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Inside Track to Writing Dissertations and Theses

Inside Track to Writing Dissertations and Theses

Neil Murray, David Beglar

Jun 2009, Paperback, 264 pages
ISBN13: 9780273721703
ISBN10: 0273721704
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Successful Dissertation Writing guides students through the involved process of writing an academic dissertation, developing their ability to communicate ideas and research fluently and successfully.

From conducting research, working with a supervisor, understanding and avoiding plagiarism, right through to using feedback and editing to improve the written piece, it will help students master the more technical elements of producing well-written academic work.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Academic Research: An Overview

A. Conducting Academic Research

B. The Differences between a Thesis and a Dissertation

D. Developing Independence as a Researcher and Finding your Voice

E. Meeting the Challenges of Academic Research

a. Intellectual Challenges

b. Emotional Challenges

c. Motivational Challenges

d. Organisational Challenges

F. Becoming a Member of an Academic Community

a. Attending Research Seminars and Conferences

b. Networking in Person and on the Internet

c. Creating a Support Group

G. Choosing and Working with Your Supervisor

Part 2: Preparing to Write

A. Familiarity with Your School’s Rules & Regulations

B. Ethical Considerations

C. Deciding on a Research Topic

D. Identifying a Gap in the Literature

E. Generating Research Questions and Research Hypotheses

F. Deciding on the Research Approach

a. Quantitative Approaches

b. Qualitative Approaches

c. Mixed-methods Approaches

d. Disciplinary and Subject Variations

Part 3: Clear and Effective Writing

A. Reading and Planning before You Write

B. Sources of Information

C. Selecting Appropriate Information

D. Note-taking

E. The Style of Academic Writing

a. Clarity

b. Level of Formality

c. Eliminating Biased Language

d. Supporting Your Claims

e. Acknowledging Alternative Perspectives

f. Avoiding Plagiarism

h. Summarising and Concluding Individual Chapters

F. The Mechanics of Academic Writing

a. Capitalization & Punctuation

b. Abbreviations

c. Headings

d. Quotations

e. Tables

f. Figures

g. Referencing

h. Appendices

Part 4: The Research Project

A. Abstract

B. The Introduction

a. The Background of the Issue

b. Statement of the Problem

c. Purposes of the Study

d. Significance of the Study

e. Theoretical Perspective

f. The Audience for the Study

g. Delimitations

B. The Literature Review

a. What to Review

b. How to Review Published Papers and Books

b. Synthesizing and Summarizing Major Sections

c. Presenting the Gap in the Literature

d. Stating the Major Purposes of the Study

e. Stating Research Questions and Research Hypotheses

C. Methodology

a. Research Participants

b. Instrumentation

c. Procedures

d. ; Analytical Approach

D. Results

a. Organizing the Results

b. Summarizing the Results

c. Using Tables and Graphs to Present Results

E. Discussion

a. Relating Your Results to Previous Research

b. The Theoretical Consequences of Your Results

c. How Your Results Have Resolved the Problem You Identified

d. New Contributions of Your Study

F. Conclusions

a. Summarizing Your Findings

b. Limitations of the Study

c. Suggestions for Future Research

d. Final Conclusions

Part 5: The Viva (oral examination

a. What is a Viva and What is its Purpose?

b. How Does the Viva Work?

c. Choosing your Examiner(s)

d. Preparing for the Viva

e. Having your Supervisor Present

f. Strategies for Success

Part 6: Appendices

A. Checklists

C. Answer Key to Tasks