How You Can Approach Each Chapter of Your Thesis/Dissertation

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Goals, principles to approach, elements often included, process to develop, and tips to write each chapter of your thesis/dissertation are presented.

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How You Can Approach Each Chapter of Your Thesis/Dissertation

  1. 1. Doctoral   Doctoral  Students   Students   DoctoralNet   Universi3es   Thank  You  for  Reading  
  2. 2. How You Can Approach Each Chapter of Your Thesis/Dissertation
  3. 3. Each  type  of  academic  paper  has  its  own  structure  
  4. 4. Most  Common  Thesis/ Dissertation  Structure   •  •  •  •  •  Introduc3on   Literature  review   Methodology   Findings   Discussion  of  findings,   conclusions,  and   recommenda3ons  
  5. 5. Introduction   GOAL: PROVIDE A PRECISE PICTURE OF WHAT THE STUDY IS ABOUT
  6. 6. Main  Principle  to  Approach  Introduction   Create a text that clearly states what should be studied, the reasons for doing it, what to achieve, what to answer or test, and how to do it. Build  the  lighthouse  of  your  thesis/disserta3on  
  7. 7. Elements  Often  Included     •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  Introduction Background Theoretical Framework Problem Statement Purpose of the Study Research Question(s) Research Design Definition of Terms •  Each  university  has   its  own  required   elements,  but  these   are  very  common  
  8. 8. Process  to  Develop  Introduc3on  (First  Chapter  of  a  Thesis/Disserta3on)   Background   Theore3cal   Framework   Problem   Statement   Purpose  of  the   Study   Research  Ques3on   (Hypothesis  if   needed)   Research  Design  
  9. 9. Tips  to  Write  Introduc0on     •  State  the  problem,  purpose,  and   research  ques3on(s)  precisely.  The   clearer  they  are,  the  more  useful  to   guide  you  when  making  decisions.   •  Be  concise  when  wri3ng  the   theore3cal  framework  and  the   research  design  (they  will  be  explained   in  other  chapters).   •  Include  the  significance  of  the  study.   For  a  detailed  explanation  of  each  of  the  elements  of  Chapter  1  go  to:   http://www.slideshare.net/doctoralnet/ chapter-1-the-lighthouse-ss
  10. 10. Literature  Review   GOALS: 1.SUMMARIZE WHAT IS KNOWN IN RELATION TO THE STUDY 2. IDENTIFY GAPS IN WHAT HAS BEEN STUDIED SO FAR 3. CONNECT THE STUDY TO PRIOR RESEARCH, ESPECIALLY TO THE IDENTIFIED GAPS
  11. 11. Main  Principles  to  Approach  the  Literature  Review   Discuss all the themes relevant to understand the target problem and explain where the research question(s) come from. Do not leave undiscussed any theoretical element that is included in other parts of the thesis/dissertation like in instruments. Build  the  founda3on  of  your  thesis/disserta3on  
  12. 12. Common  Structure     Introduction: states the reasons for reviewing the literature and defines the scope of such review. Body: discusses theories, models, and approaches relevant to the study. Presents prior research studies and links the study to them. Conclusion: summarizes a) the major contributions of the reviewed literature to the topic of the study b) the identified gaps as well as how the study addresses them. Literature  review  may  be  wriQen  in  more  than  one  chapter    
  13. 13. Process  to  Develop  the  Literature  Review   Iden3fy  Main   Themes  of  Your   Study   Look  for  Prior   Research   Studies   Look  for  Relevant   Theories,  Models,   &  Approaches   Make  Notes  on   How  Theory  and   Research  Relate  to   Your  Study   Build  an  Outline.   Check  Its   Coherence   Follow  the  Outline   to  Write  
  14. 14. •  •  •  •  Tips  to  Write  the  Literature  Review     Use  reference  soWware  to  register  and   organize  readings.    Write  detailed  notes  for  each  reading,   including  its  significance  for  your   study.   State  how  your  study  relates  to  each   theme  and  other  studies  as  well  as   how  it  contributes  to  fill  up  the   iden3fied  gaps.   Concentrate  on  recent  studies  whose   findings  are  s3ll  valid.  Sources  older   than  10  years  can  be  used  only  if  they   are  seminal  works.   For  more  explanation  of  how  to  write  the  literature  review  go  to:   http://www.doctoralnet.com/reading-literature/item/143-parameters-of-lit-review.html http://www.doctoralnet.com/reading-literature/item/150-dissertation_help-reading-the-lit.html http://www.doctoralnet.com/reading-literature/item/129-writing-plan-for-lit-review.html
  15. 15. Methodology   GOALS: PROVIDE THE INFORMATION… * RELATED TO HOW THE STUDY IS CONDUCTED * NEEDED TO EVALUATE HOW VALID THE STUDY IS * NECESSARY TO REPLICATE THE STUDY
