The Main Parts of a Dissertation: Everything You Need to Know

A quick search of the order of dissertation chapters and the dissertation sections will expose you to a wide range of chapters you could include in your paper. The wide range of ideas sometimes leaves students perplexed as to which parts of a dissertation to address in their articles.

Before settling for a particular dissertation chapter structure, it is worth noting that the structure of your paper is mainly determined by the faculty guidelines and research methodology. Therefore, be keen to check the faculty guidelines before you write your paper to avoid any confusion. 

What is a dissertation paper

A dissertation paper is an academic assignment written as part of your PhD degree. Since a dissertation aims to advance knowledge in a field by proving a hypothesis, a dissertation paper is based on research to ascertain various claims made by an author. 

Therefore, the dissertation has many chapters dedicated to guiding the reader on the research approaches used and to analyzing the results you found after research. 

How to structure a dissertation: dissertation chapters structure

Without further ado, let’s look at the sections you ought to consider when writing your dissertation: 

  1. The title page

The title page of your paper includes the paper’s title as well as administrative information such as your name, the unit code and title, the professor’s name, and the due date. So, this page is essential for administrative reasons as well as for conveying to the reader the central theme of your paper. 

  1. Acknowledgments

The purpose of this portion of your research paper is to thank everyone who helped you accomplish your dissertation. However, because it is unrelated to the research topic, this portion is only a few paragraphs long.

  1. The abstract

The abstract is the first section of your research paper that many readers interact with and should be between 200 and 300 words long. This section offers a brief synopsis of your manuscript to help the researcher decide whether it is appropriate for their needs. 

To illustrate your interest in the issue, the abstract highlights the study objectives, data collection and analytic techniques, important findings, and their relevance to the subject. 

  1. The table of contents

Given the length of your dissertation, it is advisable to add a table of contents to direct the reader to the different sections of your document. This guide saves time for readers who are looking for a specific material in your dissertation by making it simple to trace the information that is of relevance to them. 

  1. Introduction

The introduction is longer than the abstract and makes up 15% of the whole word count. This section draws your reader in by emphasizing your main field of research, the background of the issue, and your thesis statement. 

Your introduction should thus justify your research and highlight relevant resources that informed your analysis. 

  1. Literature review

The literature review analyses the existing sources in your field while criticizing each source to elucidate the gaps that necessitate further research. 

  1. Methodology

This chapter should detail the steps you plan to follow to answer your research questions and offer support for any changes you make to the study variables. Also, include specifics of your research to allow replication if someone wants to verify your findings. 

  1. Results

This portion of your research report should present your findings and highlight any discoveries that are relevant to your work. This section focuses on the relationships between the data that was collected rather than how your findings should be interpreted in relation to previous studies. 

This chapter’s opening restates your issue statement and research questions to remind the reader of the purpose of your research study. The reader can then draw conclusions on the extensive quantity of data you have gathered by looking at the visual aids you include in the results chapter. 

  1. Discussion

The discussion should interpret your findings with the support of reliable sources to back up your assertions. Ideally, respond to your research questions in the order that they appeared in your intro, and ensure that each paragraph is limited to a single idea.  

  1. Conclusion

The main conclusions of your paper and their consequences for the body of existing knowledge should be highlighted in the conclusion. This section, like the introduction, should restate your thesis statement to draw the reader’s focus back to your main research issue before you summarize the information that supported your claims. 

  1. References

This section includes a list of the references used to support each claim in your work. 

  1. Appendix

The last section of your report, the appendices, contains all the pertinent information that you left out of the results section. It is important to remember, though, that the appendices, like the references, have no bearing on the total number of words in your work. 

Final take

We hope that this guide on the parts of a dissertation has cleared any confusion you had regarding this matter. If you are still confused about how to go about your research paper, do not hesitate to engage our experts for guidance.