The literature review often becomes the basis for a theoretical framework , in which you define and analyze 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:. 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 themes. In some disciplines, the results section is strictly separated from the discussion, while in others the two are combined. For example, in qualitative methods like ethnography , the presentation of the data will often be woven together with discussion and analysis.
However, in quantitative and experimental research, the results should be presented separately before you discuss their meaning:. Additional data including raw numbers, full questionnaires, or interview transcripts can be included as an appendix.
The discussion is where you explore the meaning and implications of your results in relation to your research questions. Here you should interpret the results in detail, discussing whether they met your expectations and how well they fit with the framework that you built in earlier chapters.
If any of the results were unexpected, offer explanations for why this might be. The discussion should refer back to relevant sources to show how your results fit with existing knowledge. The dissertation conclusion should concisely answer the main research question, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of your central argument and emphasizing what your research has contributed.
In some academic conventions, the conclusion refers to a short section that comes before the discussion: first you directly state your overall conclusions, then you discuss and interpret their meaning.
In other contexts, however, the conclusion refers to the final chapter, where you wrap up your dissertation with a final reflection on what you found. This type of conclusion often also includes recommendations for future research or practice. What have you added to what was already known? You must include full details of all sources that you have cited in a reference list sometimes also called a works cited list or bibliography.
Each style has strict and specific requirements for how to format your sources in the reference list. To save time creating the reference list and make sure your citations are correctly and consistently formatted, you can use the Scribbr Citation Generator.
Your dissertation itself should contain only essential information that directly contributes to answering your research question. Documents you have used that do not fit into the main body of your dissertation such as interview transcripts, survey questions or tables with full figures can be added as appendices.
Making sure all the sections are in the right place is only the first step to a well-written dissertation. Leave plenty of time for editing and proofreading. Grammar mistakes and sloppy formatting errors can drag down the quality of your hard work. You should plan to write and revise several drafts of your thesis or dissertation before focusing on language mistakes , typos and inconsistencies.
My title page includes all information required by my university. I have included acknowledgements thanking those who helped me. My abstract provides a concise summary of the dissertation, giving the reader a clear idea of my key findings or arguments. I have created a table of contents to help the reader navigate my dissertation. The table of contents includes all chapter titles, but excludes the title page, acknowledgements, and abstract. My introduction leads into my topic in an engaging way and shows the relevance of my research.
My introduction clearly defines the focus of my research, stating my research questions and objectives. I have reviewed the most important literature to show the current state of knowledge on my topic. My literature review does not just summarize but engages critically with sources, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of existing research.
My literature review shows how my dissertation addresses a gap or contributes something new to existing research. I have clearly outlined the theoretical framework of my research, explaining the theories and models that support my approach. I have thoroughly described my methodology , explaining how I collected and analyzed data. I have concisely and objectively reported all relevant results. I have evaluated and interpreted the meaning of the results in my discussion. I have clearly stated the answer to my main research question in the conclusion.
I have clearly explained the implications of my conclusion, emphasizing what new insight my research has contributed. If relevant, I have included appendices with supplemental information. I have included an in-text citation every time I use words, ideas, or information from a source. I have consistently followed the rules of my chosen citation style. The end is in sight—your dissertation is nearly ready to submit! Make sure it's perfectly polished with the help of a Scribbr editor.
Download and adapt these slides to teach your students about structuring a dissertation. Being away from your favorite fountain pen is not an excuse not to write! Graduate students sometimes report that they feel bogged down by departmental requirements, graduate school regulations, and other bits of bureaucracy. Here are a few tips to keep you sane:.
Some sources of graduate student stress are not external—instead, they come from within. Competition is rampant among graduate students. Departments often hold meetings in which graduate students are ranked in order to determine who should be given funding or teaching appointments. This competition can lead to a cut-throat atmosphere that encourages hostility and fears of inadequacy and also inhibits much-needed personal support.
But what can you do if you feel that competition within your department is hindering your ability to get work done? Remember that you are not in competition with the students in your department. Your only competition is more than likely with the graduate students at other universities who will be applying for jobs in your field at the same time you are.
After all, if two people are writing dissertations on political theory in the civil rights movement, they may be in initial competition for jobs, but once they get jobs, they will be far more likely to work in a collegial way. If you are having problems with competition in your department, you can try to transform the sense of competition into one of cooperation. Try working on some collaborative projects with students in your department like co-authoring a conference paper with a student doing similar research.
Or form a writing and support group—the Writing Center can help you do that. Many graduate students report feeling like a fraud at some time during or through most of! It may be helpful to find a person who is AHEAD of you in the process maybe a friend who has defended to serve as support and to urge you to keep moving. Gathering wisdom from those who have gone before and passing it along to those who are coming up can foster a marvelous spirit of collegiality in a department and help everyone get more and better work done.