  16. 16. Main  Principles  to  Approach  Methodology   Describe and justify all the information needed to know how the study is done. Think of it as a set of instructions to understand, evaluate, and replicate your study. Build  the  user  guide    of  your  thesis/disserta3on  
  17. 17. Elements  Often  Included     •  Introduction (restating purpose and research questions) •  Population & Sample •  Research Design •  Data Collection •  Data Analysis •  Procedures •  Instruments •  Limitations and Assumptions* Each  university  has  its   own  required   elements,  but  these  are   very  common     *  Some3mes  they  are  in  the   first  chapter  
  18. 18. Process  to  Develop  the  Methodology   Problem   Purpose   Research   Ques3on(s)   Popula3on  &   Sample   Research  Design   Data  Collec3on  &   Analysis   Procedures  
  19. 19. Tips  to  Write  the  Methodology   •  Write clearly and precisely. •  Provide as many details as necessary to ease the replication of the study. •  Explain how each component was developed. •  Show you understand the whole process and why it is designed in that way.   For  more  explanation  of  how  to  write  the  methodology  go  to:   http://www.doctoralnet.com/choosing-methods/item/147-thinking-about-methodologyvideo.html http://www.doctoralnet.com/choosing-methods/item/152-dissertation_help-methodology.html http://www.doctoralnet.com/qualitative-quantitative-research.html
  20. 20. Findings   GOAL: PRESENT THE RESULTS OF THE STUDY
  21. 21. Main  Principles  to  Approach  Findings   Show the results of your study focusing on their relationship to the research question(s). Think as a spectator rather than as the presenter. Be simple and direct. Do not discuss findings; just present them. Build  the  display  of  your  thesis/disserta3on  
  22. 22. Elements  Often  Included     •  Texts: to guide readers through the information that answers your research question(s) without discussing it. •  Tables and Figures: to illustrate results. They are referred to from the introductory text. •  Each  university  has  its   own  requirements  to   present  findings,  but   these  are  very   common  
  23. 23. Process  to  Develop  the  Findings   Answers   Research   Ques3on(s)   Data  Collec3on       Data  Analysis   Answers  
  24. 24. Tips  to  Write  the  Findings   •  Present results according to the research question they refer to. •  Use texts to introduce tables and figures. •  Tell what the key result is that each table or figure conveys. •  Use only tables and figures that are strictly necessary to show results. •  Be simple and direct. For  more  explanation  of  how  to  write  the  Aindings  go  to:   http://www.doctoralnet.com/data-collection-analysis/item/85-overview-ch-4-and-5members.html
  25. 25. Discussion  of  Findings,  Conclusions,   and  Recommendations   GOALS: 1.DISCUSS FINDINGS IN TERMS OF HOW THEY ANSWER THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND RELATE TO THE LITERATURE REVIEW 2. SUMMARIZE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY 3. MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE APPLICATION OF FINDINGS (IF POSSIBLE) AND FOR FUTURE STUDIES
  26. 26. Main  Principles  to  Approach  Discussion   Discuss the findings in relation to how they answer the research question(s) and contribute to the state of the art of the field of study presented in the literature review. Foresee future studies. Build  the  promo3on    of  your  thesis/disserta3on  
  27. 27. Elements  Often  Included     •  Answer(s) of research question(s) •  Interpretation of answer(s) by linking it/ them to what was discussed in the literature review •  Discussion of the implications of the study •  Recommendation(s) in relation to the application of findings and future studies •  Each  university  has  its   own  requirements  to   discuss  findings,  but   these  are  very   common  
  28. 28. Process  to  Develop  the  Discussion   Findings   Research   Ques3on(s)   Literature   Review   Discussion  
  29. 29. Tips  to  Write  the  Discussion   •  Discuss results according to the research question they refer to. •  Link the discussion to the literature review. •  Support your arguments with citations. •  Discuss any unexpected result. •  Restrict your conclusions to what the data shows. •  Make specific recommendations. For  more  explanation  of  how  to  write  the  discussion  go  to:   http://www.doctoralnet.com/data-collection-analysis/item/85-overview-ch-4-and-5members.html
  30. 30. Any Question? Now  You  Know   1.  Goals of each chapter 2.  Main principles to write each chapter 3.  Elements or common structure of each chapter 4.  Process to develop each chapter 5.  Tips for writing each chapter 6.  Useful links
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