Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Graduate School. Scope of a Doctoral Dissertation. The dissertation should reflect the student's ability to do the following: Critically analyze the relevant literature Use and describe in detail the appropriate methodology for the scholarly work undertaken Conduct research and present findings that result in a significant and original contribution to knowledge Verify knowledge claims and sources meticulously Locate the work of the dissertation and its findings within the broader field or discipline Communicate the scholarly work and analysis effectively In most fields, a doctoral dissertation will range from 60, to 80, words in length, exclusive of footnotes, bibliography, and appendices.
Even utilizing smaller studies that leverage online survey companies, such as Qualtrics or SurveyMonkey, can end up costing a few thousand dollars. Maybe it is more feasible to interview 10 people from one village in Africa than to travel to five different villages to collect data. Your goal is to finish. Defining Your Research Scope. Seriously, how can such decisions be made??
Related posts. Research Method May 17, Dealing with criticism March 28, Why Theoretical Frameworks Matter July 19, Examining the doctoral thesis. Innovations in Education and Teaching International , 45 4 , — But these may also be the chapters you wrote first, when your writing was weakest. So, the advice is you should revisit and polish these first chapters as you near the end of your candidature, after you have improved your skill at writing, and before submitting your thesis.
Examiners want to enjoy and understand a thesis, so the advice is to make the thesis reader-friendly rather than hard-work — it must be a convincing, accessible academic text, and it must be a good read. As Elbow puts it, you should write so the reader will be with you rather than against you Elbow, Elbow, P. Put another way, the advice is to write your thesis so that your examiners will read it because they want to, rather than because they are obligated to as your examiners. To make your thesis a good read, you need to take a reader-centred approach to your writing.
First work out what you want to say, but then change your focus and write it or translate it so it is clear, interesting and convincing for your readers. Stylish academic writing. Of course you cannot write a reader-centred thesis unless you can identify your readers. Even though you will probably not know the specific identity of your examiners, you should identify the general sort of person you are writing for.
You write a different thesis for specialists in your particular topic compared to generalists, or for specialists in one sub-field rather than another. Discuss with your supervisors which field you are contributing to, and thus what sort of examiners would be appropriate Golding, Golding, C. You might even write for readers in two or more fields. Once you have identified the general kind of reader for your thesis, how can you make sure your thesis will be clear, interesting and convincing for them?
Read as a writer. Read good articles and theses in your field, study their style and structure, and then emulate the way they write.cns1.easyhost.pk
Scope, Limitations, and Delimitations
Write as a reader. Consider where it might be possible for a reader to misunderstand what you write, and then rewrite to clarify and explain. Consider where you make the reader go through unnecessary work, and refine your writing to make it easier and less tiring to read. For example, you might remove unnecessary words, simplify convoluted sentences, clarify vagueness, and explain or remove jargon terms or acronyms. To write like a reader, you have to be able to read what you have actually written rather than what you meant.
To help you learn to do this, you might leave enough time between writing and revising so you forget what you meant before you revise, or you might read your writing out-loud, record it and play it back, or use text-to-speech software. However, the only way you can be sure your writing is reader-friendly is to give it to a reader. So, the advice is to test your writing with readers. Find readers who are similar to your examiners — your supervisors are a good start.
Do they consider your thesis to be a clear, interesting, good read? Regardless of how good you think your writing is, if your readers think it is unclear and unconvincing, your examiners will likely have the same reaction unless you rewrite and clarify. Yet getting feedback from your supervisors will probably not be enough. They do not have enough time to give you all the feedback you need, and you need to test your work against other readers especially if your supervisors are dissimilar to your intended examiners. Turbocharge your writing. Adelaide : Flinders Press.
This is a normal and necessary step in any academic writing. Share your writing in seminars and conferences, with other thesis students, and send it off to journals. Use any feedback to figure out how to make your writing more reader-friendly. This is the gift of feedback — it gives you ways to improve your writing, and helps you to write like a reader.
In summary, the advice is to see writing a thesis as a process of re-writing Zerubavel, Zerubavel, E. The clockwork muse. London : Harvard University Press. Write down what you mean, then re-write to make it a good read. Give it to others to read as your proxy examiners, and rewrite again in light of their feedback and potentially rewrite it again and again as it takes multiple drafts to get clear, interesting and convincing writing. Yes, that is a deliberate mistake in the heading, but if you frequently make that sort of mistake in your thesis, it will annoy your examiners and make them doubt the quality of your research.
Take time for revising, editing and formatting, checking and rechecking, so you reach a high standard of presentation. You will probably have to proofread your final draft several times, checking for different things each time. Go through once to check references, then another time to check spelling, then check that what you write is what you actually mean, etc. As well as wanting a thesis to be a good read, free from presentation errors, examiners want a thesis that is a coherent whole. They want some sort of continuity or flow from point to point, section to section and chapter to chapter.
Because your examiners are likely to be reading your thesis in chunks over days or weeks, they need to be able to put it down and pick it up later and still be able to follow your train of thought — remember, they may have forgotten what you wrote in chapter 1 by the time they get to chapter 5. So the advice is to help your examiners follow your thesis. Make sure they can tell why you make the points you make in the order you make them.
