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The Logic and Most Efficient Approach to a Three ChapterAs taught and recommended by Dissertationwww.doctoralnet.com Proposal….Written by E. Alana James, Ed.D.
Puzzled about whatexactly goes in yourproposalGenerally the first threechapters of your five chapterdissertation – all written in thefuture tense
Prerequisites to Writing 1. A topic agreed upon with your advisor 2. 75+ recent research articles or books on your topic read and collected in some form of organizational pattern or reference software. 3. 3+ model dissertations at hand 4. An understanding of the guidelines of your university AND a solid set of topic headings or rubric to follow to guide what content goes where 5. A methodological pattern agreed upon between you and your advisorMissing any of those? See www.doctoralnet.com and theself guided content in the DoctoralNet Academy to fill in the gaps
1st – Tackle the Heart of YourProposal – Chapter 3Why? Because it is the part the will scare you the most to write, best get it out of the way Because the proposal is all about what you will do in your research, having it all worked out is a pre-requisite for knowing what needs to go in chapters 2 and 1
Introduction Purpose/Problem Statement Research Design overview Population & sample Data Collection Data Analysis Instruments Credibility, validity Typical Headings and reliability for Chapter 3 Limitations, assumptions & Note: they may have different delimiters headings and may be grouped Human Subjects slightly differently from some Protection universities Summary
Things to WatchOut For….Don’t:• Write ABOUT research… instead discuss YOUR research• Quote Creswell or others… instead discuss your research decisions from a position of mastery and cite the authors that helped you make those decisions• Write about your topic… instead leave space and fill in later places where you reference discussions of the lit in Chapter 2 or of background to the study that you will write in Chapter 1
Next: Write Chapter 2How? First organize your literature into themes: Theoretical literature on which you base your study History of your topic (small amount here) Topics that lead to your research questions &/or back up your instruments, etc. Reading on methodological issues that lead to your decisions about your research or helped define your protocols Double check against guidelines or rubric from your university
Introduction (note: to the study as much or more than to the topic) Theoretical discussion Historical background to the topic Topic areas of Typical Headings interest that lead to the questions you for Chapter 2 ask in your methodology Note: they may have different headings and may be grouped Gaps in the slightly differently from some literature that lead universities to your study Methodological literature Summary
Things to WatchOut For…Don’t:• Forget that your only focus is to back up your methodology – your reader does not need to understand everything that you do• Discuss research one by one – rather discuss topics and outcomes of others research in groups• Fail to draw conclusions about what counts as important to the field• Fail to uncover what has not been done and to make a case for your study based on that• Fail to move all the things you want to say about your methodological understanding to a section of this chapter
Last: Write Chapter 1Things to include:1. All the background to your local context that makes this study important2. Small amounts of the background to your topic –enough to help your reader understand its importance but not so much as to take away from Chapter 23. Well developed problem statement4. A clear focus and solid overview of YOUR study
Introduction Background Conceptual Framework Theoretical, Epistemological and Ontological Framework Problem Statement Purpose Research Questions &/or Hypotheses/null hypotheses Typical Headings Research Design for Chapter 1 Overview Note: they may have different Population/Sample headings and may be grouped Assumptions, Limitations slightly differently from some Significance of Your universities Study Definition of Terms Summary
Things to WatchOut For:Make Sure:• You Keep the Pace – Lead the reader through to one objective – your study is well thought out and important• No one section runs on much more than a page or two• You don’t discuss the topic to the point you overshadow your discussion of your research design• This chapter gives the reader a solid understanding of what they will see in Chapter 3
RememberEven if you do everything rightyour committee with still havethings to add to make it evenbetter.
To the extenthowever that yourmethodology istight and yourwriting haseverything in thecorrect spot….Victory will be easily yours andyour committee will pass youon to do your research
More DetailedInformation withOptions for LiveHelp andDiscussionsHttp://www.doctoralnet.com
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