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Published by at June 6th, 2024 , Revised On June 6, 2024

Dissertation Explicative Example – A Quick Guide

Stuck with your dissertation. Worried about that dissertation explicative that has been haunting you for several days but you can’t seem to fully comprehend the idea behind it because it is the first time you are writing it? Well, we hope to end your woes right now because this blog post explains what a dissertation explicative is and how students can use it for the best results in their studies.

Writing a dissertation explicative is a daunting task, but understanding its structure and purpose can ease the process significantly. This type of dissertation (explicative), often used in literary studies and other humanities fields, involves explaining and analyzing a text or concept in great depth.

By reviewing an example dissertation explicative, you can get insights into the process and learn how to effectively construct your own. So, let us now look into the key elements of a dissertation explicative and provide guidance on how to approach writing one.

What is a Dissertation Explicative?

Before we proceed any further, let’s explore the definition of the dissertation explicative so you can understand the jargons and concepts discussed in this article.

A dissertation explicative is an analytical and interpretive work that aims to elucidate a particular text, idea, or concept. Unlike a traditional argumentative dissertation, which seeks to prove a specific thesis, a dissertation explicative focuses on breaking down and explaining the subject matter in detail. This type of dissertation is common in fields like literature, philosophy, and history, where in-depth textual analysis is crucial.

Key Elements of a Dissertation Explicative

Introduction – The introduction sets the stage for your analysis. It should provide context for the text or concept you are explicating, outline the scope of your analysis, and state the significance of the subject. An effective introduction will grasp the attention of the readers and clearly present the purpose of your dissertation.

Literature Review – This section is interesting. Here, you should review existing scholarship related to your topic. This gives value to your work within the broader academic conversation and demonstrates your familiarity with relevant research. The literature review should highlight key theories, debates, and gaps in the existing literature that your dissertation will address.

Textual Analysis – The core of a dissertation explicative is the detailed analysis of the text or concept. This involves close reading and interpretation, examining elements such as themes, motifs, stylistic devices, and historical or cultural context. Your analysis should be thorough and well-supported with evidence from the text.

Discussion – The discussion section should synthesize your findings, drawing connections between different aspects of your analysis and highlighting the broader implications of your work. This is where you can reflect on the significance of your findings and consider how they contribute to the understanding of the text or concept.

Theoretical Framework – Incorporating a theoretical framework can enhance your analysis by providing a lens through which to interpret the text. Whether you use literary theory, philosophical concepts, or historical approaches, clearly explain how the framework informs your analysis and helps elucidate the subject matter.

Conclusion – The conclusion should summarize your main points and restate the significance of your analysis. It can also suggest areas for future research or reflect on the limitations of your study. An effective conclusion will leave the reader with a clear understanding of your contributions to the field.

    Here Is An Example Dissertation Explicative For Your Review

    To illustrate these elements, let’s consider an example dissertation explicative on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The introduction might begin by discussing the enduring relevance of Hamlet and the complexity of its protagonist. The literature review could examine various interpretations of Hamlet’s character, from psychoanalytic readings to political analyses.

    In the textual analysis, you might focus on Hamlet’s soliloquies, analyzing how they reveal his inner turmoil and philosophical reflections. Using existentialist theory, you could explore Hamlet’s contemplation of life and death, demonstrating how this framework enhances our understanding of his character.

    The discussion might connect your analysis to broader themes in the play, such as the nature of madness and the struggle for power. The conclusion could summarize your findings, reaffirm the significance of your analysis, and suggest that further research could explore Hamlet’s influence on contemporary literature and philosophy.

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    Dissertation Explicative: The Unreliable Narrator in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”


    Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” is a classic example of Gothic literature that explores themes of guilt, madness, and the complexities of the human mind. This dissertation explicative aims to dissect the narrative techniques employed by Poe, with a particular focus on the unreliable narrator. By examining the narrator’s language, behavior, and psychological state, this study seeks to understand how Poe creates a sense of horror and suspense.

