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Dissertation Chapter:
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Dissertation Chapter

Dissertations are commonly divided into a series of chapters, and each dissertation chapter has a specific function to fulfill within the document as a whole. While there may some house style variations, and students should check with their departments for any specific dissertation chapter guidelines, the following dissertation chapters are the most common.

The first dissertation chapter is known as the introduction. In the introduction, the student states the dissertation thesis, briefly outlines the research topic and its importance within the field, and summarizes the entire dissertation's contents. The introduction is often the last dissertation chapter to be written, even though it appears first, precisely because it offers an overview of the entire dissertation.

The second dissertation chapter is the literature review. In this dissertation chapter, the student presents a discussion of related research and other published literature in the field. The goal of the literature review is to give the reader a sense of the state of present inquiry into the topic and to set the stage for the student's own research project.

The third dissertation chapter is known as the methodology. In this dissertation chapter, the student presents and describes the research project he or she designed and conducted in conjunction with the research. The student describes the sample used, the way the research was set up, and the methods for analyzing the results.

The fourth dissertation chapter is known as the results and discussion chapter. Here, the student discusses the results obtained and offers interpretation and discussion of these results. If there are a large amount of results gathered in the course of the research, it might be better to create two separate dissertation chapters, one for the results, and one for the conclusion. This depends on the scope of the research involved.

The final dissertation is the conclusion. In this dissertation chapter, the student repeats the thesis statement and the research conclusions that support it, sums up the dissertation document, and finally offers some suggestions for further research based on any new questions that may have been raised by the research conducted. These five dissertation chapters, along with supporting sections like an abstract, table of contents, and reference list, make up the successful dissertation.