Edu Geeks Club is a place where professionals are happy to share their expertise with students to help them succeed in their specialty. The point of this paper is to showcase your skills and capacity to conduct research in your chosen discipline, and present the results through an original piece of content that will provide value for the academic and scientific community.
This term is usually used to present the final result of independent work and research for an undergraduate program. However, the term dissertation is also used for the final project that PhD candidates present before gaining their doctoral degree.
This guide will be useful both for undergraduate and PhD students, who are working on their dissertation projects, as well as for students developing theses for MA programs. Most candidates usually start with great enthusiasm, but this intimidating project can throw them to despair.
The end result will be very rewarding, but you might go through several obstacles to get to that point. These are some of the most common problems students have when writing their dissertations:.
Although the challenge seems overwhelming, the important thing is to start from the beginning and complete each stage step by step. We have a guide that will show you the right direction.
Even if the proposal is not mandatory in your university, you should still write it and discuss the points with your mentor. These are the main points to pay attention to when wondering how to write a dissertation proposal:. Do you want to find out more about choosing your dissertation topic? Check out our article. All these questions are important for making the final commitment. Make sure to brainstorm and choose a theme that will be valuable, unique, and reasonable.
The question you choose should lead you to a testable hypothesis that you can prove with strong arguments. Discuss few alternatives of the dissertation title with your mentor before you start writing the proposal. If you want to make the proposal convincing, its format has to be clean and easy to follow.
Here are the points you should include in the proposal:. The dissertation research stage is going to determine the overall development of your project. Here are a few tips that will help you go through it:. Many students fall into a trap: How much time do you plan to spend in the research stage?
Make a timeline and stay committed to it. The Internet is a good starting place during the research stage. However, you have to realize that not everything you read on the Internet is absolutely true. Double-check the information you find and make sure it comes from a trustworthy resource. Use Google Scholar to locate reliable academic sources. Wikipedia is not a reliable source, but it can take you to some great publication if you check out the list of references on the pages of your interest.
Librarians are really helpful at this point of the project development. Use Evernote , Penzu , or another online tool to write down notes about your impressions, as well as the sources you plan to reference. Everything is easier when you have a plan. Your results need to stem from the techniques identified within the methodology. While most readers will reasonably assume that all personal biases are impossible to eliminate, the content and tone of your discussion should reassure them that you have conducted a relatively neutral analysis.
The results of a research study are otherwise included in the dissertation discussion section. A separate results section only presents the data and results gathered from the research study. Any discussion and interpretation of the results should be saved for the discussion section. Separate positive from negative results and your main findings from your secondary findings. You may find that you are unfamiliar with the best analysis method for your study.
Spend time researching what statistical analysis methods exist, including their advantages and disadvantages. In the results section, you should plan on sticking to the details of the data.
Give the readers enough detail and explanation to reasonably understand the data, as well as the statistical analysis method. In some cases, you may be designing your own equation. With a quantitative study, your data results will consist of equations, numerical results, and numerical analysis.
However, a purely qualitative analysis will be lacking these types of numerical results. This applies to both your method and the results. You can still leverage charts and graphs with qualitative results in order to facilitate understanding. The dissertation conclusion is designed to remind readers of the major points of your dissertation. Prior to writing the conclusion, check with your academic advisor for clarification on what to include.
In general, you should avoid introducing concepts or material in the same way that you discussed them in previous sections. Although the conclusion looks back on what the dissertation has discussed, the overall perspective should be forward looking.
Dissertation conclusion sections typically do not go over four to five pages. The recommended order and importance of each point are as follows:. Depending upon the academic field, these recommendations may be geared towards future research or field practitioners. In some cases, you may be providing both sets of recommendations. Academic fields such as business administration tend to be geared more towards recommendations for practitioners, but does not necessarily ignore the theoretical side.
When writing recommendations for practitioners, think of yourself as a consultant. Remember that your conclusion is the final opportunity to remind your readers why your research study stands out from the crowd. A good conclusion relates back to the main research question you posed in the beginning, as well as your thesis statement or hypothesis.
Putting a dissertation together can seem intimidating. Complete dissertations contain a multitude of sections, or chapters. Full dissertations are usually written at the PhD level and the average length can range between one-hundred to two-hundred pages.
