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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 due to microfilming and binding considerations in libraries in those institutions requiring hard copies. 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 gap 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.
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.
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 a 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.(Informally Published or Self-archived Work, Manual, p.
) Individual web page. Since web pages and documents are similar to print, references to them include the same elements such as author, date, title, etc. Note that proper names and acronyms are capitalized. So, it is time to submit a dissertation.
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Thesis or Dissertation. S. Joseph Levine, Ph.D. Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan USA ([email protected])) Become a Fan.
Introduction. This guide has been created to assist my graduate students in thinking through the many aspects of crafting, implementing and defending a thesis or dissertation.
approved Dissertation Research Plan to guide your content for Chapter One. Before beginning the first section, “Background of the Study,” write an introduction to the chapter that begins directly after the CHAPTE R 1.