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Writing the first chapter of a dissertation

After the prospectus is approved, some of the review of literature may be moved into Chapter 2, which then becomes part of the proposal to do research. Chapter 1 is the engine that drives the rest of the document, and it must be a complete empirical argument as is found in courts of law. It should be filled with proofs throughout.

It is not a creative writing project in a creative writing class; hence, once a word or phrase is established in Chapter 1, use the same word or phrase throughout the dissertation. The content is normally stylized into five chapters, repetitive in some sections from dissertation to dissertation. A lengthy dissertation may have more than five chapters, but regardless, most universities limit the total number of pages to 350 due to microfilming and binding considerations in libraries in those institutions requiring hard copies.

How to Write Your Best Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide

Following is an outline of the content of the empirical argument of Chapter 1. Introductory Paragraph State the general field of interest in one or two paragraphs, and end with a sentence that states what study will accomplish. Do not keep the reader waiting to find out the precise subject of the dissertation.

Background of the Problem This section is critically important as it must contain some mention of all the subject matter in the following Chapter 2 Review of the Literature 2 and the methodology in Chapter 3. Key words should abound that will subsequently be used again in Chapter 2. A minimum of two to three citations to the literature per paragraph is advisable. The paragraphs must be a summary of unresolved issues, conflicting findings, social concerns, or educational, national, or international issues, and lead to the next section, the statement of the problem.

The problem is the writing the first chapter of a dissertation in the knowledge. The focus of the Background of the Problem is where a gap in the knowledge is found in the current body of empirical research literature. Statement of the Problem Arising from the background statement is this statement of the exact gap in the knowledge discussed in previous paragraphs that reviewed the most current literature found.

A gap in the knowledge is the entire reason for the study, so state it specifically and exactly. Purpose of the Study The Purpose of the Study is a statement contained within one or two paragraphs that identifies the research design, such as qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, ethnographic, or another design.

The research variables, if a quantitative study, are identified, for instance, independent, dependent, comparisons, relationships, or other variables. The population that will be used is identified, whether it will be randomly or purposively chosen, and the location of the study is summarized.

Introduction Chapter Writing

Most of these factors will be discussed in detail in Chapter 3. Significance of the Study The significance is a statement of why it is important to determine the answer to the gap in the knowledge, and is related to improving the human condition. The contribution to the body of knowledge is described, and summarizes who will be able to use the knowledge to make better decisions, improve policy, advance science, or other uses of the new information.

Writing Chapter Four Dissertation: Tips and Tricks

Primary Research Questions The primary research question is the basis for data collection and arises from the Purpose of the Study. There may be one, or there may be several. When the research is finished, the contribution to the knowledge will be the answer to these questions. Do not confuse the primary research questions with interview questions in a qualitative study, or survey questions in a quantitative study. The research questions in writing the first chapter of a dissertation qualitative study are followed by both a null and an alternate hypothesis.

Hypotheses A hypothesis is a testable prediction for an observed phenomenon, namely, the gap in the knowledge. Each research question will have both a null and an alternative hypothesis in a quantitative study. Qualitative studies do not have hypotheses. The two hypotheses should follow the research question upon which they are based.

Hypotheses are testable predictions to the gap in the knowledge. In a qualitative study the hypotheses are replaced with the primary research questions. Research Design In Chapter 1 this is a summary of the methodology and contains a brief outline of three things: All of these elements will be reported in detail in Chapter 3.

In a quantitative study, the instrumentation will be validated in Chapter 3 in detail. In a qualitative study, if it is a researcher-created questionnaire, validating the correctness of the interview protocol is usually accomplished with a pilot study.

For either a quantitative or a qualitative study, using an already validated survey instrument is easier to defend and does not require a pilot study; however, Chapter 3 must contain a careful review of the instrument and how it was validated by the creator.

In a qualitative study, which usually involves interviews, the instrumentation is an interview protocol — a pre-determined set of questions that every participant is asked that are based on the primary research questions. In the humanities, a demographic survey should be circulated with most quantitative and qualitative studies to establish the parameters of the participant pool. Demographic surveys are nearly identical in most dissertations. In the sciences, a demographic survey is rarely needed.

  • When it comes to writing a chapter online, the rules are not set in stone;
  • You may be required to produce one or more chapters for assessment part way through your research;
  • Methodology This part of the dissertation is focused on the way you located the resources and the methods of implementation of the results.

Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework is the foundational theory that is used to provide a perspective upon which the study is based.

There are hundreds of theories in the literature. In the sciences, research about new species that may have evolved from older, extinct species would be based on the theory of evolution pioneered by Darwin. Some departments put the theoretical framework explanation in Chapter 1; some put it in Chapter 2.

  1. It can be helpful to break the task down into smaller, more easily accomplished elements.
  2. Introduction The first chapter should include a background of the problem, and a statement of the issue. As you go, you can slot in ideas, references, quotes, clarifications, and conclusions as they occur to you, to make sure they are not forgotten.
  3. In a qualitative study this would include the number of participants, the geographical location, and other pertinent numerical data. Chapter four mainly includes the introduction and findings and results.

Assumptions, Limitations, and Scope Delimitations Assumptions are self-evident truths. In a qualitative study, it may be assumed that participants be highly qualified in the study is about administrators. It can be assumed that participants will answer truthfully and accurately to the interview questions based on their personal experience, and that participants will respond honestly and to the best of their individual abilities.

Limitations of a study are those things over which the research has no control. Evident limitations are potential weaknesses of a study.

Researcher biases and perceptual misrepresentations are potential limitations in a qualitative study; in a quantitative study, a limitation may be the capability of an instrument to accurately record data. Scope is the extent of the study and contains measurements.

In a qualitative study this would include the number of participants, writing the first chapter of a dissertation geographical location, and other pertinent numerical data. In a quantitative study the size of the elements of the experiment are cited. The generalizability of the study may be cited. The word generalizability, which is not in the Word 2007 dictionary, means the extent to which the data are applicable in places other than where the study took place, or under what conditions the study took place.

Delimitations are limitations on the research design imposed deliberately by the researcher. Delimitations in a social sciences study would be such things as the specific school district where a study took place, or in a scientific study, the number of repetitions. Definition of Terms The definition of terms is written for knowledgeable peers, not people from other disciplines As such, it is not the place to fill pages with definitions that knowledgeable peers would know at a glance.

Writing a dissertation

Instead, define terms that may have more than one meaning among knowledgeable peers. Summary Summarize the content of Chapter 1 and preview of content of Chapter 2.