A dissertation is a scholarly work that is usually required for the completion of a degree program. It is a long, complex project that requires careful planning and organization. There are usually 5 chapters of a dissertation, each with its own purpose and focus. The five main chapters of the dissertation are the introduction, literature review, methodology, results and discussion, and conclusion. In this article, we’ll discuss the 5 chapters of a dissertation in detail.
The Introduction is the first chapter of your dissertation, and it is used to introduce your research topic, explain what the dissertation is about, and state the problem that you are trying to solve. The Introduction also includes background information about your topic and any relevant studies done by other researchers on this topic. You should also include a statement about why this particular problem needs solved as well as how you intend to solve it. Following is a list of things that are being covered in introduction chapter.
- What are the things that you will investigate in your dissertation?
- What is the importance of your dissertation? Why is this research worth investigating? How will it benefit academia?
- What are the aims and questions of your dissertation? It is important that you can also write the research questions in the next chapter (literature review)
- What will be the scope of this dissertation? It means what are the things you will cover and what are the things that you will not cover?
- How are you going to approach your study? This means you will explain your methodology briefly.
- What will the structure of your dissertation be? What will be the most important chapters? What you are going to tell in each chapter.
By explaining all the above things in the introduction, you can set a clear direction for your dissertation. It can make things clear for the reader. The introduction is the chapter that can help grab the readers’ attention.
Read More about Introduction: How to Effectively Write Introduction Chapter of Your Dissertation?
2. Literature review:
Literature is the easiest chapter among the five chapters of a dissertation. After setting a clear path for your dissertation, the next thing is to analyse the existing research on your topic. For this, you will write a literature review that contains the following things:
- All the important information on your topic in the existing literature
- Shortcomings in the current literature
- The bigger picture of your research
- Contribution of your research
- Methodology of previous studies related to your topic
You also provide a theoretical or conceptual framework in this chapter, depending on the nature of your research. Many institutions want you to cover these areas. Thus, it is crucial that you discuss with your supervisor to fulfil the demands of your university in your dissertation.
After discussing the overview and literature of your study in the above two chapters of the dissertation, it is time to discuss your study’s design. The methodology chapter of the dissertation is considered the most scientific chapter of the dissertation. It consists of the following things:
- How will you conduct your research? This means you will explain your research design
- Why have you chosen your intended research design? You will give justification for your research design.
It is important to note that the main purpose of your dissertation is for you to develop and demonstrate research skills. Your supervisor wants you to explain your methods and research design clearly. You should be able to explain why you have chosen this research design. Doing this chapter effectively can convince your supervisor that you are a good researcher.
After collecting the data and analysing it, you will likely go back to this chapter to make necessary changes according to your results. It would help if you revised your methodology according to your analysis and results. It is because, after the analysis, you can go in many different directions. However, making big changes such as shifting from quantitative to qualitative analysis is not wise. To do this, you have to take permission from your supervisor.
4. Results and Discussions:
After collecting and analysing the data, you should write the next chapter of your dissertation. This is one of the most important chapters of the dissertation. In this chapter, you will first describe the results of your study. You can give descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, demographic data etc.
After presenting your results, you will then interpret your findings. You need to discuss the meaning of your presented data. Your main goal is to answer the research question by using this data. The approach for the discussion will highly depend on your methodology. For instance, if you are doing a quantitative study, you will discuss the relationship between the key variables of your study. If you plan to conduct a qualitative study, you will discuss themes and meanings in qualitative research.
Among the five chapters of the dissertation, the last chapter is the conclusion. After presenting and discussing your findings, it is time for you to conclude your study by giving your final thoughts. Simply put, you now need to answer your main research question properly. After this, you will also explain the implications of your results. This means you will explain how your findings will influence the academic world. You are also required to provide new insights related to your topic.
At last, you should also need to discuss the limitations of your study. As we all know that there is no perfect study. Thus, it is totally normal to discuss the shortcomings in your own study.
Your dissertation work will be wasted if you do not know the proper structure of the dissertation. Because of this reason, researchers divide the entire dissertation into five main chapters, which are discussed above. With the help of the above guide, you can now write your dissertation with a proper structure. You will know what to include in all five chapters of the dissertation. This will help you give a high score in dissertation writing.