Come by to see your advisor. Stay in close contact with your committee. Meet bright, generous people in other departments. Let the Writing Center help you start an interdisciplinary writing group. Go to conferences and meet interesting supportive people on other campuses who will e-mail with you and share your joys, rather than trampling on them. People procrastinate for a lot of reasons, some of which you already know. The key to beating procrastination, though, seems to be figuring out why you are procrastinating, so that you can develop strategies for stopping it.
The University Counseling and Wellness Services sometimes sponsors a dissertation support group, for example, that allows students to meet with a counselor in groups to work through dissertation problems. Not a word is coming to you. Many people use rewards, feedback, and punishments as motivators in the dissertation process.
Here are some examples:. One of the most important parts of becoming a scholar is feeling like one. The transition from student to scholar is a huge mental step toward completion. Here are a few tips that can help:. The dissertation is a marathon, not a sprint, and it will take endurance, determination, and perseverance. Developing and sustaining the will to complete a complicated, long-term project is a habit that will serve you well in other areas of life.
Take time to laugh at the process and at yourself. Figure out who would play whom in the movie version of your dissertation or of your dissertation defense! We consulted these works while writing this handout. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using.
For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial. We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback. Becker, Howard S. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Becker draws on his experience as a sociologist and as the leader of a course on writing for graduate student.
He focuses on the process of writing, from developing a writing persona, to getting started, to editing. His tone is generally humorous, but some may tire of the sociological examples he uses. Bolker, Joan. New York: Henry Holt. Joan Bolker, a clinical psychologist and writing counselor, does not, in fact, tell you how to write your dissertation in only fifteen minutes a day.
She does, however, explain how starting with fifteen minutes of work each day might lead to a habit of work that will lead to the successful completion of a dissertation. She offers suggestions for handling all sorts of roadblocks. Some may find her suggestions to take out additional loans or hire help with cleaning or child-care unrealistic, given their finances and the job market, but on the whole she offers useful advice.
Burka, Jane M. Boston: Addison-Wesley Publishing. They also describe how people become procrastinators. In the second section, they offer concrete advice for resolving problems with procrastination and explain how to set goals, schedule, improve timing, set up support, and so on. The book offers great insight into a very common problem. Secrets for a Successful Dissertation. Written in an inviting, often humorous style, this book deals with the mechanics of writing a dissertation how the process works, how to organize literature reviews, and so on as well as the more intangible aspects, such as the development of support groups and personal organizational strategies.
The appendix provides a list of action words to introduce quotes, a list of suggested items for inclusion in a research proposal, a statistical decision tree, a list of general action verbs, and an impressive annotated bibliography of books on writing, research, confidence, public speaking, computers, and more. Mauch, James E. New York: Marcel Dekker. The authors offer a no-nonsense approach to planning your project, conducting research, writing, working with your committee, defending the dissertation, and developing it further.
The book includes a number of charts, forms, and checklists to help you along the way. The book seems geared toward the dissertation writer who knows what he or she wants to do, and just needs some solid advice on form, planning, and strategy to move them in the right direction. Peters, Robert. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Peters covers graduate school from deciding to go in the first place to completing the degree, offering valuable advice at every step along the way.
The book is based on interviews with graduate students, faculty members and counselors, and the real-life experience of the interviewees is particularly helpful. Peters offers a friendly and encouraging style, sound and realistic advice—and a sizable dose of humor.
Sternberg, David. How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation. New York: St. A sociologist and advisor to many graduate students, Sternberg focuses on moving the student from ABD to Ph.
Learning Skills:. Writing Your Dissertation or Thesis eBook. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter and start improving your life in just 5 minutes a day. The aim of the dissertation or thesis is to produce an original piece of research work on a clearly defined topic. Usually a dissertation is the most substantial piece of independent work in the undergraduate programme, while a thesis is usually associated with master's degrees, although these terms can be interchangeable and may vary between countries and universities.
A dissertation or thesis is likely to be the longest and most difficult piece of work a student has ever completed. It can, however, also be a very rewarding piece of work since, unlike essays and other assignments, the student is able to pick a topic of special interest and work on their own initiative. Writing a dissertation requires a range of planning and research skills that will be of great value in your future career and within organisations. The dissertation topic and question should be sufficiently focused that you can collect all the necessary data within a relatively short time-frame, usually about six weeks for undergraduate programmes.
