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Dissertation Example

When faced with writing a dissertation, a student may feel overwhelmed. How does one formulate a topic? What sections comprise a dissertation? What is the dissertation format like? Locating one or more dissertation examples to study and emulate is a great way to inform oneself about what the finished product will look like.

It is very possible the student has already viewed a dissertation example in the process of doing his or her coursework. Dissertation examples are often assigned reading for advanced students because they cover important and original research in the student's topic of interest. The student should look at the research papers he or she has read over the years in his or her coursework. Are any of these papers dissertation examples?

A dissertation example can also be found in the library. Print indices such as Dissertation Abstracts International list the abstracts of nearly every dissertation written in the United States and numerous international dissertation abstracts as well. The student can choose a dissertation example or two in his or her field and then borrow copies through interlibrary loan. If the dissertation example contains research that is relevant to the student's own dissertation topic, the student can use it both as background for his or her literature review and as a dissertation example to follow when outlining and formatting his or her own dissertation.

Another place to find a dissertation example is in the style manual that is preferred in the student's field. The APA Publication Manual, for instance, is the style used for the social sciences such as communication, sociology, and economics. When consulting the APA manual, the student will find numerous dissertation example formatting guidelines that will take the guesswork out of planning and executing the student's own dissertation.

The student should also look to his or her own faculty advisor's dissertation. No doubt this dissertation example will be in a related field and may well be a relevant part of the literature that the student should review. In addition, it will make a fine dissertation example to follow because it will be in the same field and probably contain a similar type of research to that which the student plans to conduct. The more dissertation examples the student studies during the dissertation planning process, the better informed he or she will be, especially by making good use of dissertation examples.