    Literature Review

    Numerous scholars have analyzed “The Tell-Tale Heart,” often focusing on its psychological and thematic elements. Kenneth Silverman (1991) discusses the psychological realism in Poe’s work, highlighting the intricate depiction of madness. Julian Symons (1978) emphasizes the Gothic elements and Poe’s mastery in creating suspense. However, less attention has been given to the role of the unreliable narrator in shaping the story’s impact. This dissertation builds on existing scholarship by providing a focused analysis of the narrator’s unreliability.

    Textual Analysis

    Narrative Voice and Language: The story is told from the first-person perspective of an unnamed narrator, whose insistence on his sanity immediately raises questions about his reliability. His repeated claims of hearing the old man’s heartbeat, even after death, serve to illustrate his disturbed mental state. The narrator’s language is frantic and disjointed, filled with exclamations and erratic punctuation, which reflects his inner turmoil and contributes to the story’s tension.

    Behavior and Actions: The narrator’s actions further undermine his reliability. His obsession with the old man’s eye, described as “vulture-like,” drives him to commit murder. The meticulous planning and execution of the crime, contrasted with his eventual confession due to the overwhelming guilt, reveal the depth of his madness. The dissonance between his perceived and actual behavior highlights his unstable psyche.

    Psychological State: Poe delves into the complexities of the human mind by presenting a character who is both self-aware and delusional. The narrator’s awareness of his heightened senses and acute observations is juxtaposed with his irrational fear and guilt, manifesting in the hallucination of the beating heart. This interplay between sanity and insanity creates a sense of ambiguity, leaving readers questioning the reality of events.

    Theoretical Framework

    This analysis is informed by psychoanalytic theory, particularly Freud’s concept of the id, ego, and superego. The narrator’s id is evident in his primal impulses and obsessive tendencies, while his ego attempts to rationalize these actions. The superego, representing moral conscience, ultimately drives him to confess, unable to withstand the guilt. This framework helps elucidate the psychological dimensions of the narrator’s unreliability.


    The unreliable narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” serves as a vehicle for exploring themes of guilt and madness. The story’s power lies in its ability to blur the lines between reality and illusion, creating a pervasive sense of unease. By destabilizing the narrative, Poe immerses readers in the narrator’s disturbed mind, making them question the nature of truth and perception.


    In conclusion, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” utilizes the unreliable narrator to masterful effect, creating a chilling exploration of guilt and madness. The narrator’s frantic language, erratic behavior, and psychological complexity contribute to the story’s enduring impact. This dissertation explicative has highlighted the importance of the unreliable narrator in shaping the narrative and enhancing the thematic depth of the story. Future research could further explore the implications of unreliability in Poe’s broader body of work.

    This example outlines the key elements of a dissertation explicative, providing a clear and focused analysis of Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” through the lens of the unreliable narrator. By breaking down the narrative techniques and employing a theoretical framework, this approach offers a comprehensive understanding of the text.


    Writing a dissertation explicative requires careful planning, thorough research, and detailed analysis. By understanding the key elements and following a structured approach, you can effectively explicate a text or concept and contribute valuable insights to your field. Whether you’re analyzing a literary work like Hamlet or exploring a complex philosophical idea, a well-crafted dissertation explicative can illuminate new dimensions of understanding.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    A dissertation explicative is a detailed analysis and interpretation of a specific text or piece of literature. It involves breaking down the text to uncover deeper meanings, themes, and stylistic elements, helping students understand and explain the work comprehensively.

    A dissertation explicative typically includes an introduction that presents the text and its context, a main body that analyzes various elements of the text (such as themes, characters, and stylistic devices), and a conclusion that summarizes the findings and their implications.

    NoWriting a dissertation explicative helps students develop critical thinking and analytical skills. It allows them to engage deeply with a text, enhance their understanding of literary techniques, and improve their ability to communicate complex ideas effectively.

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