To create a coherent thesis, you might organise what you write according to the typical structure of other theses and journal articles in your field — this is what an examiner will expect. But, if you deviate from the typical structure — perhaps you have an unusual approach or are doing interdisciplinary work — then you have to explain to the reader how and why you deviate from what they expect. Williams and Colomb Williams, J. For example, each chapter in your thesis might relate to a common argument or narrative. State this explicitly and explain how each section and chapter contributes.
Perhaps your literature review shows why your research question needs to be addressed, your methods shows how it can be addressed and each results chapter answers one of your subsidiary research questions, so that when combined in the conclusions chapter, they answer your main research question. Although a red thread is useful for structuring a thesis, the reader also has to be able to follow the thread. Even if you know that each part of the thesis connects into a coherent whole, you need to provide a map or a plan for your reader so they can also see the connections.
Do not just expect them to see the links without explanation. So the advice is to explain your structure. Explain what you are doing in each section and chapter, and why you are doing this, and explain how the parts relate together, and how the parts relate to the whole. For example, explain why you include this point in this chapter, how it leads to the next point and how both points lead to the main conclusion of the chapter; then explain how this chapter leads to the next, and how the main conclusions from each chapter contributes to your overall thesis the main conclusion you are making.
A good way to check that your examiners will be able to follow your thesis is to give it to a reader and ask them where they get lost.
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That written explanation is needed so a reader can follow your thesis without getting lost. There are several other related tools you can use to create a coherent thesis: Meta-text and signposting: Meta-text is where you write about what you are writing Mauranen, Mauranen, A.
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Contrastive ESP rhetoric. English for Specific Purposes , 12 , 3 — For example, at the chapter level signposts indicate the relationship between different sections and different chapters. Structuring your research thesis. London : Palgrave Macmillan. These orient the reader, and remind them of their place in the overall thesis. Referring back and forwards: An additional way to orient your reader is to refer backwards and forward in your thesis.
Repetition: Repetition of main ideas can also be useful to create a coherent thesis. Word-for-word copying would be tedious, but your reader may also have forgotten important points raised several chapters earlier, so it may be useful to paraphrase them in the current chapter. Also, emphasise your main point by telling the same story several times throughout your thesis at different levels of elaboration — the very short version in the abstract, a longer version in the introduction, the very long version throughout the thesis and then a different, shorter summary in the conclusion.
If you say that you were going to give three reasons, check you have given three reasons, and check that the reader can identify each of them listing them would perhaps be the easiest way. Because your actual research may have deviated from what you thought you were going to do when you started writing, it is important to revise your earlier chapters to check they match what you actually did.
Make sure the questions you start with are the questions you answer. Be consistent: Use consistent terms with consistent meanings throughout your thesis, so it is easy for the reader to see the connections. Avoid using several different terms for the same thing or the reader may become confused, thinking you are writing about different things. It is also crucial to avoid changing the meaning of a term part-way through your thesis. Examiners want you to critically engage with the literature in your field. At the minimum you should present your critical interpretation and summary of the literature relevant to your topic.
Examiner comment on the literature review in PhD theses. Studies in Higher Education , 32 3 , — Metaphorically, you engage with the literature by first mapping or charting the current state of the intellectual terrain, and then drawing up a plan for how you will renovate, reform, repair or remodel this terrain, and finally you build something that contributes to or enhances what was there.
Alternatively, you can see engaging with literature as first identifying what Thomson and Kamler Thomson, P. Writing for peer reviewed journals. London : Routledge.
Writing the scope and limitations of a thesis
One part of engaging with the literature is reviewing, summarising or interpreting what has already been said on your topic. First, it is important to only refer to literature that is directly relevant to your study, and to explain how it is relevant. Second, you should draw your own conclusions about the main features of your field: What do you take to be the main positions and conclusions? The areas of ambiguity, controversy, debate and disagreement?
What new trends, categories, connections and relationships do you see? When engaging with the literature you should use the literature to inform, support and justify your conclusions, and avoid merely listing who said what.
The literature is your data and your job is to analyse, interpret and synthesise this data in order to draw conclusions. In other words, the literature review is an argument to convince your examiners of your interpretation of what has already been said. One way to focus on your own conclusions is to write about the ideas you draw from the literature rather than write about people or articles.
You should typically write about these ideas in your own voice, making your own claims, rather than hiding behind what others have said. You might also try writing the main conclusions from the literature without referring to any articles or books. Then you are forced to write your own conclusions in your own words. Engagement with the literature also goes beyond critically reviewing what has been said. You engage with the literature by using the literature to: Locate yourself: Explain the field you are contributing to, and the fields you are drawing from. Define the focus and boundaries of your research, and the relevant literature.
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Justify your research: Provide a rationale for your research based on how it will contribute to what has been done. Explain and justify your approach: Compare what you are doing with what has been done, and so illuminate what you are doing and why this is an appropriate approach. Explain and justify your contribution: Show how your research adds something important to what has been done in your field. This also means that you engage with the literature throughout your thesis, not just in the literature review.
Sample Thesis Chapter 1 Scope And Delimitation - - የኢትዮጵያ እግር ኳስ ፌዴሬሽን
In the introduction, you use the literature to explain and justify your research. In the literature review, you locate your research, and present your interpretation and evaluation of what has been said so far. In the methods, you use the literature to explain and justify your approach. In the discussion sections, you discuss your findings in relation to what others have found — for example, where do you confirm and where do you contradict previous research?
In the conclusion, you convince the readers that you have made a contribution to the literature.