Chapters of a Ph.D. and Master Thesis

There is a defined format for writing a thesis. Chapters, the order of them, and the content of each chapter are clearly specified.

A master’s thesis includes of five chapters containing:

  1. Introduction
  2. Review of the Literature / Literature Review
  3. Design and Methodology
  4. Findings / Results
  5. Conclusion / Discussion and Pedagogical Implications

Each of these chapters is of some sections, and writing each section has a definite format which you have to follow. In other words, there are rules for writing every single paragraph.

Chapter 1: Introduction

In the first chapter, you should write about the importance of your study. Demonstrate the subject of your thesis was a gap (problem) that previous researches were failed to cover, and your findings will be helpful. In fact, you will define the aim of the study clearly by asking the questions in your mind, which are answered in the thesis.

Sections of chapter 1 are:

  • Introduction
  • Statement of the Problem
  • Purpose of the Study
  • The Significance of the Study
  • Research Questions and Hypotheses
  • Definition of the Key Terms
  • Limitations and Delimitations of the Study
  • Summary

Read more on “How to Write Chapter 1; The Introduction of Thesis

Chapter 2: Review of the Literature

You can name chapter 2 as “review of the literature” or “literature review” depending on the format the university you are studying in proposed.

As each chapter begins with an “introduction” section, do the same for this chapter. Other sections would be different in different theses depending on variables.

In chapter 2, you should write about previous studies on your topic, and what has been done.

The paragraphs can be ordered based on the timeline. Who brought up the topic for the first time, and how it is developed by now.

 Chapter 3: Design and Methodology

In chapter 3, explain the procedure of the study. Illustrate the method and instruments chosen, and answer the questions like “why have you chose mentioned method”, “how does it work”, and “how did you use it in order to get the results”.

Sections of this chapter are:

  • Introduction
  • Participants
  • Instruments
  • Data Collection Procedure
  • Design
  • Data Analysis Procedure
  • Variables
  • Summary

Some fields of study and some subjects that there is no need for measuring the variables do not have this chapter. These kind of studies are called “argumentative studies”.

Chapter 4: Results

It could be named as “findings” too. Look at the format your university proposed and use the exact phrase for naming chapters.

In this chapter, you need to present your findings through tables, charts, and graphs. Then discuss and analyze your findings.

Use below sections to present your results:

  • Introduction
  • Data Analysis and Findings
    • Descriptive analysis of the data
    • Inferential analysis of the data
  • Results of Hypothesis Testing
  • Summary

In argumentative theses, the relationships between variables will be discussed and argued. Moreover, note that this chapter would be chapter 3 in this type of study.

Chapter 5: conclusion

It can be named as “Discuss and Pedagogocal Implications” too.

As the chapter title suggests, you will make a conclusion in this part.

In this chapter, you should make your suggestions to those who are to benefit from your thesis. In addition, state gaps you have found during your studies which future researchers can follow up to.

In this part of thesis, use the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • General Discussion
  • Pedagogical Implications of the Study
  • Limitations and Delimitations of the Study
  • Suggestions for Further Research
  • Conclusion

Note that the sections may differ in different fields of study or types of research.

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