This dissertation chapter should explain to readers the methods you use to gather data and answer a given research question. Consider it as the core of your academic project. Small weaknesses and mistakes in your methodology may invalidate your important findings, doom your study, and ruin your future grades.
Professors scrutinize it very critically. Start this part of your dissertation with a clear explanation of the methods you use to solve a given problem and give a clear description of their basic components. Describe what your research methods are all about. Tell readers how you execute your methodology.
Table of Contents - Thesis and Dissertation - Research Guides at Sam Houston State University
It should be clear for other people why you decided to use them to answer a particular research question. Keep things simple in this dissertation part. Your research findings can include anything from experimental results, data from archives to answers to questions and other information. Arrange it into figures and tables if appropriate.
Divide the main body into sections and subsections. Make it clear on what facts you base your findings. In a concluding paragraph, give a brief overview of your study, formulate your findings, and make conclusions regarding the main research problem or hypothesis. End your abstract with a list of keywords.
This paragraph is a matter of choice and it provides you with a great opportunity to acknowledge or thank everyone who helped you complete your dissertation. Research is hard to conduct without other people and institutions. Think about acknowledging your supervisor. Note that using a citation manager does not mean perfect citations every time; if you choose the wrong format for an item or enter incomplete data, you may get an incorrect citation, so you still need to proofread your citations at the end. But since you would need to do that regardless, using a citation manager will still save you a lot of time in the long run.
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Here are some options:. RefWorks—an online research management, writing and collaboration tool—is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. Check with your campus library to learn how to access RefWorks through the Antioch group account.
Refworks Home Page. This is a web-based method that requires only simple input about your sources to help you format citations in your paper and on the reference page. Citation Machine Home Page. Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite and share your research sources. Zotero Home Page. Use the free software with caution in compiling your dissertation.
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Many times the format does not transfer into PDF software. Mendeley is a free reference manager and an academic social network. It is sort of like a citation manager and an academic LinkedIn combined. Mendeley Home Page. Many times the format does not transfer into PDF. The key functions to use for this task are Manage Sources and Insert Citation. Whichever citation manager you choose, it is important to ensure consistent formatting for both in-text and References page citations and to proofread the automated additions the citation manager helps you make.
How to Write Your Thesis
Also, free software is great in the early stages; however, many might not translate into your version of Word or when final formatting into PDF. No matter which citation style you are using, there are seemingly endless and nitpicky little formatting requirements beyond what is explored in this guide that our WEX coaches and editors can double check for you.
For example, do you know when to use a short dash, an en dash, and an em dash?
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Previous Next. View Larger Image. Getting Started: Many people see format revision as part of the final preparation of the dissertation. This skeleton consists of the following types of structural components: Title page, copyright page, committee page, Table of Contents, etc. When to use section breaks: Between sections that need to stay separate from each other, and that also need to have different page number sequences or page number styles e.
As you write, you will want to use chapter titles, headings, and subheadings to organize your content and to help you maintain a consistent order in which parallel topics are explored in various sections. Once you have typed out some chapter titles, headings, and subheadings into Word using the headings styles, you will be able to do two things: Use the navigation pane on the left-hand side of your Word document to quickly jump from heading to heading Insert an Automatically Updating Table of Contents.
This is done by clicking on the page where you want the Table of Contents to appear and then going to the References menu in Word and clicking Table of Contents. The drop-down menu this opens allows you to choose which style you want. This is done by clicking inside of the Table of Contents and then clicking the Update Table option that becomes visible. You will be given the choice to update the entire table includes page numbers and headings or to just update page numbers.
Sometimes you will have to take additional measures to ensure that Word does not change your font style, size, and color in the Table of Contents when you update the entire table. This is similar to the process for inserting a Table of Contents, except you click on the Insert Table of Figures option instead. Figures and tables should be simple, concise, and aesthetically pleasing.
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