.

If relevant, I have included appendices with supplemental information.

I have included an in-text citation every time I use words, ideas, or information from a source.

I have listed every source in a reference list at the end of my dissertation.

I have consistently followed the rules of my chosen citation style .

I have followed all formatting guidelines provided by my university.


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Home > ETDs > Doctoral Dissertations

Doctoral Dissertations

Dissertations from 2024 2024.


Dissertations from 2023 2023


Power Dynamics of Sexual Assault on College Campuses , Jillian L. Chase



Understanding Filipino Wellness: Investigating the Effects of Colonial Mentality and Enculturation , Juliene Grace P. Fresnedi

Alleviating Mathematics Anxiety For Middle School Students Using A Combined Intervention Approach Versus Only Using The Cognitive Intervention Approach For Increasing Mathematical Achievement: A Comparative Study , Patricia Anna Garcia

Parent-Child Conversations about Body Safety and Consent , Natasha Gerber

The Mental Health of First-Generation College Students of Color , Devin Hallquist


Mental Health and Experiences of Pregnancy Among Black Women and Birthing People with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) , Madeleine E. Marcus

The Association between Psychotic Symptoms and Romantic Relationship Quality among Young Adult Ethnic Minorites , Tashagaye T. McKenzie

A Case Study of a School-Supported Extracurricular Activity's Influence on STEM Identity and Interest for Females , Letta Meyer

African American Women Make Meaning of Historical Trauma , Deidre A. MILLER


Working with Other Immigrants Brings the Parts That I Lost Back To Me: The Experiences of Latin American Immigrant Therapists Working with Latin American Immigrant Populations , Elizabeth P. Rivera


The Effects of Acculturation, Marianismo, and Religiosity on Pregnancy Related Anxiety in Latina Women , Jennifer M. Zanoli

Dissertations from 2022 2022


Fifty Years of Underrepresented Student Advocacy at One Jesuit Secondary School , Sonya Cotero Arriola

Voces of Little Michoacan: A Collective Narrative of Resistance and Preservation of Home , Ana Angel Avendaño


The Use of Simulation with the School of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP) Prelicensure Students to Support Affirming Practice with Transgender Communities , Genevieve Charbonneau

Understanding the perspectives, practices, and expectations of Korean American parents toward the heritage language education of their children , Yunhee Choi

The Association between Physical Pain, Depression, Anxiety, and Nervios among Latinx Agricultural Workers , Iveth Cuellar Celallos

Incorporating Andragogy and Cognitive Theory Of Multimedia Learning Into Self-Paced Training and Development Programs , Shanshan Gao

An Exploration of Learning-At-Home Experiences Among Families and Children of Color Labeled with Disabilities During COVID-19: A Narrative Inquiry , Nam Ju Han

"What’s Race Got To Do With It?”: A Virtual Participatory Action Research Study of Community College Students Exploring Intersectionality In Queer Studies , Breana Hansen



Teaching Solidarity: Popular Education in Grassroots U.S. Social Movements , Tenaya Summers Lafore

The Effects of Curriculum-Integrated Explicit Learning Strategy Instruction on Reading Comprehension for English as a Second Language (ESL) Learners at the Community College , Sylvia Chaiyeon Lee

Genocide in East Turkestan: Exploring the Perspectives of Uyghurs in the Diaspora and their Resistance to Chinese State Violence , Lina Semyonovna Lenberg

Mediating Language Fluency Development: An Action Research Study In A High-School AP Chinese Second-or-Foreign-Language Task-Based Language Teaching Classroom , Jing Liang


Women in Senior Leadership Roles Career Mobility, Challenges, Success Stories and Need for Future Research , Giselle Flores Martin

Impact of COVID-19 on New Teacher Retention and Perceived Supports in a Northern California Public School District , Rebecka Maxkenzie

African American Female Identified Therapists' Experiences Working Culturally Similar and Dissimilar Populations , Kimiko J. May



Feminist Catholic Organizational Identity: A Phenomenological Study of Charism in the Lay Educator of a Notre Dame de Namur Learning Community , Kathleen Barrera Quiazon

