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Thesis or dissertation writing

Thesis or dissertation writing

Thesis or dissertation writing is an essential requirement for your degree in any discipline. Without a thesis or dissertation your educational institution won’t offer you the degree. Writing a thesis/dissertation is undoubtedly difficult for the students. If your research supervisor isn’t a good one, you might get in trouble. You need proper guidance regarding the structure and format to be followed while writing your thesis/dissertation. Without proper guidance it is likely to turn into an unimpressive, non effective piece of writing.

A good book, story or a novel depends not only on the creative writing ability of the author but also on how the author has structured, compiled and organized all the information, same holds true of a thesis or dissertation writing. A well written thesis or dissertation is going to leave a lasting impression on the reader and the researcher feels well informed about the issue that has been undertaken by the researcher.

So let’s take a look at how a thesis or dissertation writing should be done step-by-step. Any person who wants to write a thesis or dissertation on his research should know that a thesis or dissertation needs the following structure or format. There might be few alterations according to the course level and requirements by the institute.

  • Cover or title page
  • Abstract
  • Acknowledgments
  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Review of relevant literature
  • Theoretical framework
  • Methodology
  • Data analysis
  • Conclusions and summary
  • References

Cover or title page

Once you have selected your topic of research, and formulated the relevant research question the first thing you do is to formulate an appropriate title for it. This title is displayed on the cover or title page of your thesis along with the name(s) of the author(s). This may or may not also include the name of the research supervisor(s) as well as their email addresses, contact number, the name of the institute and date of submission.

Abstract

An abstract is the place where you highlight the main points, the thesis statement, methods used , findings and conclusions drawn in other words you provide an overview of the study to the readers in the abstract. It is usually a paragraph or two long, with no citations and is explicit. An abstract also discusses at least one significant implication of your study.

Acknowledgments

In the acknowledgments section you can offer your gratitude to your research supervisor (s) , colleagues, friends, institute for any special grants or scholarships

that were offered to you, in other words you thank anyone and everyone who helped you in making your research possible.

Table of contents

Over here you make a list of headings, subheadings. List the complete information about all figures, tables and graphs used and included along with a short description for each. The correct page number is written in front of each heading, subheading, table etc.

Introduction

An introduction must be written keeping two things in mind which are the following

  • It provides an overview of main points but be sure that you do not repeat the abstract again.
  • It must awaken the interest of the reader, so write it in such a way that it would motivate the person to read further….meaning the introduction should draw the reader in.

An introduction should focus on the thesis statement and include a discussion of the research question. It should discuss the scope of your study. The Introduction must not however go on forever it must be no longer than necessary. An introduction also provides a verbal road map which lets the reader know what lies ahead in the preceding chapters.

Review of relevant literature

A review of relevant literature would include reference to all the relevant background research conducted by other researchers in the field that you consulted and went through while writing about your own research. This sets the tone of your research, thesis, dissertation

Theoretical framework

A theoretical framework is the backdrop against which you gauge, make sense and interpret your data.The main purpose of using a theoretical framework is to shed light on the data in a scientific and scholarly manner.

Methodology

Students are likely to be the most confused about what to include in this section while writing up their projects. Point to be noted being that this section is not to be used as a hand book of research methods and does not allow for a description of all. Still confused about what is meant? suppose for instance you chose the interview method of data collection you do not now need to list all the different types of interviews there are.

Instead what must be done in this section is to validate why and how the chosen methodology is relevant to your research question and how you have chosen the method after giving due consideration to its reliability and validity.

  • Show the reader what you did in your study
  • How you collected the data
  • What the working conditions were
  • What have you done to increase the validity of your research etc

This section is the highlight of your project. Over here you report your findings in a systematic manner. This section includes a discussion of all calculations made, techniques and statistical software used and results drawn.

Conclusions, summary and recommendations

Once done with all the previous chapters, you now need to wrap it up. This is the most important section , therefore, adequate time and space needs to be allowed for a good wind up. Note that while open ended research question are not always answerable, however if the researcher has formulated a definitive question that can be answered he/she just provide a conclusion note that a negative conclusion is also acceptable.

The summary would be a repetition of all the important issues raised.

Recommendations would aim providing remedial actions if needed. The writer would help identify the research gaps and suggest if further research would be necessary and the recommendations section would provide direction for future research on the current or related topics.

References

Here the writer provides a complete list of all the relevant materials he/she consulted while writing the research thesis or dissertation. The formatting style for this section is normally handed out by the supervisor, however, in case you don’t get one, note that the Harvard or APA style of format is the preferred one.

References

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