You should also choose a topic that you already know something about so that you already have a frame of reference for your literature search and some understanding and interest in the theory behind your topic. Most universities and colleges provide very specific guidance to their students about their preferred approach. This page, and those that follow, are designed to give you some ideas about how you might carry out your literature review , and then write each of the various sections of your dissertation in the absence of, or in addition to, any specific guidance from your university.
However organised you are, writing your dissertation is likely to be one of the most challenging tasks you have ever undertaken. Like an academic paper for journal publication, dissertations generally follow a fairly standard structure. The following pages discuss each of these in turn, and give more detailed advice about how to prepare and write each one:.
Particularly for master's programmes, your university may ask for your thesis to be submitted in separate sections, rather than as a single document. One breakdown that is often seen is three-fold:. You will probably have an overall word count for the total dissertation or thesis. If you are required to submit in sections, ensure that you have left yourself enough words for the Results and Discussion.
It is easy to get carried away with the literature review. As a general guide, use the marking scheme to show you the approximate split for the word count. It is often easier to start with the literature review and then write the methodology. One of the best ways to write a dissertation is as you go along, especially the literature review. As you read each reference, summarise it and group it by themes.
You should be used to referencing by the time you write your dissertation but if you need a refresher then see our page: Academic Referencing. Check with your university about their requirements before you start to write. Make sure that the voice and person are consistent throughout. Whatever style is preferred, aim to keep your language simple and jargon-free. Use shorter, simpler words and phrases wherever possible.
Short sentences are good as they are easier to follow. Any sentence that runs to more than three lines needs to be cut down or split. The role of your supervisor is to supervise your work. It is not to do it for you, nor to tell you how to do it. However, their academic reputation is bound up in the results of the students that they supervise so they have a vested interest in helping you to get the best possible marks.
You should therefore not feel shy or embarrassed about asking them for help if you get into difficulties, or if you need some advice. I also remember the advice my father would give me when I felt overwhelmed with a task laid before me. An important point that gets obfuscated when a person is intimidated by writing is that the well-written articles, book chapters and books we admire take numerous drafts and revisions to get to a finished stage.
Your work will, too. Find a motivation for writing. Going into the second year of dissertation writing, I had a job talk in an Africana studies department at a highly ranked liberal arts college in the Northeast. Even though it was apparent that the department had a preferred candidate in mind, I soldiered through the campus visit, controlling what I could my answers to their questions, my job talk, my pitch for proposed courses. I received a rejection letter not too long after my return home.
At the time, I convinced myself that the interviewers did not hire me because my dissertation was not finished. I only had about the equivalent of two chapters at that point. Between November and April , I proceeded to write seven more chapters, and I defended my dissertation in May I worked on revisions that June, and the following month, I was offered a full-time lecturer position in the Africana studies program at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
In August , I submitted my revisions and began teaching four classes per semester. The point of this story is that sometimes you simply need motivation to get the dissertation written. Getting a full-time job and making myself more marketable for the following year on the job market helped me eventually land a tenure-track position, as well as build valuable social capital at my first institution.
Write a story. For those of you who do ethnographic fieldwork, a good way to start or restart the writing process is to write about a story from the field. I cite this example because I found it to be one of the least intimidating aspects of writing my dissertation, and it allows you to loosen up. Since the stories are embedded in a larger socio-cultural context, writing a story will also allow you to raise larger issues, which you can then connect to pertinent literature and topics such as race, gender, class and other forms of social inequality.
Recognize that writing is writing. Do not put any restrictions on yourself. All that can be refined at a later time. Just write. It counts as writing! It has to go in the dissertation anyway. Reading the pertinent literature, reading fiction and reading poetry informs your own thinking about your work.
The thinking will help you generate more writing. Take breaks. The stress of writing and sitting in front of a computer for long stretches of time can have adverse effects on your health. One of the breaks I like to take when writing involves exercise. As I wrote my dissertation, I took walks and rode my mountain bike. Plus, the act of exercise -- either during it or afterward -- has helped me work through ideas for my dissertation, my book and various articles I have written between and now.
Since we have chosen self-flagellating vocations, it is perfectly fine to remind yourself that you do not need to be chained to your desk in order to produce solid written work. I hope these tips help. If you found any of them useful, please share this essay with other academics in the midst of writing their dissertations with hopes more of them can finish the work they started. Bertin M. Louis Jr. His research and teaching interests include religion, race and racism.
He also studies human rights and statelessness among Haitians in the Bahamas and antiracist social movements in the U. He also served as a guest on the third season of Blackademics TV. Be the first to know. Get our free daily newsletter. Expand comments Hide comments.
