What goes in chapter one of a dissertation


Getting on with the writing

This might include your supervisors, participants in your research, and friends or family who supported you. The abstract is a short summary of your dissertation, usually about words long. In the abstract, make sure to:. In the table of contents, list all of your chapters and subheadings and their page numbers. The dissertation contents page gives the reader an overview of your structure and helps easily navigate the document. All parts of your dissertation should be included in the table of contents, including the appendices. You can generate a table of contents automatically in Word. If you have used a lot of tables and figures in your dissertation, you should itemise them in a numbered list.

You can automatically generate this list using the Insert Caption feature in Word.

If you have used a lot of abbreviations in your dissertation, you can include them in an alphabetised list of abbreviations so that the reader can easily look up their meanings. If you have used a lot of highly specialised terms that will not be familiar to your reader, it might be a good idea to include a glossary.

List the terms alphabetically and explain each term with a brief description or definition. The introduction should:. Everything in the introduction should be clear, engaging, and relevant to your research. By the end, the reader should understand the what , why and how of your research. Not sure how? Read our guide on how to write a dissertation introduction. Before you start on your research, you should have conducted a literature review to gain a thorough understanding of the academic work that already exists on your topic.

This means:. For example, it might aim to show how your research:. The literature review often becomes the basis for a theoretical framework , in which you define and analyse the key theories, concepts and models that frame your research. In this section you can answer descriptive research questions about the relationship between concepts or variables.

The methodology chapter or section describes how you conducted your research, allowing your reader to assess its validity. You should generally include:.

How to Write a Dissertation Chapter One: Introduction | potubune.gq

Your aim in the methodology is to accurately report what you did, as well as convincing the reader that this was the best approach to answering your research questions or objectives. Next, you report the results of your research. You can structure this section around sub-questions, hypotheses, or topics. Only report results that are relevant to your objectives and research questions. In both approaches, the main research question is the basis for the hypotheses and objectives of the research. Hypotheses can be developed from the research questions.

Designing a hypothesis is supported by a good research question and will influence the type of research design for the study. The development of the research objective can be done after the development of the research questions or hypothesis. This should be applied all throughout your paper. See Citations and References — The APA Style Guide for a guide to acknowledging the works of other authors when incorporating their ideas into your writing.

The Literature Review. In this chapter and in the succeeding chapters of your thesis or dissertation , you need to write an introductory paragraph or paragraphs that show the following:. The second part is the Body. The following are some elements that can be included in the second part of the Literature Review chapter. Discuss with your adviser to finalize the sections and sub-headings.

Starting your introduction

The last part is the Chapter Summary. Summarize the important aspects of the existing body of literature. Assess the current state of the literature reviewed. It should be well-developed in order to obtain all the information required to answer your research questions, test a theory or explain a situation relevant to the main aim of the research.


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  • Background of the Problem.

Start this chapter with a short introduction to your research design. In this section, the research questions, hypotheses and objectives must be presented. An overview of the research approach, and the techniques and measurements that will be used to analyze data are also included in the introduction. The next part of this chapter, or the Body, consists of some or all sections shown below.

Each section should be described and explained in detail. Discuss with your adviser for additional sections and sub-headings for each section or a more appropriate structure.

How to develop the outline for your dissertation

The last section is the Chapter Summary. The Final Chapters of your Thesis. At this stage, you have already collected as much data as you can and are ready to process and analyze such a huge amount of information. However, expect a lot of changes in your process, methods and chapters. These changes can come from your research adviser, too. The first step you need to do is to revisit the first three chapters of your thesis. Here, you would need to make the necessary corrections to some of the sections presented during the proposal stage.

For example, you might have to fine-tune your research questions and objectives based on the data you have gathered or what you have found during the research process. The Scope and Limitations of the Study section in Chapter 1 would now have to be included in Chapter 3.

Important Clues for Writing an Introduction

Another section, Organization of the Study, must be added in Chapter 1. Check the figure below for the main parts of a thesis. Variations from the general format can be decided with your adviser. Figure 1: Main parts of a thesis or dissertation. If this chapter is generally brief, presenting the results, and explaining and interpreting them can be combined in one chapter. Otherwise, the Results and Discussion section should be in separate or defined sections or chapters.

Start with a brief introduction of this chapter. Results : answers to the research questions which are generated from the collected data. Your opinion should not be included when presenting the results. Descriptive or frequency statistical results of all variables must be reported first before specific statistical tests e.

For instance, the profile of participants or respondents, or characteristics of the sample is presented first if available. Specific quotes from interviews must be presented under a specific theme or sub-theme in the same way results from focus group discussions are reported. When reporting results from observations, present the conversation, behavior or condition you have noticed first.

Then, write your comments. Discussion : explains the meaning of the results presented in specific sections and links them to previous research studies. It explains why the findings are weak, strong or significant, and their limitations. A further review of the literature might be required to enhance the discussion of results. End each chapter with a summary. Introduce this chapter. First, refer back to the problem or topic that you have presented in Chapter 1 and what you hoped to achieve at the beginning of the research.

The Dissertation – Chapter Breakdown

The research questions you tried to answer must also be reviewed in this chapter as well as your hypotheses, if applicable. It is important to also reexamine the methodology followed in the research and show how the objectives were achieved or were not achieved with the application of different methods and techniques. End this chapter with some reflections and final words.


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When all the chapters have been finalized, you are now ready to prepare the abstract. It is written in the form of a summary, describing briefly the research problem, the aims of the research, the methods used to achieve them, and the main findings and conclusions. Although the abstract is very short approximately paragraphs , it can be considered as the most significant part of your thesis or dissertation.

Writing and numeracy

The abstract provides a general impression of what your research is about, and allows other researchers to have a broad understanding of your work. When applying for conferences, your abstract is assessed by an organizing committee for relevance and quality. Make sure to create an impact—write an impressive abstract. Language Center Asian Institute of Technology. Search Search.

Points to keep in mind: Research is a process which involves a lot of thinking, planning and writing. Take note of the following verb tenses when writing your chapters: Introduction Chapter 1 Simple present and future tense Literature Review Chapter 2 Present but mostly past Methodology Chapter 3 Present but mostly future Your advisor is your ally. Subheadings and what they mean: Background — What is the context of this problem?

what goes in chapter one of a dissertation What goes in chapter one of a dissertation
what goes in chapter one of a dissertation What goes in chapter one of a dissertation
what goes in chapter one of a dissertation What goes in chapter one of a dissertation
what goes in chapter one of a dissertation What goes in chapter one of a dissertation
what goes in chapter one of a dissertation What goes in chapter one of a dissertation

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