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Dissertation Outline Writing Guide to Help Students

Date published June 27 2020 by Evie Tyler


It was 3am and I was staring at the blank screen from 6 hours now. Being sleepy was the last thing I was feeling. I was anxious, stressed, and worried that if I’d ever be able to finish my dissertation because I didn’t know how to start at first place. I didn’t know what an ideal dissertation outline is and had no idea where to begin.

The thought of failing was haunting me and my sleep was taken away by it. My mental health was on peak low and I wasn’t doing “fine” physically either as well.

Although I had a few weeks before my deadline, but I wanted to be done with the dissertation as soon as possible. Sacrificing my sleep was not a good idea, so the first thing I did was take a full 8-hour nap and then started researching as soon as I woke up.

After going through numerous web pages and talking to classmates, professional writers and people who have done their dissertations, I formed a dissertation plan template that helped me score greatly. It’s been years since I finished my dissertation and got done with my studies but I thought I could help you if you are struggling with the dissertation outline. So without wasting any of your time, let’s just jump right into it!

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Table of Contents

What Are The 5 Chapters Of A Dissertation?

Dissertations are universally divided into 5 chapters. So before you start making out an outline should know that what are the 5 chapters of a dissertation to make an effective outline!

  1. Introduction
  2. Literature Review
  3. Methodology
  4. Data Collection + Analysis
  5. Interpretation & Recommendations

Let's Have A Look At A Dissertation Outline Sample Now

I mean, what could be better than hitting you with some good scoring dissertation outline sample here.


Woah, that was great, wasn’t it?

Well you can make an outstanding dissertation outline just like shown in that sample if you keep reading! Who knows, maybe you can make an even better outline and a dissertation? Do you want to take the chances?

You can also check more dissertation outline samples!

The Recipe Of A Perfect Dissertation Plan Template For You!

Now we are stepping into the real thing. So get your pens and papers and note down everything because it’s all important and mandatory for you to know in order to ace your dissertation.

I will be explaining each of the 5 chapters’ outline in depth. So skipping through anything could cost you more than just your time.

Here's How To Write A Dissertation Outline:

1. Introduction

As the name suggests, the introduction chapter have to state the introduction and background of the addressed problem. After that you have to jot down the problem statement which is your dissertation’s general idea. Research purpose and questions come after that and the section after it should show the significance of the study you chose. Make sure to provide clear definitions of used terms and personal assumptions and limitations are also mentioned in the introduction chapter as well. Make sure to add a conclusions, no one likes incomplete chapters. For a more clear vision of how introduction chapter should look like, refer to the chart below:
dissertion outline 1

  • Literature Review
  • The chapter’s name says it all.

    The literature review chapter have to state all the literature used for research and investigation for the dissertation. You have to state a theoretical or/and conceptual framework to support and justify the usage of all the content.

    The simple structure of the literature review chapter below as:

    dissertion outline 1b

  • Methodology
  • This chapter gets a little bit tricky because there are multiple methods and ways to do it.

    Quantitative Untitative Research Methods:

    This method follows the research design with problem description, questions and the hypotheses. The samples and population stats related to the methods make it different than the other. This method also has to include the certain instruments used for the data collection and it concludes with the analysis of the data.

    Qualitative Methodology:

    This is a tricky method since it has to show the scientific questions and research design and provide setting for analysis along with it. You have to describe the objects (or participants) of study. This is the part where you have to cite the sources and references.

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      Combined Methodology Analysis

      This method can be applied when your dissertation topic doesn’t fall under either qualitative or quantitative methods.

      It’s a balanced mixture of both of the methods.

      It doesn’t matter what method you use, the structure of the chapter has to look like this:

      dissertion outline th

      3. Data Collection + Analysis

      The chapter has to include all outcome(s) from your research with the data you have collected and it’s analysis.

      It has to start with an introduction of the data you have collected and then explain the findings further. End it with a conclusion stating whether the outcomes meet your expectations. 

      Here’s the structure of the 4th chapter:

      dissertion outline 3

      4. Interpretation And Recommendations

      The final chapter is basically the conclusion of your dissertation.

      Although the fourth chapter states similar things as well, the fifth and final chapter has to be more detailed with in-depth answers.

      The final chapter’s structure should look like this:

      dissertion outline 4

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      I showed you the way and following it is your sole decision if you want to craft an amazing dissertation. Each of the chapter requires a different approach to the answers, so good luck with your dissertation!

      Although not everyone has the thing to write dissertations and it’s very common in students lately. If you start to have troubles with your dissertation, you can always contact us whether you want dissertation proposal help or dissertation proofreading and editing or want us to write a whole dissertation for you.

      So when are you starting your dissertation?