Major Features of Dissertation Chapter Structure

Dissertations differ depending on the topic, guidelines from the department and the discipline you are writing on. However, there are universal rules that determine the chapters that have to be included in any paper. The rules apply whether you are writing a science paper or art. These sections cannot be overridden by instructions from your department or supervisor.

  • Introduction
    The introduction gives you an opportunity to explain, in a few words, what your paper is all about. It automatically appears at the beginning. It should capture the thesis statement and objectives of your study. To make it interesting, use a quote, give statistics or tell a story. These tips will also help you to put your discussion into context. Make the introduction short yet well loaded to generate curiosity.
  • Data Analysis
    This is the dissertation chapter where you present the data you have collected from the field. You are required to use such presentation tools as diagrams, charts, graphs and tables, among other. Choose relevant data collection, analysis and presentation methods. Also make your data relevant to the discussion. The choices you make on data collection and analysis will have to be justified. This is the anchor for your paper meaning that the credibility of data collected and presented will determine the strength of your argument.
  • Literature Review
    This is an opportunity to put your assertions or discussion into academic context. The chapter gives you an opportunity to scrutinize what other writers say about the topic under discussion. During review you will encounter writers who agree with you and others who disagree. Use their ideas to justify your position. Review credible academic materials.
  • References
    All materials used for citation should be referenced at the end of your paper. The referencing structure will depend on the formatting style used. Referencing under MLA differs from that under APA. Use an example to make your references page accurate and consistent.

There are other sections like abstract, acknowledgment, discussion and conclusion that need to be included. Your supervisor, committee or department may also require you to include other sections. Materials that are important but not too crucial for your discussion are included in the appendix. Ask your supervisor to provide an accredited sample.

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