Chapter 1 Outline Of PhD Dissertation Research Paper

The Chapter 1 of your PhD dissertation research paper should at least be a maximum of 40 pages or about 12,000 to 15,000 words. This chapter drives the rest of the paper and is considered as a prospectus the committee normally approves before the start of the research. A PhD dissertation is an argument presented in a long form and supported by lengthy research and evidences. It could be technical or narrative.


Your thesis structure should be agreed by you and your tutor or advisor. The various chapters or the structure of the research paper largely depends on your topic or area of study.


Dissertations make a report, an analysis, gather data, and create a conclusion of a certain project or study. Sometimes, it can make just a review or an extended analysis of a topic. Most universities provide the format.

The Chapter 1 outline explains about the background of the problem, the problem, and the significance of the study. The dissertation should follow the requirements set by the university or the instructor.


A standard format to follow is equally important unless your topic requires you to create a custom or tailored outline. The Chapter 1 should introduce, justify, and highlight the problem. It should define the topic appropriately and clearly explain the aim and the scope of work. It should contain the following sections


  • Introduction
  • Background of the Problem
  • Problem Statement
  • Purpose of the Study
  • Significance of the Study (Rationale)
  • Nature of the Study
  • Research Questions
  • Hypothesis
  • Conceptual or Theoretical Framework
  • Operational Variables (Dependent and Independent Variables)
  • Research Design (Brief Description)
  • Operational Definition of Terms
  • Scope, Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations
  • Expected Findings (Outcomes)
  • Ethical assurances (Ethical Issues/ Concerns)
  • Importance for Social Change
  • Summary




Your Chapter 1 PhD dissertation research paper should include the specific points as listed above. You may make your own custom Chapter 1 outline largely depending on your research topic.


Keep in mind that you need to coordinate with your tutor as to make sure that you are aligned with the approved thesis proposal. You should not write anything that is not included in your thesis proposal. If in case, a certain topic or situation is crucial to your research, then you need to ask for the approval of the new topic before proceeding to write.


Your Chapter 1 should lay the groundwork for the Chapter 3 Research Methods. Chapter 1 introduces the topic, establishes the problem, and provides the rationale of the study.


The chapter perfectly and accurately describes the conceptual basis of what the study will explore and investigate. Throughout the work, you should keep in mind the ethical implications and discuss them properly.

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