Effects of Teaching Argument to First-Year Community-College Students Using a Structural and Dialectical Approach , Sharon Radcliff


Cuentos Criollos: Colombian Internally Displaced Families as Knowledge Producers , Liliana Salazar de Deck

An Exploration of Higher Educational Experiences For Mixed Blood American Indian Males in the Santa Clara Valley , Edward Salcedo

The Relationship Between Metacognitive Strategies and Listening Comprehension Proficiency in Intensive-Korean-Foreign-Language Setting , Gumok Seo

The Collegiate Black Space: Black College Students’ Use of New Counter-Spaces for Support, Knowledge Production, and Organizing for Activism , Heather Marian Streets

The Impact of #MeToo on Reasons for Sexual Assault Disclosure , Cheryl H. Tien

Developing Queer Faith: Exploring Experiences of Cognitive Dissonance and Identity Integration For LGBQ Catholics Individuals , Kendal M. Vaarwerk

Using Peer Review to Improve English as a Second Language College Students' Writing Scores , Mengjie Wei

Dissertations from 2021 2021

The Effect of Teaching and Learning Vocabulary in Lexical Chunks on the Listening Comprehension of Adult Learners of Arabic , Bassam Al-Maqtari

Exploring Student Engagement for Diverse Student Populations: A Case Study Examining Institutional Logics of Student Affairs Middle Management Leaders , Frangelo Rominque Ayran

Employment Discrimination: An Efficacy Study of African American Inequities in the California Utility Sector , Victor Baker

Mental Health Outcomes of Various Types of Fear Among University Students who have an Undocumented Legal Status During the Donald Trump Presidency , Liliana Campos

Experiences of UC Santa Barbara female alumni exposed to a gender-based mass shooting , Erin G. Carpenter

Majority to Minority Shift: Experiences for American Born Chinese College Students from Predominant Chinese American Communities to Predominantly White Institutions , Joseph C. Chung

The Role of Community Building in Second Language Acquisition in the Mainstream Classroom , Alejandro Clemente Fernandez

The Effectiveness of Using Multimedia for Teaching Phrasal Verbs in Community-College ESL Classes , Guohua Fu

Replanting a Wild Seed: Black Women School Leaders Subverting Ideological Lynching , Whitneé Louise Garrett-Walker

The Significance of Jesuit Educational Institution in the Reconstruction of Postcolonial and Post-Conflict East Timor , Plinio do Rosario Gusmao dosReis Martins

Effects of Static and Dynamic Visuals on the Learning of Science Concepts in the Secondary-School Classroom , Theodore Johnson

Impact of Moral Injury for Ethnic/Racial Minority Male Veterans , Kristopher Kern

Dysconscious Racism and Racial Microaggressions in the Public School System , Ryan Lee

Stigma and Social-Emotional Health in Youth with Learning Differences , Kelsey Maki

Provider Perspectives: Working with the Male Lifer Reentry Population , Laura R. Marker Dr.

Women Who Lead: A Feminist Phenomenology of Crisis Leadership in Higher Education , Ingrid Helene McVanner

The Use of Mindfulness Meditation to Increase the Efficacy of Mirror Visual Feedback for Reducing Phantom Limb Pain in Amputees , Nicolas Sebastian Mills

A Minority Within a Minority: Exploring Identity Development in Relation to Mental Health Outcomes Within the Black Deaf Community , Nekolas Milton

Community Based Participatory Research Informed Manualization and Piloting of E-Training of a Modified Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intervention , Annika M. Miyamoto

Early Childhood Special Education Teachers’ Attitudes Toward Inclusion: A Qualitative Study on a School’s Transition From Segregated Classrooms to More Inclusion Classrooms , Shally Moua

The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm as a Critical Theoretical Framework to Enhance Teachers' Professional Identity in Diverse Context , Lourdu Sunder Reddy Mummadi

Patient Reported Outcomes in Sickle Cell Disease Examined Within a Conceptual Model , Swapandeep Mushiana; Marsha Treadwell PhD; Sherif M. Badawy MD, MS; Liliana Preiss PhD; Allison King MD MPH PhD; Barbara Kroner PhD; Yumie Chen BS; Jeffrey Glassberg; Victor Gordeuk MD; Nirmish Shah MD; Angie Snyder Phd MPH; and Theodore Wun MD

