How To Dissertation Outline In A Few Simple Steps

Are you struggling to start your dissertation project? If so, you are not alone. This is one of the most taxing academic projects and for a good reason. It proves that you have attained the best research skills and you can apply them in the field. It is an individual academic project and you have to invest a lot of time and other resources to complete it. Without this paper, you cannot graduate hence the need to get it right. The most important thing you need to start this academic project is a Ph.D. dissertation outline.

A dissertation outline serves as a roadmap detailing the path you will follow to the last part of your paper. With an outline, it is easy to progress systematically to the final section. You will not leave out important details required in various sections if you write a comprehensive dissertation chapter outline. To make things easier for you, this article explores different sections of a dissertation outline to get you started. Read on.


In this section, you will include a description of the research problem or research question. It also explains the reasoning behind the research problem by justifying the need for the research. For any research project, you need a theoretical argument which forms a foundation for the project.

Other things to write in a dissertation introduction outline include a statement of the topic, importance of the study, analysis of the theoretical basis for the study, problem statement, and research questions and hypotheses.

Literature Review

You need to review what other people have written about the topic you wish to address in your paper. In the dissertation outline proposal, your supervisor will expect a mention of the materials you will use to ground your thesis argument. In the literature review, you should put things into perspective through a historical background of the problem.

Identify theories relevant to the chosen research questions and hypotheses. Look for current empirical literature relevant to research questions/hypotheses. In the dissertation outline APA format, you have the liberty to use headings and subheadings to organize the section better.


If you look at a good dissertation proposal outline sample, you will find out that the method section is prominent. Here, you need to specify the ‘how’ of your research. You should include participants, instruments, materials, procedure, and data analysis.


Here, you should include the results of the investigations. There’s no interpretation of data at this point. Make sure you organize data into tables and figures for easier analyses.


You need to interpret results in light of the research questions. Summarize the results in brief and discuss them in non-statistical terms. This section will also have the conclusions organized with headings. Your conclusions must relate to the literature review. You will also have limitations of your research, generalizability of the findings and recommendations for future research.


Here you will include all the references you have used in the study depending on the academic writing style indicated in the guidelines.

These sections will also reflect in your dissertation defense outline. Make sure you don’t omit any section in the outline to guarantee you write the best dissertation.