Dissertation chapters go through several revisions while the candidate works on each piece with an academic supervisor. Before you write the abstract, you should have a good idea and solid outline of what you want to research. Be prepared to run through several revisions, depending on feedback from your academic committee, academic supervisor, or as changes occur to other portions of the dissertation. Briefly state what your general topic is about and give some background information on it.
Depending on the academic discipline, the thesis could be stated in the form of a hypothesis. In general, your thesis should be one sentence and state what results you believe to be true and why. Provide a brief analysis of the data and relate the results back to your thesis. Writing the introduction for a dissertation is far more intensive than that of a typical essay or research paper. With a dissertation, save the final draft of the introduction for last.
This way you can pull out the most important pieces of information from each section of the dissertation. Define your main research problem or question. You need to be succinct, but also provide enough background on the problem or question to allow your audience to grasp the subject matter. Include a summary of your actual research study, including the data results.
You will also want to include a summary of your literature review or at least a few citations from the literature that are a good representation of the existing research on your topic. Remember to not rely too heavily on citations, but to be strategic about which ones you use and how you use them.
Include information on whether the data results supported or disproved your thesis, as well as whether the results raised additional questions. Were there any restrictions to the study that might have impacted the results?
For example, are you going to be looking at the theoretical or practical side? Are you going to be looking for common ground and patterns, or take on the role of critic and sort through what is feasible in practice and what is not? Finally, Decide what information and analysis to include in your writing, and what to omit. First, decide what your objective is in order to determine the problem the literature review will address.
To critically evaluate the role of the electoral college in the national presidential election. Your chosen scope will come into play during this stage. On the other hand, if you choose a narrowed focus, you could spend the same amount of time trying to find sources that fit your criteria. Beyond searching for sources through electronic databases, remember to consult your peers and academic advisors. Also, see if you can locate the sources cited in some of the references you initially find.
Determine what to take and what will best serve the purpose of the review, going back to your objective and problem. For this example, a historical structure would be appropriate as you could start with the earliest examples and work your way through to the present. Your point of view is taking the perspective of one side, so in this case it would also be appropriate to cite information that takes the other side of the argument and then critically evaluate the validity of that information.
You would likely need to discredit the validity by citing opposing evidence. You can analyze the information using quantitative methods, qualitative methods, or a mixture of both.
This stage involves revising the information, including what is kept intact, and what is tweaked, reduced and eliminated. Peer reviews and field experts can be an invaluable resource during this stage, especially prior to submitting the review to an academic committee. You may need multiple revisions once the academic committee or dissertation supervisor reviews your work. Do not be discouraged by the revision process, as the supervisor and committee are there to help refine your dissertation to increase its chances of becoming publishable material.
After you finish your literature review, look at the notes you made about the information. What unfulfilled question appears to be the most promising in terms of testability? A restricted diet of 1, to 1, calories per day leads to a simultaneous decrease in body fat percentage, overall weight, and muscle weight percentages. A restricted diet of 1, to 1, calories per day does not lead to a simultaneous decrease in body fat percentage, overall weight, and muscle weight percentages.
Is your question going to be making a prediction, describing an observation, or describing a pattern? This will determine how you write the hypothesis and shape it. The independent variable can best be identified by isolating what factor is causing a difference, or what factor represents a polar-opposite difference.
Be sure to sync your hypothesis with your methodology covered below. It might also make sense to have access to participants who currently have an unhealthy or high percentage of body fat. The next section should explain how the data was collected and how the data was analyzed. Be sure to also give a description of your technique. Explain why your data is reliable and others can trust its accuracy. Also, explain the reasoning behind limitations to your sample size and analysis.
An example would be why only one type of demographic was surveyed. Think about how you want to organize your discussion into various sections, either by the eight points of discussion mentioned previously in this guide or by combining some of those points into larger chunks.
Also, determine what results you will present in graphs and charts. Will those be inserted into the body of the discussion or be included in the appendices? Be sure to evaluate the meaning of your results and discuss whether those meanings are significant.
The second set of sections should discuss whether personal or outside biases impacted the results. While you should work to mitigate these biases, acknowledge any suspicion of them. Spend time showing your reader why your results are relevant, and why and how the results could impact the field. A discussion of the limitations should state the limitation s in terms of the methodology or approach, followed by an explanation of how the methodology or approach could be expanded.
