Writing a dissertation or a thesis is a work of art. It not only brings out the knowledge one possesses with respect to a particular subject matter but also reflects one’s creativity and perfection in accomplishing a task. A perfect and outstanding dissertation enables one to attain maximum scores. But achieving the task of writing an excellent dissertation is an uphill task. Appropriate and high-quality contents and a perfect formatting are the key ingredients for writing an infallible dissertation or thesis.
Writing a dissertation is a step by step process. Each step must be precisely accomplished in order to get the desired outcome. To begin with, one must know what a dissertation is and what is seeks to achieve. A dissertation is a long-piece of scholarly writing which requires one to deal with a particular subject matter comprehensively. A dissertation or thesis serves as a testament to one’s expertise and knowledge in that particular subject. It is usually assigned to students or researchers at the end of any academic curriculum in order to assess the candidate’s competence with respect to the subject.
Dissertation writing is a multi-dimensional process. It has various dynamic and static aspects to it. The main content and length of any dissertation mainly depends upon the subject matter and the candidate’s choice there upon. While there are certain formatting rules in place to ensure the smooth flow and appropriate use of the content and thus to achieve a perfect piece of dissertation.
While there are a number of factors and aspects related to formatting a dissertation like choice of appropriate font, papers, language, order of contents, and many more. In this article, we will be dealing comprehensively with one such formatting aspect of including figure and table list in any dissertation.
A dissertation is a long essay that one is required to produce at the conclusion of an academic course. It is a scholarly piece of writing that assesses a candidate’s ability and competence in the particular field of subject. It is largely a text-based document with vital facts and data. Reading a dissertation could be a tedious task. Thus, the onus of making any dissertation or thesis engaging and interesting for the reader lies on the writer. How does one ensure that the dissertation is not just a plain piece of writing?
One can easily and with some creativity can make any long piece of writing interesting and easy to read by supplementing the text with appropriate images, graphs, data sets, et al. Including appropriate and engaging figures and tables along with the text, makes the document lively and encourages the reader to dig in further.
When one uses different media to express his/her points like any picture, graphs, tables, data sets, etc., it makes the document more appealing. Thus, when any document includes a number of such tables, figures, graphs, etc. it becomes crucially important to include a list of such tables and figures in the dissertation. This list of figures and tables acts as a tool for the reader to navigate through entire document smoothly without facing any confusion.
The list is a simple list like a table of content and the writer just needs to ensure correct numbering of the items included in that list. The contents of the list should be numbered using Arabic numbering (1,2,3,4….). If any content on the list has any sub-parts, they must be numbered using small Roman numbers (I, ii, iii, iv…..). The only thing to remember is to correctly number the entire list. There should not be any overlapping as it might create confusion and difficulty for the reader. It should also be noted to give a relevant heading or title to the figure/image used and the same title should also be used in the list against the assigned number. The writer should be careful and must use the same title at every place wherever the same picture/graph has been used. It helps to maintain uniformity and consistency and ensures a smooth flow in the entire dissertation.
A list of tables and figures is generally placed at the beginning, before the start of main content of the document. It even gives a heads up to the reader about different media used during the entire dissertation.
A list of tables and figures is a simple tool which helps the reader to transit through any part of the dissertation smoothly and at any time. It even helps the reader to refer to any important data set or graph at any given point of time. Though including a list of tables and figures is not a mandatory feature of any dissertation but it is preferred to use one in case a dissertation has multiple images, data sets, graphs, et al.
Using a sorted list of tables and figures even highlights the professional attribute of the dissertation. It reflects the ability of the writer to produce a perfect and well-though out piece of work which ultimately reflects positively on one’s grades.
Other Aspects Similar to the List of Tables and Figures:
There are other dimension of dissertation writing which are very similar to the one discussed above, that is, List of figures and tables. A table of content, a list of abbreviation, glossary are a few that come close enough to the list of figures and tables in terms of usage and structure.
We have given brief analysis of some of the other aspects that will help you in distinguishing the one from the other and thus would help in structuring a dissertation perfectly.
Common Errors to Avoid:
Writing a dissertation is a tedious task and to ace it perfectly, makes it all the more cumbersome. One works very hard and zealously to ensure to get a desired result in the end but somehow, we commit some silly mistakes that could hamper our document in significant manner. Therefore, the following points would help you to avoid those mistakes while creating a list of tables and figures, and thus result in a flawless dissertation.
The above points are not any hard rules but simple suggestive measures. One may implement them while writing a dissertation, thesis or any long essay. These are some of the tried and tested measures that have helped many students to ace their dissertation.
Apart from all of this, one requires sufficient expertise, good quality resources and constant motivation to write an infallible and excellent dissertation.
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