Incorporating Critical Perspectives in Nonprofit Management Education Programs: How Critical Scholars of Color Navigate Pressures in Higher Education , Khanh H. Nguyen

A Critical Feminist Case Study of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Program , Alison Kepola Nishiyama-Young

Understanding the African American Male Student Experience of Being Diagnosed with Emotional Disturbance Through the Use of Counter-Storytelling , Sara Ordaz

Sex or Sexual Assault? Critical Media Literacy as a Tool for Consent Education , Riana S. Pella

Higher Education Discourses of India’s National Education Policy 2020: Analysis and Teacher Counterspaces in Jesuit Institutions , Vincent Pereppadan Poulose

Effect of Transcendental Meditation on the Social Emotional Well-being of Bilingual Teacher Leaders , Margaret Peterson

Engaging Feminism, Transforming Institutions: How Community Engagement Professionals Employ Critical Feminist Praxis to Re-Imagine and Re-Shape the Public Purpose of Higher Education , Patricia Star Plaxton-Moore

Effect of Prenatal Yoga on Depression, Anxiety, and Maternal-fetal Attachment Among Pregnant Black, Indigenous and People of Color , Alicia Ranucci

The Effectiveness Of A Transaffirmative Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Group-Based Intervention To Help Transgender Individuals Suffering From Depression , Joy Riach

Investigating the Self-Efficacy Awareness of Black Female Technology Leaders , Marie Roberts De La Parra

Parental Involvement in Support of African American Families , September Rose

Pilipinx Radical Imagination: Healing and Visioning in our Process of Becoming , Anthony Abulencia Santa Ana

Interests Served and Interests Converged: A Mixed-Methods Critical Policy Analysis of the California Math Placement Act , Chalesea Schuler

Exploring the lived experiences of Middle-Eastern and North African (Mena) Jews through narrative inquiry using a digital storytelling approach , Brandy B. Shufutinsky

Understanding the Healthcare Experiences of LGBTQ+ People: An Adaptation of the Daily Heterosexist Experiences Questionnaire , Conor Smith

Indigenous Assessment Developers on Elements of the Disjuncture-Response Dialectic: A Critical Comparative Case Study , David A. Sul

Indigenous assessment developers on elements of the disjuncture-response dialectic: A critical comparative case study , David A. Sul

A Study of Students’ and Teachers’ Beliefs about Learning English as a Second Language in Hindi Medium Schools in India , Samir Toppo

The Ambivalence of Participation in Transitional Justice: The Promises and Failures of Peace in Colombia , Alejandro Urruzmendi

Narratives of Disability and Displacement: Oral Histories of the Lived Experiences of Disabled Refugees , Jennifer Lynn Ward

Equity in language programs: Revitalizing indigenous languages in secondary school in Anchorage, Alaska , Betsy Watson (Paskvan)

The Ignatian Leadership Model for Catholic Schools: Critical Spirituality Theory on Leadership Practices , Leonardus Evert Bambang Winandoko

Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in a Chinese Immersion School , Pui Hung Helen Wong

Voices of Chinese International Students: A critical understanding of their experiences in the United States , Shudao Zhang

Perceived Obstacles by ESL Instructors and Required Support for the Integration of Educational Technology , Xiaotian Zhang

Dissertations from 2020 2020

Life After the EL Label: Conversations About Identity, Language, and Race , Veronica Arizaga Aguayo


Choices: An Evaluation of a Program Aimed at Reducing Criminogenic Thinking Among Incarcerated Women , Alexa Carbajal

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Get the complete list of free master’s thesis samples PDF, formats, and dissertation examples (MSC, MBA, PGDE, MLA, and Ph.D.) for Students. Our Online Thesis research works, format samples, and dissertation research examples PDF are developed for universities all over the continent. Download the complete thesis, dissertations work PDF below. All Thesis formats and Dissertation Sample Papers on are for guidance and reference purposes only.

