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Breakdown of Number of Words in Each Chapter in Dissertation

Breakdown of Number of Words in Each Chapter in Dissertation

Table of Contents

Your Guide

This is a guide for structuring a dissertation. It covers each and every aspect of dissertation structure. You won’t go wrong with this dissertation structure and breakdown of the word count for each chapter.

Do you have a clear idea about the word count of each chapter in your dissertation?

It’s important to know this information since it will give you an idea about how many words you should write in each chapter.

Your dissertation is different from all other thesis papers you’ve written before. It needs to have a well-defined structure, and that’s what this article is going to help you with.

One of the most common ways of structuring a dissertation is in the chapters and sections. This article will give you an example of how long each chapter should be and what proportion of the total word count they loosely form.


10% of your total word count

This is the first main chapter of a dissertation. The introductory chapter of a dissertation should consist of roughly 10% of the whole dissertation. 

This chapter of the dissertation has numerous purposes. The first main chapter of a dissertation is effective in setting the stage, so to speak, for the following chapters and the major questions, ideas and methods to be used in answering these questions will be introduced in this chapter.

Literature Review

30% of your total word count

The literature review chapter is the second chapter of a dissertation or thesis and should consist of 30% of the whole dissertation. It is arguably one of the most important chapters in the whole dissertation, because it is where you state your purpose and justify its significance while referring to existing research on the topic.

The literature review chapter lays the foundation to your dissertation. It enables you to prove your idea and provides a strong rationale as to why the literature on your topic is inadequate. In addition, it allows you to justify why there is indeed a need to do this study in the first place. 

Research Methodology

15% of your total word count

The research methodology chapter of a dissertation consists of 15% of the whole dissertation. This chapter describes the techniques, processes, methodologies and methods used to conduct the research project. The chapter is comprehensive and describes the theoretical framework under which data collection process was followed.


5-10% of your total word count

The findings or results chapter of a dissertation consists of 5% – 10% of the whole dissertation. This is the chapter where you present your data, findings and results in a logical and clear way that is easy to follow for anyone else who wants to check your work.


25-30% of your total word count

The analysis or discussion chapter of a dissertation consists of 30% of the whole dissertation. In these words, you will have to provide a complete overview of the implications of the results which are relevant to the main theme of your dissertation.

The main purpose of this chapter is to sort out where and how do all your previous research results fit in with each other and what they might lead to, so that they can be more easily interpreted by the readers and intended audience.


10% of your total word count

The dissertation conclusion chapter is the last part of a dissertation and it’s also, arguably, the most important part of a dissertation . It sums up the problem that you have tried to solve, its nature, your methodology for completing the research and main conclusions about it in addition to your recommendations. 

In this chapter you will get to summarise the main points of your dissertation and leave the reader with no doubts as to why they should accept your arguments and find your research convincing.

Our team of proofreading and corporate copy editing experts are on hand to ensure your dissertations are the very best they can be! Find out more about our dissertation proofreading service.

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