How do you write a dissertation chapter structure? Which chapter comes first and which one comes last? What do you write in your dissertation chapters and how do you write them? In this article, you will be getting the answers to all of these questions so keep reading.

Dissertation Chapters Outline

  1. Chapter One: Introduction

The dissertation chapter 1 outline basically comprises a hook, a background, the research aims/questions and the topic. In your dissertation chapter 1, the first thing you should write is the hook. The hook is what will determine whether the reader will be interested in further reading or get bored or confused with your dissertation. So, try to make your hook as interesting, controversial, or bold as possible.

After your hook, the next thing to do is write the background for your topic. This will let the reader relate to your topic as they can now understand what events led to it.

Next, state your research aims or questions. It is always best to break these into a list of numbered items.

Finally, introduce your topic and the other chapters. You may also choose to introduce your topic in the middle of the introduction or at the end of your dissertation chapter 1 example.

Note: Your reader must be able to fully understand the intent of your dissertation just by reading your introduction. What many students do not know is that the introduction, the methodology and the analysis chapters get the most points. So, you have to write them well.

  1. Chapter Two: Review of Literature

In this chapter, you will discuss your sources and show how their information is relevant to your topic. The dissertation chapter 2 outline consists of showing the relevance of other literature to your research work, why you chose them, how your dissertation differs from them, and your theoretical framework.

In your dissertation chapter 2, you should also critique this literature and point out the research gaps in them.

Now it is important to mention that you should only cite academic materials in your literature review and your entire dissertation. Citing sources from random blogs or websites may cost you some marks. Also, you do not have to limit your sources to written texts, you can use videos but do not forget to cite according to your school’s reference system.

  1. Chapter Three: Methodology

After writing your chapter two, the next chapter to write is your methodology chapter in your dissertation chapters structure. Here, you will explain your research design, the tools you use, and why you chose them. You will also mention if you encountered any challenges in the course of your research and what you did about them. Finally, you will write your ethical considerations. The ethical considerations usually entail proof that you did not force participants (if any) without their consent to fill questionnaires or partake in interviews. Also, you will mention if you employed the help of other researchers during your research.

Here, in your methodology chapter, you may need to use graphs, charts, tables, or any relevant image to give a visual representation of what you are explaining. Lastly, you will also tell if there is any new data or information you added to your research (that was not in your research proposal) and why you added them. Similarly, if you removed any data or information, you should state so in this chapter.

Now for some students, your methodology chapter may be as few as 1000 words while for some others, it may be as much as 3000 words. This depends on how much you have to write.

  1. Chapter Four: Analysis

In this chapter, you will present the data you have gotten during your research. You will carefully analyze each one of them from relevant to irrelevant. You will also point out any flaws or perfection in the data you have written. Your analysis chapter has to be well-written, detailed, and easy to understand as it is this chapter that most markers usually award the most points.

It is also in this chapter that you may use the most word count. You may also use the most word count in your results and discussion chapter. However, this is not always the case.

  1. Chapter Five: Results and Discussion

In this chapter, you present the results of your analysis and you discuss them. For some students, the results and discussion chapter may be merged with the analysis chapter to become one. In this chapter, you will discuss in detail the results you got from analyzing all the data you discovered. You will also point out research gaps, flaws, or perfection in your results. Make sure your interpretation of your analysis is broken down in a manner that your reader can understand.

  1. Chapter Six: Conclusion

Lastly, write the conclusion of your dissertation. Your conclusion is almost like writing your introduction. However, you will show what you have done rather than what you will do. That means you may use more past tense. Here, you will start from the beginning of what your dissertation aimed to do. Next, you will summarize the literature review, your methodology, and your analysis chapters. You will also make recommendations to future researchers that may use your research work for reference.


Writing a dissertation chapter outline does not have to be confusing or terrifying to you. Simply follow the steps and instructions in this article and you will find it easier to write.

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