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Definition of dissertation

Example sentences.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dissertation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

1651, in the meaning defined above

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Cite this Entry

“Dissertation.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Sep. 2023.

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  • dissertation

a written essay, treatise, or thesis, especially one written by a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

any formal discourse in speech or writing.

Origin of dissertation

Other words from dissertation.

  • dis·ser·ta·tion·al, adjective
  • dis·ser·ta·tion·ist, noun

Words that may be confused with dissertation

  • dissertation , thesis

Words Nearby dissertation

  • dissenting opinion
  • dissentious
  • dissepiment Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dissertation in a sentence

Thirteen years ago, while working on her PHD dissertation in Madagascar’s Masoala Peninsula, Borgerson encountered a problem.

At Harvard, he received a PhD in government and wrote his dissertation under Henry Kissinger, who became a lifelong friend.

I planned to go back to physics after a couple of years and then return to wrap up my dissertation .

My buba’s lived experience helped shape me into the girl who wrote her college dissertation on the gender pay gap, arguing for equal parental leave for dads and moms, almost 20 years before any major employer implemented any such thing.

My PhD dissertation was a highly theoretical model representing computer systems that were framed as a mathematical model, and if they were interconnected in such a way that these interconnected computers would communicate like cells in the body.

A terrific cultural studies dissertation awaits on how the fortunes of the Cheneys provide a mirror on a changing America.

Today, he visits online forums and bombards them with dissertation -length comments.

In her dissertation , McFate had asked whether ‘good anthropology’ might lead to ‘better killing.’

Heritage has distanced itself from Richwine and his dissertation .

No single dissertation will alter the status quo on its own.

I've never had time to write home about it, for I felt that it required a dissertation in itself to do it justice.

Dr. Pitcairn, published at Leyden his dissertation on the circulation of the blood through the veins.

Start not, reader, I am not going to trouble you with a poetical dissertation ; no, no!

dissertation sur les Assassins, Académie des Inscriptions, tom.

This dissertation , which is illustrated by several plates, will repay for the time spent in reading it.

British Dictionary definitions for dissertation

/ ( ˌdɪsəˈteɪʃən ) /

a written thesis, often based on original research, usually required for a higher degree

a formal discourse

Derived forms of dissertation

  • dissertational , adjective
  • dissertationist , noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


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  1. PDF A Complete Dissertation

    Chapter 1 Objectives Provide a cursory glance at the constitution of an entire dissertation. Offer a comprehensive outline of all key elements for each section of the dissertation—that is, precursor of what is to come, with each element being more fully developed and explained further along in the book.

  2. OATD

    You may also want to consult these sites to search for other theses: Google Scholar; NDLTD, the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.NDLTD provides information and a search engine for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), whether they are open access or not. Proquest Theses and Dissertations (PQDT), a database of dissertations and theses, whether they were published ...

  3. PDF The Dissertation Handbook The Dissertation Handbook will make that

    The dissertation is a document in which a student presents his or her research and findings to meet the requirements of the doctorate. It is a substantial scholarly product that represents the student's own work. The content and form of the dissertation are guided by the dissertation committee and the standards of the student's discipline.

  4. Free Dissertation & Thesis Template (Word Doc & PDF)

    Free Dissertation & Thesis Template (Word Doc & PDF) - Grad Coach Free Download: Dissertation & Thesis Template If you're preparing to write your dissertation, thesis or research project, our free dissertation template is the perfect starting point.


    Learn about thesis and dissertation formatting guidelines. Develop a detailed outline for your approach to writing your dissertation or thesis. Write the body of text for the dissertation or thesis. Complete your draft thesis/dissertation 6 weeks prior to your final examination and submit to all members of your Special Committee.

  6. EBSCO Open Dissertations

    Content Includes: 1,500,000 electronic theses and dissertations 320 worldwide universities that have loaded their dissertations to date Access the dissertations Increasing Discovery & Usage of ETD Research EBSCO Open Dissertations is a collaboration between EBSCO and BiblioLabs to increase traffic and discoverability of ETD research.

