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All about abstracts for doctoral dissertations

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About finished with your doctoral PhD or other type of thesis or dissertation? Then the abstract is the next thing you should consider. Too many forget the importance of this step. This …

About finished with your doctoral PhD or other type of thesis or dissertation? Then the abstract is the next thing you should consider. Too many forget the importance of this step. This presentation by DoctoralNet.com was presented on Bigmarker on 17th of Nov 2013 and includes examples from different award winning dissertations.

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  • 1. All About Abstracts Thank You for coming We will start in just a moment Webinar on DoctoralNet.com / Bigmarker room – 17 Nov 2013
  • 2. Let’s Start with the Purpose Why is an abstract important? What must it do? • First thing you see • For many the only thing they will ever see • Entice the reader • Outline the importance of your work What are you goals? • A great abstract helps you reach those goals • If it’s great it can help your work “go viral”
  • 3. What an Abstract Should Contain Requirements • Engages the reader at the beginning • Methodology is clear • Abstract is concise – no unnecessary words or phrases • Usually 1 page max and sometimes 300-450 words • Title provides insight into study Includes all elements of research design + golden thread • Readers easily able to judge applicability of work if in similar situation • Organized for ease of reader – follows standard pattern of research or tells its story • Written in third person and uses appropriate tense • Less than one page • Theoretical foundation is clear
  • 4. Samples for Consideration - Qualitative Few are more interested in the full-time nontenure-track (FTNT) faculty trend than those in English, a discipline substantially affected by the new landscape of faculty employment. This study asked: What are the essential features of the experience of being FTNT faculty in English? Literature about FTNT faculty, academic and faculty culture, and the discipline of English informed the study, as did dual labor market theory. In the phenomenological qualitative study with critical and postmodern underpinnings, 18 FTNT English faculty from three public institutions participated in semi-structured interviews. All engaged with their English departments’ composition programs in varying degrees. The participants were broadly positive about the nature of their work as FTNT faculty in English, but struggled with the day-to-day realities of being nontenuretrack. The participants sought balance between positive and negative aspects of the work, a process necessitating ongoing adjustment and reorientation.
  • 5. Samples for Consideration - Qualitative Conclusions include: (1) The FTNT faculty followed nontraditional academic career paths, often situating personal priorities first; they planned to continue working in higher education. (2) The FTNT faculty struggled with heavy workloads, salary structures out of balance with their contributions, and often underdeveloped reappointment and promotion policies. (3) Workplace environmental attitudes, while generally positive, were best in the composition program, slightly more middling departmentally, and at times negativeinstitutionally. (4) The FTNT experience in English was deeply and damagingly impacted by composition’s position in the discipline. (5) Although most participants professed stronger disciplinary than institutional loyalties, their close connections to their students, workplaces, and communities were repeatedly demonstrated. (6) The FTNT participants’ secondary status, due to the nontenure categoration, was amplified by connections to composition and by lingering and outdated stereotypes about “the faculty” and professorial work. (7) Despite undesirable aspects of FTNT work-life, the faculty chose to continue in these appointments because they loved their work; they opted to manage difficult components of their professional lives, rather than surrender their faculty positions. Shaker, G. (2008). Off the track: The full-time nontenure-track faculty experience in English. Doctor of Philosophy, Indiana University, Ann Arbor, MI USA.
  • 6. Samples for Consideration - Quantitative Few studies have quantified the effects on academic performance; none has investigated, as this study does, the effects of immigration, home language, and school mobility on academic development over time. What makes this study unique is its melding of sociological and psychometric perspectives – an approach that is still quite new. Logistic regression was used to analyze data from Ontario‘s 2007-2008 Junior (Grade 6) Assessment of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, with linked assessment results from three years earlier, to investigate students‘ academic achievement. The focus of this study is on whether the students maintained proficiency between Grades 3 and 6 or achieved proficiency in Grade 6 if they were not proficient in Grade 3. The results indicate that Grade 3 proficiency is the strongest predictor of Grade 6 proficiency and that home language or interactions with home language are also significant in most cases. In addition, students who speak a language other than or in addition to English at home are, in general, a little more likely to be proficient at Grade 6. Most students who were born outside of Canada were significantly more likely than students born in Canada to stay or become proficient in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics by Grade 6. These results highlight the importance of considering the enormous heterogeneity of immigrants‘ experiences when studying the effects of immigration on academic performance. Broomes, O. (2010). More than a new country: Effects of immigration, home language, and school mobility on Elementary students'academic development. Doctor of Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, CA.
  • 7. Samples for Consideration – Mixed Methods This study aimed to inform the redesign of sex education policy in Chiang Mai (Thailand) by exploring the knowledge and attitudes of teenagers, parents, teachers, and policy makers and placing these in the wider social, cultural, educational, and economic context of modern-day Thailand. Six selected secondary schools with diverse characteristics in socioeconomic and religious backgrounds and locations were studied. This mixed method study included: semi-structured interviews and narrative interviews with 18 key stakeholders; analysis of 2 key policy documents; a survey of 2301 teenagers; 20 focus groups of 185 teenagers; a survey of 351 parents; one focus group of 8 teachers; and two focus groups of 23 parents. Qualitative and quantitative data were assessed separately with thematic and statistical analysis, respectively, and outcomes were compared, combined and discussed. Results suggested: school-based sex education was biologically focused and inconsistently delivered. Chiang Mai teenagers showed a reasonable knowledge of biological issues around reproduction but were confused and uncertain about how to obtain or use contraception, avoid pregnancy and transmission of STIs, negotiate personal and intimate relationships and find sources of support and advice. Many parents and teachers lacked the knowledge, confidence, and skills to offer meaningful support to their children. Five important influences on Chiang Mai teenagers‟ sexual attitudes and behaviors were noted in this research: ambiguous social roles leading to confused identity, heightened sexual awareness and curiosity, critical gaps in knowledge and life skills, limited parental input, and an impulsive and volatile approach to intimate encounters. Results of this study suggest several possibility approaches that could be developed to improve sex education. Vuttanont, U. (2010). "Smart boys" and "sweet girls" - sex education needs in Thai teenagers: A mixed method study. Doctor of Philosophy, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London, London, UK.
  • 8. What are your thoughts?/ Questions regarding Abstract for your study?
  • 9. Other Resources • How to write abstract for dissertation • Polishing your proposal • Five things to do after your defense of proposal • Final Abstracts
  • 10. Send us the receipt and get a free month of finishing faster and $80 value Writing Your Doctoral Dissertation or Thesis Faster: A Proven Map to Success Upcoming News/Events NOTE: Always Sign in First! E – Books for Christmas – give other doc student a smile – and they are free. http://www.doctoralnet.com/professors-blog.html We’ll be down mid week for a few hours = to welcome our new phone responsive site! Conferences: https://www.bigmarker.com/communities/doctor alnet/conferences • • • • • • Sat 23rd APA Sun 24th Inspirational Stories Sat 30th How to Approach Each Chapter Sun Dec 1st Best Resources: Let’s share Sat 7th – Harvard, Chicago and MLA Styles Sun 8th – Hands on testing new DocNet Features + Focus Group

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