A chapter is a discrete unit of a research report or thesis, and it needs to be able to be read as such. Your examiners may read your thesis abstract, introduction and conclusion first, but then they may come back weeks later and read a chapter at random, or select one that they are interested in (Mullins & Kiley, 2002). This means that each chapter needs to be easy to read, without the reader having to reread the thesis’ introduction to remember what it is about. At the same time, it needs to be clear how the chapter contributes to the development of your overall thesis as in argument. In the following pages you'll find advice on how to effectively plan and structure your chapters, commuicate and develop your argument with authority, and create clarity and cohesion within your chapters.
- Mullins, G., & Kiley, M. (2002). 'It's a PhD, not a Nobel Prize': How experienced examiners assess research theses. Studies in Higher Education, 27(4), 369-386. doi:10.1080/0307507022000011507