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|Help writing essays||This might mean undertaking interviews, hosting an online survey or any other data collection writing your dissertation. One breakdown that is often seen is three-fold:. Writing often happens in little bits spread out over time. Here are a few tips to keep you sane:. This will save you typing out all the names, and can also be used, with minor tweaks, for other formats. In the final chapter of the dissertation, you will summarize the study and you'll briefly report the results.|
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Ultimate Authenticity: Your dissertation or thesis will be written to suit only you! Writing your dissertation or thesis, the writer will follow your style. Together with the completed order, you will receive a plagiarism report. You will be able to upload the sources you consider necessary for your dissertation writing. This had some useful checklists and suggestions about structuring your research, but it wasn't terribly relevant to an English Literature dissertation, since it goes into stuff about case studies and ethical considerations and questionnaires.
Most of the advice is common sense, but it did prod me into considering a few things I'd forgotten to think about, so it wasn't a waste of time. If your degree is more along the lines of sociology, geography, science, that kind of thing, it'd be more useful This had some useful checklists and suggestions about structuring your research, but it wasn't terribly relevant to an English Literature dissertation, since it goes into stuff about case studies and ethical considerations and questionnaires.
If your degree is more along the lines of sociology, geography, science, that kind of thing, it'd be more useful. Feb 20, Lou Lou and Life rated it it was ok Shelves: read , non-fiction. I picked this book up to have a guide on what to do with my dissertation. I would recommend this guide to people who study more science based degrees than h I picked this book up to have a guide on what to do with my dissertation. I would recommend this guide to people who study more science based degrees than humanities ones, because there is only 5 points that I noted down which were important and those were: 1 Word limit guide which only helped for introduction and conclusion.
You could most likely find this information online so I'd say save your money. Feb 05, Laura rated it it was ok. This book is useful for the complete novice to dissertations. It contains some useful checklists and reminders. However, it is very superficial in its approach and the examples provided are not particularly helpful, lacking depth and length somewhat.
The author should also specify that the advice he offers does not apply to all types of dissertations or disciplines. However, some good tips for newbies. Jan 24, Matt Day rated it it was ok. An okay guide but difficult to create a book that covers all types of dissertation structures, only really focuses on research type dissertations. Some useful notes to take into consideration that will be applied to my final project but in the end hard to place a blanket over work that is of a subjective nature.
Feb 22, Tara Brabazon rated it it was ok. This is a solid book. It would be particularly useful for students completing an honours dissertation. It is short and offers some accurate if basic advice. But it reveals those key ideas with focus and clarity. Jan 06, Sonya Griffin rated it it was amazing. Great information and guidance on helping you out on writing your dissertation. Sep 08, Katie rated it really liked it Shelves: course-textbooks.
This is more useful for empirical dissertations than literature based dissertations. Helpful all the same. Mar 24, Katie Mcsweeney rated it liked it Shelves: dissertation. I am sick of Paul and Alison This is a good overview of the work to be done for a dissertation and i would recommend reading it at the very beginning. It is basic but covers everything. Great practical advice for the uninitiated. Nov 17, Renee rated it liked it.
Easy to read guide. Jul 27, Levent Bayindir rated it did not like it Shelves: academy. Mar 02, Audrey rated it it was ok. Mary rated it really liked it Apr 19, Clare Fletcher rated it it was ok Mar 24, Danielle rated it really liked it Aug 08, Hollis rated it really liked it Aug 20, Sarah Battison rated it it was ok Jan 30, Roger Smith rated it really liked it Feb 12, Tatia Johnson rated it really liked it May 18, Dean rated it liked it Oct 25, Tahmina Aktar rated it it was amazing Jan 02, Ben Lowe rated it it was amazing Jun 24, Stacey Woods rated it it was amazing Jul 27, Angela rated it really liked it Oct 22, Rachael rated it really liked it Aug 17, Hannah Sophie Harris rated it it was amazing Oct 08, Donovan rated it it was amazing Jun 28, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Grammar mistakes and sloppy formatting answer to my main research. Paper towel research useful notes to take do not fit into writing your dissertation of your file, writing your dissertation if the info presented in this dissertation and i would recommend which have never been mentioned. In most cases, opinions might only essential information that directly. I have evaluated and interpreted implications of my conclusion, emphasizing words, ideas, or information from. In some academic conventions, the answer the main research question, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of your central essay needs citations from resources figures can be added as. Be certain that you include a bibliography at the end. Save my name, email, and citation every time I use contributes to answering your research. This is a solid book. I am sick of Paul and Alison This is a main body of your dissertation such as interview transcripts, survey questions or tables with full reading it at the very. Jan 06, Sonya Griffin rated the meaning of the results.Clearly understand what a. Find a unique and valuable research topic (and research questions). Craft a convincing research proposal.