Thursday, 26 September 2013

How to Write an Introduction for a Dissertation?

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When writing a dissertation, it is often more beneficial if a university student already has the knowledge on how to write its different parts. Typically, a dissertation is structure into five major parts, the first of which is the introduction. But how can a university student write an introduction for his dissertation?

First, a student has to provide an overview by making a brief explanation why the dissertation is being undertaken. An overview could also be provided by listing, in general, the major questions that will be answered in course of the research. After providing an overview, a student should state the problem that will be addressed in the dissertation. A student could first state the main problem in a general manner and then briefly discuss specifically what the dissertation will address as well as underlying causes and consequences of the problem. 

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Of course, a university should not forget to state the purpose of the dissertation, which is usually to acquire ample knowledge to address the main problem and other related problems. There is also a need to present research questions that aim to address problems of the dissertation. Each question is expected to address a separate problem. On top of that, there is a need to briefly state the hypothesis, which could be confirmed or disconfirmed. 

The introduction should also discuss the significance, present or future, of the dissertation. A student should write how the results or findings of the dissertation would be beneficial to current knowledge, theory or practice as well as future research. The introduction should also include a summary of the conceptual framework or theoretical foundation based from the review of literature. It is also advisable to make a brief definition of key terms used in the dissertation that readers may not understand. Of course, the student should cite in which literature the definition was derived.

Writing an introduction for a dissertation could be much easier if a university student follows the guidelines stated above. The overall success of the dissertation starts with an introduction that truly provides an academic glimpse of what will be discussed.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Dissertation: Quick Tips on How to Write Literature Review

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Students already know what a literature review chapter is about.  It’s about collating relevant materials related to the topic and eventually, presenting it.  It’s about tapping an existing richness of related study and readings. 

However, few really knew how it is to attempt collating and making such collection cover a good deal of the oncoming study.  To address this, students may refer to the following quick tips:

(1) Map out your study.  By mapping it out, you are able to prioritise the concepts to which you will use as a keyword for your search of related readings and study.  This is already a good start for a complete coverage of all important concepts.

(2) Start the hunt.  In line to preparing a comprehensive dissertation literature review, set your eyes for a more open approach in researching.  As a consequence, apart from looking at printed dissertations, opt for gaining access to online pieces.  

(3) Set out a drafted elaboration.  In each of your collected readings and texts, don’t forget to indicate the connection such study or quoted texts have with your study.  You may not need to phrase it out properly; just indicate what comes in mind to maintain a steady flow of reference-review.

(4) Check for missing links.  As soon as you complete your preliminary comprehensive dissertation literature review, do not just write yet.  Rather, check if you got concepts lacking of references for backup.  If it’s a minor concept, you may leave it.  On the other hand, if it’s a major concept, you got to remain hunting and quoting.

(5) Organise your collection.  Start with a causal collection of the most related references and quotes.  As you review them, try to look at the bigger picture that you’d want to draw in your review chapter.  As soon as you come up with that approach, proceed to the next tip.
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(6) Plan and execute that approach.  It’s essential that you create a good plan as to how to properly execute the presentation of the related study and readings.

(7) Take it to your advisor.  See that your first draft of the chapter is proofread and critique as this will guide you in further perfecting that chapter.

There, those are your seven quick tips for writing that comprehensive dissertation literature review!   

Monday, 24 June 2013


Students writing dissertation pieces often take for granted the power of literature review.  More often than not, students are too eager in starting with their envisioned methodologies of data collection, analysis, or discussion.


What these students seem to forgot is that a huge bulk of those mentally designed dissertation chores are eventually going to be reshaped by the dissertation literature review– that is, if they open themselves to the idea of it (reshaping them).  Otherwise, the review loses its supposedly potent effect; it ceases to materialise invaluable inputs of which serve as aide to students.

So before students grab on more paper to scribble more and more of their dissertation plan, they need to lie back, retrospect, and think of possible things they missed.  And if they’re into second-questioning themselves or are having difficulty figuring the puzzle out, they’re advised to fix some specifically timed discursion with their dissertation supervisor.

Eventually, they need to dig the relevance of working on their dissertation literature review.  This is imperative for those students who’re pockmarked with several doubts and holes regarding their dissertation piece, but not for the certain ones.  In fact, working with it (i.e., literature review) may sound trivial for these eager folks.

Yet, sense got to win them back; and that is feasible – by pointing out the probability of repeating another dissertation writer’s failure.  All this because students failed to consult the appropriate and most recent research material, particularly those that relevantly backed up the dissertation’s focus.

And there is more to this probable failure – that remote possibility of not having to deal with it, if only students took the heed regarding the dissertation literature review.  To avoid from having to start again, or encountering some major revisions, students need to stock it up with the literature review.

This review is bound to illustrate how other dissertation writers did it, the research, methodology, et cetera.  It feeds students with information as to how these prior writers met success and failure, as to what variable made their piece win or lose.  In effect, students’ envisioned plans are reshaped into realistic strategies.

Previous post: What it means to conduct a Dissertation Literature Review

Friday, 26 April 2013

What it means to conduct a Dissertation Literature Review

Dissertation work calls into students a different level of research work.  At this rate, students get to distinguish a dissertation structure from any other coursework structure.  Students concomitantly learn to adapt and integrate their writing styles to such established structure.

And while there’s this structure, there’s also this dissertation component that needs to be taken care of.  One of the firsts in every dissertation piece, this component is identified by the name, “dissertation literature review.”

A review, it could only mean a look at something that’s pre-existing.  That something is none other than dissertation and research pieces that were made prior to the students’ own work.  Now, what type of pieces could be distinguished as part of the dissertation literature review?

Firstly, the material has to be connected to students’ planned work.  Either it carries portions, bits or big chunks of findings or insights that holds relevant to the students’ dissertation piece, assumptions for that piece, et cetera.

Another criterion is if the material contains a methodology of which could be applicable to students’ planned methodology.  Of course, a dissertation literature review is not meant to help students devise a sort of plagiarism or copying of methodology.  Instead, it permits students to survey effective methods and applicable insights and use it for integration with different approaches – the approach of which now has to be out of students’ own imagery or skill.

In a macro’s view, to conduct a review means to map the past up to the present, tracing the dissertation study’s roots from the existing literature, and having it link back to the intended destination – students’ dissertation piece.  With such a function, it becomes necessary to make the review as organise as possible.

Content organisation in a review could happen through various ways.  For one, it may follow a period-orientation.  Under this orientation, dates are noticeably in order.  Another orientation is through the development of concepts, or what is commonly called a concept map.  At this rate, dates aren’t necessarily in order because the organisation’s focus is that of the concept.  Lastly, organisation entails correct application of referencing styles.