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Academic tutorials: dissertation format and structure

If you have reached that moment in your studies where you have to write your dissertation, then you probably feel both proud to having reached this moment and scared of the fact that you will not manage to write your dissertation the way it should be written. Academic writing can sometimes be very confusing and it can sometimes be extremely difficult to manage, but the truth is that once you start understanding it you will also start loving it. In many respects, academic writing (in all its levels from argumentative essays to research papers and dissertations) is a lot about structure and format. The norms of academic writing should always be followed because sometimes, even if your paper has very good ideas and even if you have done a lot of research on your topic of choice, lack of structure can definitely destroy your entire work.

Why Are the Dissertation Format and Structure so Important?

Many of the people out there do not actually understand why it is that academic writing has to be so restrictive, but the truth is that all those norms that may annoy you at times are actually there with a very clear purpose. For starters, academic papers of all lengths need structure because only this way will you be able to actually order a lot of ideas in a way that is compelling for your thesis statement and only this way will you be able to make your readers understand your main point and your argumentation.

Furthermore, the format of your dissertation is important both because it is tightly connected to structure and for another reason. Following a certain academic format creates a “common language” for all the people in your field of study and it creates a bridge for communication between you and other researchers and between your work and other works in your field of study.

What Dissertation Format and Structure Should You Follow?

The truth is that the first thing you will have to know is the academic style in which you have to write your paper. Different academic writing styles have different norms when it comes to format, structure, citations and so on. Make sure that you understand the norms of your academic writing style. For instance, MLA will be quite different than APA and the norms that may apply to one of the styles out there may not be completely valid for another style. While basically most of the academic styles out there are the same, the variations make the difference and it is of the highest importance that you get acquainted with them.