Did your results bring up any questions the results themselves were unable to answer? Discuss those questions here and also suggest that these questions could be developed into future research studies. Alternatively, did your results indicate the need for a follow-up study? If so, briefly discuss what that follow-up study will need to entail. The conclusion should instill the main idea you want your readers to take away from your study.
You should discuss your dissertation structure and content with an academic advisor or supervisory committee. Samples of written dissertation discussions can also help immensely, since samples demonstrate structure, content and tone. Also, by presenting your main findings before your secondary findings, your readers can get a better sense of what they can take away from your research.
The main findings should not only be more prevalent in terms of recurrence, but also significance. Secondary findings will not necessarily make as much of an impact as your main findings, but are either worth mentioning or raise questions about the need for additional research. The roadmap you provide to your readers should be contained within the first paragraph of the results section. Tell readers exactly what they can expect to read. Ideally, the roadmap will consist of one paragraph and provide readers with a complete outline of your results section.
The data results you captured that reflect on your study in a positive way can be the beginning of your second paragraph. Your primary results in the positive category should go first. If you are presenting visual aids in the appendices, make sure you refer to them in the paragraph. The data results that retract from your study will need to be presented in a similar fashion.
The best way to determine what is primary versus what is secondary is to ask whether the results tie in with your research question. Do the results provide an answer to the research question? The main point to remember is not to confuse the results section with the discussion section, if they need to be separate. Pull out the main points of each section, revisit your thesis, look for weaknesses you can strengthen, and think about your recommendations and how your research is different from others.
Think about why your research and its results matter, not only to you and your academic discipline, but to the community at large. In other words, how does it make a difference? The first part of the conclusion section needs to review the most significant information from each section of the dissertation. How will this data have an effect?
What do you believe that effect will be? Were they what you expected and why? Do the results prove an idea that was previously unproven or thought of as unlikely? Think about these questions when in the final writing stage, or editing stage of your dissertation. The concluding paragraphs should state the most significant factor about your study and how future researchers could possibly expand upon it.
Writing a conclusion can be both simple and complex. Writing a full dissertation can be an exhaustive, but exhilarating process. The task will probably seem daunting, but luckily there are several outside resources including our writer help section , and our dissertation help page.
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Chapters to Include in Your Dissertation. Outline the foundation Map out an outline that summarizes the content you anticipate writing about in your subsequent sections. Use enticing language The introduction is your chance to spark interest in your dissertation and your research study.
Details to include in a literature review. Characteristic Angles Concentration Theories, practical implementations, research methods and results Objective Determine main problems, critical analysis, synthesis Point-of-view Neutral, supportive of a perspective Structure Methodological, historical, conceptual Scope All-encompassing, wide with some selectivity, focused on main points, narrowed to a significant point Readership Public, practitioners, academics, academic specialists.
What is a hypothesis? Hypothesis type Definition Explanatory A statement that seeks to explain an observation. The statement can be tested, proven true, or proven false. Generalizing A statement that describes a pattern that has been noticed or witnessed. Prediction A statement that predicts a certain variable will impact other variables within restrictions of an experiment. Independent and dependent variables. The methodology will address: An explanation of the approach Justification for the approach How your approach compares to past studies and research on your topic How reliable your data is Whether your approach and data have any limitations Out of all the sections of a dissertation, the methodology is critical to its acceptance.
What has already been done? The three philosophical approaches. Were the results consistent with your thesis statement or hypothesis?
What are the main insights you or your reader will be able to gain from the results? Devote some time to the results of other studies from your literature review. The differences between methodology and results. Opening paragraph Briefly state what your general topic is about and give some background information on it. Did somebody miss something? Beginning Define your main research problem or question. What to include in an introduction. Overview of the details in a literature review. Quantitative Qualitative Mixed Sample set of data is analyzed according to a standard numerical value Identify meaningful results according to subjective experience Analyze data according to a combination of numerical value and subjective meaning.
Writing the hypothesis After you finish your literature review, look at the notes you made about the information What unfulfilled question appears to be the most promising in terms of testability?
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