How To Write A Postgraduate Dissertation Outline Correctly


To create a good outline of your postgraduate dissertation, you need to keep in mind two main items: a plan of what you need to provide for your readers and an idea of what you want to say about all this.

There are two ways to create a good plan of a dissertation outline: a linear plan or a so-called mind-mapping plan. It’s up to you to choose what you prefer, because each method has something to do with your personality. A precise plan is a big part of your success. If you have one, you will avoid repetitions and mess. At the same time, you should not think that your dissertation outline is something that is carved in stone. In any case, you are free to change your plan whenever you choose. The only thing you should remember about the planning is that it’s not good to combine different structures. So, let’s give attention to both the planning methods.

To create a linear plan to your postgraduate dissertation outline, you need to:

  1. Introduce your subject and why you are researching it.
  2. Explain all the specific terms in your work so that readers understand everything.
  3. Provide an outline of the key theoretical ideas of your work.
  4. Explain pros and cons of the research methods you are using and analyze the data that can be received with their help.
  5. Name key thinkers who oppose the theory and those who support it, and provide your own point of view.
  6. Provide your conclusions, name problems that have emerged in the course of your research: whether and how you are going to research the topic further.
  7. Be sure to give all references for the information and sources that you have used.

A mind-mapping plan looks like the central idea of your research and minor ideas and conclusions that grow from it as branches. Developing each branch, you will develop each idea as deeply as you have to and are able to research it within the frame of your work. Using this structure, you will be able to provide the information in a logical way.

You need to remember that such work requires a lot of time, especially if you are still not sure about the way you are going to use to compose the outline. However, if you are dreadfully off track, feel free to turn to your supervisor immediately. Although there is no time more productive than the last moment, procrastination and haste can cause more mess than productiveness.

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