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Most dissertations follow the same basic structure and are made up of five parts: an abstract, introduction, methods and discussion, conclusions and references. Before starting your dissertation find out exactly what is required by your university or institution. For example, there may be particular rules about word length, the fonts you have to use or whether the acknowledgements come before or after your abstract. You must be sure to keep to the rules and regulations. Dissertation abstract After the title page and any acknowledgements comes a summary of your dissertation. From your own reading of journal articles and reports, you’re likely to be familiar with the purpose of the abstract. The content of your abstract is important because what you say in your abstract gives the reader the opportunity of judging whether your dissertation is going to be of interest to him.
While doing your own research, you’re likely to have pursued different journal articles and reports based purely on the relevance of the abstract and so you know how important it is for giving the reader a feel for what your dissertation covers. Be aware that you need to build time into the planning of your dissertation to get the job done effectively. Dissertation introduction With your introduction you’re preparing the ground for the main body of your dissertation. In your introduction you’re looking to inspire an interest in your work and explaining something about the background and your reasons for choosing your dissertation topic. Usually an introduction is around two pages long.
Aim to give the reader a clear idea of what to expect to find in the main themes you’re presenting and the methods you’re using, saying if you’ve done something experimental and practical, or taken a more theoretical approach. You can hint at the findings and conclusions, but you needn’t spell them out as in the abstract. To whet the reader’s appetite try to raise his curiosity as to how the dissertation is going to end. The introduction is a good place to explain your rationale for the choices you’ve made. Perhaps say what motivated you to pick this research question, such as an observation you made on a placement, or a course that stimulated your interest. Avoid filling the introduction with too many personal anecdotes. The examiner isn’t interested in what you think about that bloke on the telly who made you think about what your lecturer said about that thing that you weren’t sure if it was a good thing before but you are now.
You may be passionate about the area you’ve chosen to study for your dissertation, but avoid overstating the importance of your work. Without false modesty, you can show that you know that your choice of dissertation subject is relevant and interesting, but you understand that it’s not necessarily going to change the world. Shy away from grand claims, but also try not to completely dismiss your work before you’ve started. Even though your introduction is only a short piece of writing, remember to stick to just one point in each paragraph. Dissertation methods and discussion Whatever topic you’re researching in the social sciences the structure and level of detail in your abstract and introduction are standard. The elements required in empirical and non-empirical dissertations are subtly different.
You’re the one doing the deducing, inferring, supposing or assuming and you’re doing this based on the reading, researching, discussing and thinking that you’ve been doing while carrying out your research. Don’t make the mistake of putting all your effort into collecting, thinking and researching information, but not bothering to consider any of the things that you could deduce from your findings. There is no point in the dissertation if you don’t present your conclusions. Dissertation references Be aware that you need to understand and follow the rules governing references in your field of study and your university or institution when you’re presenting your dissertation, even though the system of referencing seems fiddly and fussy. Say you only just miss making it into a higher grade classification for your dissertation with the dissertation parts commenting that a few per cent has been deducted for lack of attention to detail and a sloppy approach to referencing. Sign up for insider news on books, authors, discounts and more content created just for you.
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Introduction This guide has been created to assist my graduate students in thinking through the many aspects of crafting, implementing and defending a thesis or dissertation. It is my attempt to share some of the many ideas that have surfaced over the past few years that definitely make the task of finishing a graduate degree so much easier. Usually a guide of this nature focuses on the actual implementation of the research. This is not the focus of this guide. Instead of examining such aspects as identifying appropriate sample size, field testing the instrument and selecting appropriate statistical tests, this guide looks at many of the quasi-political aspects of the process. Of course, many of the ideas that are presented can be used successfully by other graduate students studying under the guidance of other advisers and from many different disciplines.
However, the use of this guide carries no guarantee — implied or otherwise. When in doubt check with your adviser. Probably the best advice to start with is the idea of not trying to do your research entirely by yourself. Do it in conjunction with your adviser.
Don’t be overly influenced by others-it’s your research. Try and set a realistic goal. Take a leave of absence when it will do the most good. Try a preliminary study to help clarify your research. Prepare a comprehensive review of the literature. Proposal should be first 3 chapters of dissertation.
Include a title on your proposal. Organize around a set of questions. Design your research so the subjects benefit. Carefully select location for your research. Avoid conducting research in conjunction with another agency. Select faculty who will support you.
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In the main body of your term paper, you need to use the references on the used literature sources.
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