General principles of text construction

Contrary to popular belief, starting to write a dissertation, you cannot immediately write its beginning-introduction. The introduction to the thesis is the most responsible part of the text, in which, as in an uncluttered mirror, all its advantages, elements of novelty, submitted for the defense of the position, should be reflected. All this can finally crystallize at the last stage of the work, when complete clarity in understanding the chosen topic is achieved. It is necessary to begin with the main part of the text, to achieve its optimal variant, and then only proceed to the introduction and conclusion.

The main part of the thesis should be at least 70% of its full volume. It is inevitably divided into chapters and paragraphs in accordance with the logical structure of the presentation. There may be two or three chapters in a master’s thesis, four or more in a doctoral dissertation. Each chapter consists of two sections, no less. It is desirable that the chapters (and accordingly paragraphs) are approximately equal in volume.

Of course, there is no standard for the composition of dissertation work. Each applicant chooses the order of organization of scientific materials. However, certain general requirements have been developed for the compositional structure of the dissertation work. Thesis must contain the following elements:

  • Title page.
  • Table of contents.
  • Introduction
  • Heads of the main part.
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliographic list.
  • Applications.
  • Auxiliary pointers.

The justification of relevance should be followed by consideration of the degree of scientific elaboration of the problem. Here it is necessary to list past and modern, domestic and foreign scientists who have dealt with this problem from different angles, indicate insufficiently illuminated items, as well as the distortions caused by the poor lighting of the topic in the domestic literature, if any. The reference to this topic can be justified, for example, by its insufficient research or abundance in foreign literature of unknown domestic scientific public material on this topic, which, from your point of view, should be introduced into scientific circulation (Names of major works of domestic and foreign researchers relating to to the topic of your dissertation, you can specify in footnotes). Here you need to demonstrate that you are well accustomed to the topic and have mastered the methods of scientific work with texts and bibliographic material; you can correctly evaluate the contribution of your predecessors and contemporaries in solving this problem. It is fundamentally important not to overlook especially significant works, to give them a reasonable critical assessment, to point out their main advantages and disadvantages. It is also necessary to be objective in assessing one’s own contribution to the consideration of a topic. Sometimes it seems to the applicant without sufficient grounds that no one has addressed this topic before and did not come to such conclusions. If you have a similar feeling, do not rush to report this in the introduction text. Carefully analyze all available literature, consult with the supervisor, and then decide whether or not to make such large-scale statements.

After consideration of the degree of scientific elaboration of the problem, a smooth logically justified transition to the formulation of your place in the study of the problem is made. Here the goal of the dissertation research and its tasks are formulated, in other words, its strategy and tactics. It should be remembered that the transfer of tasks implicitly sets the plan and the internal logic of the text of the whole work. Further, the object and subject of study are formulated. The object (of scientific research) is the chosen element of reality; which has obvious boundaries, relative autonomy of existence and somehow manifests its separation from its environment. The object gives rise to a problem situation and is selected for study. Subject (scientific research) – a logical description of the object, the selectivity of which is determined by the preferences of the researcher in the choice of the point (mental) review, aspect, “slice”, individual manifestations of the observed segment of reality.

The object and subject of research as a category of the scientific process relate to each other as general and particular. The object is allocated that part of it, which is the subject of study. The main focus of the dissertation is directed to him; it is the subject of the research that determines the topic of the dissertation, which is indicated on the title page as its title.

Mastery in defining an object is traditionally associated with how closely a researcher approached during his ideal construction, firstly, to the sphere of the most actual dynamic states of an object (the ability to explain the origin and development, genesis, manifested external contradictions, phenomena) and, secondly, areas of significant relationships and elements, the change of which affects the entire system of organization of the object.

Not necessarily, but preferably in the introduction to the work, to briefly talk about the structural stages of the further presentation and justify the logic of its construction.

The bulk of the work in terms of volume should be approximately. 70% of the entire text is consistent in its structure with the dissertation plan. Here the course of your research is described in detail, its intermediate results are substantiated and formulated. The principal requirements for the main part are evidence, consistency, the absence of unnecessary, optional and cluttering text in the text.

The final part of the thesis (conclusion) should contain conclusions drawn from the results of the entire work. This part, the smallest in volume, is of particular importance, since it is here that the final results of your work should be presented to the scientific community in a complete and logically perfect form. Conclusion is not just a summation of the achieved results, but a kind of synthesis that organically connects the explicit and implicit levels of presentation, individual results on the topic and the cumulative result of your work as a whole. In conclusion, it is necessary to relate the findings to the goals and objectives set out in the introduction, combine the findings into a whole, assess the success of their own work. Sometimes it is advisable to construct a conclusion text as a list of conclusions, breaking it up into paragraphs, each of which is the isolation and justification of one specific conclusion. If the work along with the theoretical results has practical implications, this should also be specified in the conclusion. In addition, it is necessary to evaluate the prospect of further research of the topic being presented on the basis of the results of work, outline the new tasks arising in this regard, characterize the existing side effects and ideas and evaluate the possible prospects of their scientific development.

Following the conclusion is usually given a bibliographic list, references. This is a list of references used by the author in the course of work on the topic.

Each literary source included in such a list must be reflected in the manuscript of the dissertation. When referring to some facts taken from the works of other authors, it is necessary to indicate in the footnote, where the materials are taken from. It is not necessary to include in the bibliographic list those sources that are not referenced in the text of the thesis and which you did not use, as well as encyclopedias, reference books, popular science books, newspapers. If there is a need to use such publications, then they should be cited in subscripts.

Auxiliary or additional materials that clutter the text of the main part of the thesis, are placed in the annex.

The content of the application is very diverse: copies of original documents, extracts from the reporting materials, production plans and protocols, certain provisions of the instructions and rules, previously unpublished texts, correspondence, etc. According to the form of the application can be a text, tables, graphics, maps.

Applications are placed at the end of the thesis. Each application should begin with a new sheet (page) with the word “Application” in the upper right corner and have a thematic title. If there are more than one application in the thesis, they are numbered in Arabic numerals (without a number sign), for example: “Appendix I”, “Appendix 2”, etc. The numbering of the pages on which applications are given should continue the general numbering of the pages of the main text.

The linking of the main text with the applications is carried out through the links that are used with the word “see”; for example: (see annex 1).