Starting a dissertation usually comes with a mixture of excitement and dread. Naturally, much work is needed to research and write your dissertation chapters. These chapters make up the foundation of your dissertation and provide a clear overview of your topic.
A dissertation has numerous moving pieces, and the easiest way to organize them is via chapters. Each chapter adheres to a set of principles and has a specific purpose. However, the most effective method for tackling your dissertation write-up is understanding every chapter’s function.
This article will help you understand by providing you with all you need to know about writing the chapters in a dissertation. So please read on, and let’s get started!
How many chapters in a dissertation?
Let’s begin with one of the most asked questions on dissertations. A dissertation is usually divided into five chapters for study. Although they can be additional chapters in a dissertation, they often arise from a breakdown of the basic five chapters.
Essentially, dissertation chapter structures are not the same. The academic paper factors in elements like topic, approach, location, and discipline affect the structure. For instance, if you were to undertake a dissertation as a Humanities major, it would take the shape of a lengthy essay. This is usually achieved by creating an overall argument to support a primary idea. The chapters are then organized based on different instances to create a study.
However, your dissertation research will be more empirical if you are a student in the sciences or social sciences. It would generally include different elements in separate chapters, which may be combined in some cases.
A typical example is when the results and discussion chapters are merged instead of individualized. Factoring in location, some universities present their conclusion before a discussion and vice versa.
After getting your topic, it is best to research and ask your instructor for the correct outline to use. Requirements can differ from institution to institution and even in departments under the same faculty.
What are the chapters of a dissertation?
As mentioned earlier, the sections of a dissertation can vary. However, there is a basic format that several academic fields follow, and it is pretty straightforward.
Dissertations usually start with the first three chapters, which contain the bulk of your dissertation proposal. It is completed and then defended by students before a dissertation panel approves. After positive approval, students can continue the research and work on the last two chapters.
Below are the various chapters of a dissertation.
- Chapter 1: Introduction
This chapter contains the problem statement, topic, research questions, and definitions of vital terms employed in your research.
- Chapter 2: Literature review
This chapter provides an in-depth examination of existing research on your topic and a chance to discover gaps in the literature.
- Chapter 3: Research methods
This chapter provides an overview of your proposed data collection and analysis techniques.
- Chapter 4: Results
In this section, you present your findings and discuss your research conclusions.
- Chapter 5: Conclusion
The last chapter provides a chance to present your results and explore their consequences.
How to write chapters of your dissertation
Writing your dissertation chapters can be pretty easy when you know the information that’s required for each. Here’s how to write each chapter of a dissertation:
Even if you’ve given an overview of the topic in your abstract, your introduction needs to be written purely informatively. Hence, your introduction chapter should begin with what you’ll be researching and why.
You will also need to cover your plans to approach the research and how the dissertation structure will unfold. When done correctly, your first chapter will provide clear insights into your dissertation.
2. Literature review
With the clear parts of your dissertation provided, you need to give a decent literature review. In this chapter, you will examine existing research and answer various questions relevant to them.
The nature of the study determines the theoretical framework provided in the last paragraph of your literature review. And you will go on to test your theories during research.
This chapter involves the design of your research concept. It focuses on how and why you will conduct the research. It explains the method you have chosen and how it will provide answers to your research problems.
Your supervisors are keen on the research methods you employ. Hence, understand why you have chosen them and how to use them effectively.
After collecting your data and conducting analysis, you will need to provide your results in this chapter. Your method of analysis, whether qualitative, quantitative or both, is presented in raw results. For instance, in a population study, you’ll provide your results with demographic data, inferential statistics, and others.
5. Discussion and conclusion
This chapter involves the interpretation and analysis of your research methods and results. Here you discuss what they mean and how relevant they have been to your research with a conclusive statement. Explain what the results help you understand according to your research and if they are linked to existing research or require further study.
Proper research, practice, and knowledge of requirements are needed to write your dissertation chapters effectively. If you are ever in doubt, always ask your instructor and look to previous research pieces in your department for guidance.