Dissertation Plan & Outline Tips

Dissertation writing is one of the longest and most difficult tasks a student may endure. Still, there are positive sides to consider. Unlike many essay types or team projects, it is possible to choose a certain topic of interest and explore it with due analysis and planning. It is crucial to come up with a clear dissertation plan, so there is sufficient focus on a particular topic idea. Since a dissertation requires original research using an undergraduate level writing, it is usually submitted in several sections, which makes accurate planning essential for success and clarity.

Dissertation Plan & Outline Tips
Time Management & Staying Organized

Time Management & Staying Organized

The most obvious challenge faced by students in UK universities is submitting dissertation on time. Things become even more demanding when the task is to write a dissertation because it involves coming up with a preliminary research proposal, an abstract, topic relevance, and discussing the methodology. A golden rule is to start with one task at a time and progress with a draft of an outline where main objectives and research questions are stated. Such an approach helps to limit subject scope without spending extra time on materials that do not reflect the main thesis.

Start with a brief study of approved topics by taking a look at other similar works as it will help to choose between qualitative or quantitative analysis methods, depending on the subject. As the dissertation plan outline is written, a student should apply an appropriate research method, informing the supervisor about the preferred work style. Taking constant references to an already existing outline draft saves time since it is much easier to track every change or occurring idea without starting over from scratch.

Dissertation Planning Types

Most supervisors in British universities recommend following the same set of rules for every dissertation chapter. Nevertheless, it should not become static because once more literature is studied, there are inevitable changes that should be mentioned. Hence, choose among several planning methods that are suitable for your personal writing style:

  • Linear Presentation. This approach is best suited for those who like to start with the first chapter and continue without skipping parts. One task at a time method has certain limitations, but it helps to keep research on track. Consider following all suggested chapter headers.
  • A Concept Map. This slightly different dissertation planning method is based upon visual representation of each important outline aspect. It assists in overcoming writer’s block and helps introduce ideas by adding them to the concept map as they occur.
  • Preliminary Tasks List. While it can easily become time-consuming, this work style consists of things that should be done, serving as a personal to-do list. A good idea is using it during the literature review stage, ensuring that nothing is missed.
Dissertation Planning Types

Basic Dissertation Plan Example


Chapter 1: Dissertation Introduction

  • Background of the main topic
  • Problem statement
  • Study’s purpose
  • Topic necessity
  • Main research questions
  • Hypothesis statement with objectives
  • Terms definition

Chapter 2: Literature Review

  • Introduction
  • Theoretical framework for research purpose
  • Empirical studies and qualitative research, if applicable
  • General summary

Chapter 3: Dissertation Methodology

  • Quantitative: Research design; Samples; Classification; Procedures; Data analysis.
  • Qualitative: Research Design; Participants; Researcher’s role; Data collection; Method; Data analysis.

Chapter 4: Data Analysis & Conclusions

Final analysis of results and information, based upon the main research question.

Excellent clarity regarding how to plan a dissertation starts with an outline. It helps to keep any challenging task within the required framework.

Dissertation Methodology

Dissertation Methodology

Everything About Dissertation Methodology

Dissertations are highly important not only as standard evaluation tools in awarding degrees to undergraduates, Masters, or PhD students – these are also important because they teach students how to work with academic literature and information sources within their fields, how to analyse, integrate, present complex data from different sources, how to properly cite evidence, formulate research goals, objectives, hypotheses, etc. Importantly, they also teach students to work with dissertation methodology – an ability that is of great use in the UK’s information society.

What Is Dissertation Methodology?

A methodology section is the dissertation part that answers two key questions: how exactly research is performed and why exactly it is performed the way it is? These questions address: data collection techniques, sampling techniques, data analysis strategies, theoretical frameworks used to model processes and phenomena – their use must be justified considering alternative techniques/ methods.

A proper dissertation methodology structure is expected to:

  • List the original research questions and argue that the methods used are suitable for approaching these questions, based on what is known from literature.
  • In list and describe methods, models, design strategies, statistical methods, data analysis pipelines, etc. in such a manner that they can be applied by others outside the immediate context of this project.
  • Present explanations and arguments supporting utilization of these methods to the detriment of alternative ones. Careful consideration must be taken to select reliable methods (or innovative methods with big potential) that are able to address the research questions.
  • Describe the pros and cons of selected methods. It must be clear that you are aware of both the advantages and trade-offs but nevertheless consider that these methods will perform best when compared to others.

Common Types Of Dissertation Methodology

The methodology section of dissertation is typically a combination of methods, many of which are discipline-specific. Some frequently employed methods are as follows:

  • Interviews – these are direct face-to-face (or telephone/ Internet) conversations in which comprehensive and personal answers can be provided, which qualifies them as primarily qualitative methods. Questions can be adaptive.
  • Questionnaire – subjects are presented with lists of questions, typically with standardized answers to pick from, hence, questionnaire-based surveys typically serve as quantitative tools.
  • Observation – this involves observing individuals/ animals/ systems, typically, to make conclusions about their behaviour in specific circumstances.
  • Controlled Experiments – these are experiments that are manipulated so that a single variable is tested at a time. Independent variables are altered to witness how systems, organisms, on dependent variables are impacted.
  • Computer Simulations – these implement models that aim to describe and predict the behaviour of various systems, including living systems.