  7. Research Guides: Free Databases (all subjects): Dissertations

    Provides free access to thousands of dissertation and thesis abstracts from universities around the world, and links to full text when freely available. PQDT Open Last Updated: Jul 31, 2023 2:40 PM URL: Print Page Login to LibApps Report a problem.

  8. Dissertations & Theses

    Full text for most dissertations from 1997 on (at this writing, 1.2 million full text dissertations available for download in PDF format). Hosted by ProQuest. Use Harvard's Get It Interlibrary Loan link to request print dissertations. Harvard dissertations and theses.

  9. Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

    Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects Total Papers Total Downloads Downloads in the past year Jump to: Unable to build JumpList: Forbidden Theses/Dissertations from 2023 PDF An Investigation Of Experiential Learning: A Program Evaluation Of The William & Mary D.C. Summer Institutes, Roxane Olson Adler Hickey PDF

  10. What Is a Dissertation?

    Download Word template Download Google Docs template. Note "Thesis" and "dissertation" are sometimes used interchangeably, but their definitions differ per country. In the US, a dissertation generally refers to the collection of research you conducted to obtain a PhD.

  11. Doctoral Dissertations


  12. (PDF) Thesis, Dissertation and Article Writing

    PDF | On Feb 17, 2014, Mutahar Al-Nahari published Thesis, Dissertation and Article Writing | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate ... Download full-text PDF Read full ...

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    If you are formatting your manuscript in Microsoft Word, feel free to download and use the template. If you would like to see what your manuscript should look like, PDFs have been provided. ... (Dissertation) 2023. PDF of a template with annotations of what to look out for. Word: Thesis Template 2023. Editable template of the Master's thesis ...

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    Over the last 80 years, ProQuest has built the world's most comprehensive and renowned dissertations program. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (PQDT Global), continues to grow its repository of 5 million graduate works each year, thanks to the continued contribution from the world's universities, creating an ever-growing resource of emerging research to fuel innovation and new insights.


    12. Leave time for the chair to read your completed thesis or dissertation . at least twice. before giving it to your committee members. Don't expect to submit the completed thesis or dissertation for the first time to the chair and defend in the same or following week. Also, it is customary to give the thesis or dissertation to committee members

  16. Harvard University Theses, Dissertations, and Prize Papers

    The Harvard University Archives' collection of theses, dissertations, and prize papers document the wide range of academic research undertaken by Harvard students over the course of the University's history.. Beyond their value as pieces of original research, these collections document the history of American higher education, chronicling both the growth of Harvard as a major research ...

  17. (PDF) A Guide to Dissertation Writing

    PDF | On Feb 8, 2021, Saadia Morse and others published A Guide to Dissertation Writing | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate ... Download full-text PDF Read full-text ...

  18. PDF A Sample Research Paper/Thesis/Dissertation on Aspects of Elementary

    (Begin the abstract here, typewritten and double-spaced. A thesis abstract should consist of 350 words or less including the heading. A page and one-half is approximately 350 words.) iii. DEDICATION (NO REQUIRED FOR RESEARCH PAPER) (The dedication, as the name suggests is a personal dedication of one's work.

  19. Downloading and printing PDF format dissertation

    Select this option and you will be presented with a "Save" dialog box. Downloading will begin after you choose a location to save your PDF file. Once the download is complete, you can use Adobe Acrobat Reader to read and print the dissertation. Macintosh: Click and hold your mouse button on the corresponding PDF icon above.


    PDF | On Nov 2, 2018, Manikandan .P published FULL THESIS | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate ... Download full-text PDF Read full-text. Download full-text PDF. Read ...

  21. Free MSC Thesis Samples PDF and Dissertation Examples Download

    Download the complete thesis, dissertations work PDF below. All Thesis formats and Dissertation Sample Papers on are for guidance and reference purposes only. List of Masters Thesis Samples PDF, Formats, and Free Dissertation Examples

  22. Dissertation Definition & Meaning

    How to use dissertation in a sentence. an extended usually written treatment of a subject; specifically : one submitted for a doctorate… See the full definition

  23. Dissertation Definition & Meaning

    Dissertation definition, a written essay, treatise, or thesis, especially one written by a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. See more.