How to Write Dissertation Chapters: Your Ultimate Guide

How to Write Dissertation Chapters: Your Ultimate Guide

Before starting your dissertation, set out every section and chapter by creating an effective outline that reflects all logical details. How to write dissertation chapters? Their clear structure helps you introduce readers to important backgrounds and make them receptive to new conclusions or ideas. Every part of your dissertation should have a central idea. Get a deep understanding of the subject you’re working on to realize that there are more effective ways to organize this complex academic project.

Chapter Classification of a Standard Dissertation

If you wonder how to write dissertation chapters, take into account a typical structure that consists of the following:

  • Introduction;
  • Literature review;
  • Methods and materials;
  • Research results and discussions;
  • Conclusion.

What is the Introduction?

It’s one of the most important dissertation chapters. In the introduction, you need to introduce readers to your topic, tell them what you will do, and why it’s essential. It’s a summary of the entire dissertation that explains how you study the chosen topic, what you chose to research, and what its objective is. Your opening paragraph should prepare the audience.

Writing a Literature Review

This chapter is another crucial part of your dissertation, and that’s why it takes certain skills to complete. A literature review should identify existing research on your subject and give a clear analysis of available and relevant information.

What should it demonstrate? This dissertation section showcases your knowledge in a specific field, understanding of the relevant literature, and deep analysis of it. Write a literature review before you proceed to final planning. You don’t want to gather and research information just to find out that your methodology and study have critical weaknesses.

Basic Thesis and Dissertation Differences

The main difference between a thesis and a dissertation is when they are completed. The thesis is a project that marks the end of a master’s program, while the dissertation occurs during doctoral study. The two are actually quite different in their purpose, as well. A thesis is a compilation of research that proves you are knowledgeable about the information learn throughout your graduate program. A dissertation is your opportunity during a doctorate program to contribute new knowledge, theories or practices to your field. The point is to come up with an entirely new concept, develop it and defend its worth.

Structural Differences Between a Thesis and a Dissertation

A master’s thesis is kind of like the sorts of research papers you are familiar with from undergrad. You research a topic, then analyze and comment upon the information you gleaned and how it relates to the particular subject matter at hand. The point of the thesis is to show your ability to think critically about a topic and to knowledgeably discuss the information in-depth. Also, with a thesis, you usually take this opportunity to expand upon a subject that is most relevant to a specialty area you wish to pursue professionally. In a dissertation, you utilize others’ research merely as guidance in coming up with and proving your own unique hypothesis, theory or concept. The bulk of the information in a dissertation is attributed to you.

Methods and Materials

This dissertation chapter should explain to readers the methods you use to gather data and answer a given research question. Consider it as the core of your academic project. Small weaknesses and mistakes in your methodology may invalidate your important findings, doom your study, and ruin your future grades. Professors scrutinize it very critically.

Start this part of your dissertation with a clear explanation of the methods you use to solve a given problem and give a clear description of their basic components. Describe what your research methods are all about. Tell readers how you execute your methodology. It should be clear for other people why you decided to use them to answer a particular research question.

Results and Discussions

It’s the main body of your dissertation that contains the following:

  • Final results of your research;
  • Their analysis;
  • Your sub-conclusion.

Keep things simple in this dissertation part. Your research findings can include anything from experimental results, data from archives to answers to questions and other information. Arrange it into figures and tables if appropriate. Divide the main body into sections and subsections. Structure it carefully to avoid losing your readers’ interest and make it as cumulative, logical, and simple as you can.  Make it clear on what facts you base your findings.


It’s a final part that ties up all the loose ends and tells readers what you discover in every phase of your research process. In a concluding paragraph, give a brief overview of your study, formulate your findings, and make conclusions regarding the main research problem or hypothesis.

What are Other Dissertation Chapters?

There are some other sections. Your academic project also needs to include:

  • Bibliography list;
  • Abstract;
  • Acknowledgments;
  • Table of contents;
  • List of figures and tables;
  • Title page;
  • Appendices.

Title Page

It should contain this basic information:

  • Your full name;
  • Your dissertation title, its publication date, and place;
  • Your faculty, department, university, and supervisor;
  • Instructional program.

What is an Abstract?

It’s a short and informative summary that describes a certain problem briefly, lists important conclusions and findings, and states your major argument. Don’t exceed the limit of about 300 words. End your abstract with a list of keywords.


This paragraph is a matter of choice and it provides you with a great opportunity to acknowledge or thank everyone who helped you complete your dissertation. Research is hard to conduct without other people and institutions. Think about acknowledging your supervisor.

Table of Contents

Take this section as your opportunity to ensure that all of your references are correct and your wording in headings is appropriate. It should contain dissertation chapters, sections, and page numbers.

List of Figures and Tables

Your tables should be simple and focus on a single aspect, while their number shouldn’t confuse or overwhelm readers. If they contain a lot of data, which is hard to interpret, divide them into smaller and more meaningful parts. Use them to highlight certain contrasts and similarities. Tables provide readers with extra facts to understand your point.


It’s an alphabetical list of all the sources that you use to write your dissertation and you need to acknowledge it by referring to them in the text. Make your bibliography short and easy to read. Include the sources you cite in your paper and use a correct formatting style according to the requirements of your professors.


You need to include them to give readers enough evidence to support the arguments you make in your piece of writing if it’s too lengthy to put in body paragraphs. You should number all of your appendices. Include them because they explain long research process and provide complete or extra data on major aspects in your dissertation.

Final Words

These guidelines will help you write all dissertation chapters with ease and save a lot of time on structuring it. What if you need extra assistance to write and defend it properly? Turn to reputable online professionals who are willing to help you organize and draft your academic project.