Chapter 2 phd dissertation

Use Heading4. You may not need to use all of these heading formats, but knowing will take some of the guesswork out of the creation process. You cannot skip one heading level in preference for another. Also, you cannot have only one subsection within a section. Use at least two, or none at all. Refer to the page Setting Up Your Document to find out more about heading styles and how to create re-usable font styles in your document. A journal model manuscript should contain 2 or more journal articles. If it does not, then the document should be formatted as a regular thesis or dissertation.

Faculty Resources Feedback! Schedule Appointment. Body of Thesis or Dissertation The body of each manuscript contains text describing research performed as part of the completion process for a master or doctoral program. Margins:Left margin 1. Top, Right, Bottom 1 inch. Use Heading2 Heading style 3: Bold Indented for paragraph Sentence style capitalization ending with a period. Use Heading3 Heading style 4: Bold Italicized Indented for paragraph Sentence style capitalization ending with a period. Use Heading4 Heading style 5: Italicized Indented for paragraph Sentence style capitalization ending with a period.

Use Heading4 You may not need to use all of these heading formats, but knowing will take some of the guesswork out of the creation process. So I took on a side project based on another student's research, which could produce some results quickly. This side project produced the most interesting result of my scientific career. Not the best PhD ever, and not world-changing, but with two publications and enough data for another, I felt it was good enough. Because I wasn't allowed back in the lab, I just had to focus on writing. The hard part was behind me.

The results weren't going to change, so it was just a matter of making sure I was productive when writing. I got rid of the TV, and had no internet connection on my computer. The lack of internet meant I had to gather all the papers I would need beforehand, forcing me to think about what I would need. I also set up a dedicated space 2 large desks joined together and a very comfortable chair, next to a large window for plenty of natural light , just for thesis writing.

I set myself a target of 3 months, broken down into targets for each chapter. This would give me about 3 months in reserve before the final absolute deadline. I had a daily minimum target of words, which I knew I could meet even on the least productive days.

This meant that because I smashed the target most days, I finished every day feeling good about my progress, which in turn meant I started the next day feeling confident. The two most important parts of the day are the beginning and end. It's important to build momentum early, and have a routine for ending the day too. At the end of each day I always left myself something easy to do to get started with the next day, so I woke up knowing what I was going to do. I also tidied the desk at the end of every day, which also helped close the day mentally and stopped my brain going over and over the thesis at night.

I focused only on the very best literature, saving myself a huge amount of time. It also had the result of associating my work with the very best in the field. I only wrote about what I knew about, which made the thesis shorter, faster and easier to write, and of higher quality than if I had included everything whether I understood it or not. I took painstaking care over the clarity of the writing, the diagrams and the overall look of the thesis. If a diagram took 2 hours, so be it.

If I couldn't find a high-quality image in a paper to paste in, I would re-draw it myself. Because it adds so much to the feel of quality running through the thesis. When working in areas in which significant research has been done, it is more likely that hypotheses will be included as an hypothesis provides greater precision and predictive power. Similar to research questions, hypotheses also provide a basic outline for presenting your data. It is common for a research study to contain both questions and hypotheses.

In our example, hypotheses would probably be used because a great deal of research has been done and theories produced in the areas of child care needs and perceptual differences related to needs. The hypotheses usually stated in the "null" form might be: 1 There are no differences in the child care needs in XYZ corporation as perceived by labor and management. The "importance or significance of the study" section asks you to look at why you are doing the study. Why is it important? To whom is it important? How will the results of this study impact not only the XYZ corporation but other corporations in your locality with child care programs?

What about other corporations in other parts of the state, region or country? If you can't answer this question from a variety of perspectives, a very basic question must be asked of you - why are you doing this study? Within the "definition of terms" section, you need to operationally define major words or terms that you are using in your study. This section is included to aid the reader in understanding how you are using specific terms.

You should not define every common term associated with child care programs in industry or with the research methodology you are proposing. You need only define uncommon terms or common ones you are using in uncommon or unconventional ways. For example, the child care program in XYZ corporation may be set up only for "latch key" children. As there is no commonly accepted definition for this term, you need to define this term as applied to your study. If you decide to use a variation of an accepted research methodology, this should be included as well. Words or terms needing definitions are most often found in the title of your study, and in the purposes, objectives, rational, hypotheses and research questions sections.

When do you have to write a literature review?

They should be briefly defined in chapter one and may be elaborated on in the literature review section found in chapter two. The purpose of the "assumptions and limitations" section of the proposal is difficult to clearly discuss because there is no general consensus regarding its function or what needs to be included. As always, once you have determined the assumptions and limitations you feel are appropriate to your study, discuss them with your committee chair and committee members and come to an agreement regarding how this section relates to your study.

Generally speaking, a section discussing the major assumptions underlying the study are required by most graduate schools. You need to determine what is a major assumption and what isn't. Discuss this with your committee. There are many levels of assumptions that come into play in each and every study. Assumptions may relate to the population or sample that you are using in your study or may be concerned with subtle differences regarding cultures or societies.

They may relate to age, sex or other demographic variables among your study population. Assumptions may relate to the measures or to other aspects of the research design and methodology i. You need to make the initial decisions about the importance of the assumptions and whether they need to be included in this section. Follow this up with a discussion with your committee. Limitations provide another way to further clarify, quantify, delimit, or define certain aspects of the problem or topic that cannot easily be included in any of the sections discussed so far.

The intent of this section is to give special emphasis or to further clarify limiting factors that have not been discussed before. Let's take another look at the child care program of the XYZ corporation. While this may have been discussed before, it should be mentioned here as a limitation as it possibly impacts the generalizability or application of your results to other child care programs in similar companies. The "organization of the remainder of the study" section is designed to tell the reader what to expect in the remaining chapters. One way to think of this section is that it prepares the reader for what will come in the rest of the study.

Some graduate programs want this in the proposal but not in the final report. This section could be a paragraph as follows: Chapter two will discuss the appropriate literature related to the problem just described. Chapter three will describe and discuss the research methodology selected to respond to the problem. Chapter four will present and analyze the data collected using the methodology described in chapter three.

The study will conclude with chapter five which is a summary and conclusions drawn from the data presented in chapter four, and will conclude with recommendations drawn from the data in this study and will present recommendations for future research.

Connecting the proposal to dissertation

Chapter two of the proposal and the final report is the literature review. In the proposal it is frequently a brief review of pertinent literature grouped around major themes or topics. The literature review includes books, articles, interviews or other print or non-print sources of opinion, fact, or empirical data.

The purpose of the literature review is to demonstrate that you are as current as anyone about what has been done as it relates to your topic. A well done literature review can establish you as an expert. At the very least, it should establish that you know a lot about your topic and have a good working knowledge of direct and indirectly related literature. The literature review should accomplish at least the following five purposes: 1 to place the topic in an historical context; 2 to provide for the assessment of previous studies relating to the topic; 3 to justify selection of the topic; 4 to assist in the selection of research design and methodological procedures; and, 5 to provide a theoretical framework.

Let's look at these purposes more closely. It is fairly safe to say that no topic exists in isolation. When faced with making sense out of reams of computer generated abstracts of literature relating to your topic, you may wish this were true, but it isn't. When writing about your topic, you need to establish where it fits in relation to other current and past studies.

What aspects of the problem have been studied? When were the studies completed? What problems have been encountered? How have they been resolved? Looking at the historical context will also help you to establish how your study is different from other studies and will help establish your credibility. The literature review also provides an assessment of previous studies as they relate to your topic.

How reliable is the data and the analysis? How sound are the recommendations? On what criteria is the cited literature relevant to your topic? The five "W's" of journalism who, what, where, when and why provide a way to look at this. When looking at the "who" aspect, consider the reputation of the author.

How well known is this person? How many books, chapters, articles, etc. How prestigious are the journals or publishers of this person's work? Another dimension of the "who" is to consider the population comprising the focus of the research. How were they sampled and what was the extent of the sampling. How does the "who" of this literature relate to your study?

Assess the literature in terms of "what" has been done as well as "what" are the results of that research.

Body of Thesis or Dissertation

How can you use this literature? How does this relate to your proposed topic? When looking at the "where", most literature reflects at least one of the following four perspectives: local, regional, national and international. You need to review literature from the most relevant perspective s. For example, if you were considering a topic relating to industrial psychology, looking at regional differences might be considered irrelevant as people learn through the same basic psychological processes in California as they do in New York.

However, if your study is concerned with differences in attitudes, it is impossible to assume that the opinions of individuals in the West are the same as those in the East. The key is to know your topic and to review the literature accordingly. The same logic can be applied to reviewing literature with a local, national or international flavor. The purpose of reviewing literature from a "when" perspective is to determine the currency of the material.

Research often runs in cycles. There are times when a great deal of research is done on a particular subject. Interest subsides. Then, for no apparent reason, it picks up again.

Be sure you know if the particular literature you are reviewing is in a cycle. If so, you need to know where the piece you are reviewing is in relation to that cycle. There are several other reasons for needing to know when the research was done. It will help you to determine how far back you need to go to establish the historical basis for the research.

It will help you to determine if the research interest in this topic has waned. If this is so, a good question to ask yourself is, "Why am I interested in it"? Knowing when the study was done will also help you to determine if replicability is needed or warranted. Would a study completed in have the same results if completed on the same population today? The last of the five "W's" why relates to the third purpose for doing a literature review - to justify the selection of the topic.

You need to ask why was the study done?


  1. Ph.D. Realities: The Dissertation Mentor: Chapter 2: Summary!
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What problem was the researcher looking at? How does this problem relate to your study? The fourth purpose of the literature review is to aid in the selection of the research design and methodological procedures. Reviewing the literature to determine what approaches have been used before as well as their successes and failures, can save you much in terms of time, effort and money. Familiarity with other procedures can provide you with a base from which you can select, modify and innovate new designs useful in developing your own proposal or study.

You are fortunate and will save time if your review locates a research design or an evaluation instrument that parallels the assessment you are thinking about doing with the XYZ corporation. Another word of caution is necessary here.

Check to see if the material you have found is copyrighted. If the questionnaire or instrument you want to use is copyrighted, you will need to ask permission of the copyright holder prior to using it. This may involve the payment of a fee.

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How To Write A Dissertation

In many cases, the copyright holder will grant permission to use the instrument free of charge. This is particularly true when the material is from a recently completed thesis or dissertation. Fellow students are quick to realize what you are going through and are thrilled and flattered that someone thinks enough of their work to ask permission to use it. Generally, you will not need permission to use a research design because it is unlikely that you will exactly duplicate every aspect of the copyrighted study. More than likely, you will be changing some or all of the variables to reflect the uniqueness of your study.