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-------------------------------- Elena Lawrick, PhD Copyright © Lawrick 2011.

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1 Elena Lawrick, PhD Copyright © Lawrick 2011

2 Dissertation (thesis) is a formal, written treatise that covers a subject in great detail, and is submitted in the course of qualifying for a doctor of philosophy degree (PhD). “Dissertation” originates from the Latin word dissertātiō, meaning "discourse." “Thesis" comes from the Greek word θέσις, meaning “intellectual position”. Copyright © Lawrick 2011

3 In this presentation we’ll talk about: process of writing a dissertation structure of dissertation patterns of chapters’ organization diss. parts --in greater detail Copyright © Lawrick 2011

4 long and time-consuming consistency, keep your dissertation close & work at your convenience; logistics figure out which tools to use: Word document? MS Word dissertation template? Latex dissertation template? multiple chapters figure out your personal style: Are you a “Chapter 1 to ‘last’” writer or would you rather write random chapters? writing in drafts How many? (2-3) Ask your advisor explicitly about the expected process feedback the advisor’s feedback is crucial, but what other resources are available? Writing a dissertation Copyright © Lawrick 2011

5 ETD Form 9 “Thesis/ Dissertation Acceptance” (add after the defense; no page #) Form 20 “Research Integrity & Copyright Disclaimer” (add after the defense; no page #) Title page (no page #) Dedication (optional; Roman numerals for page #) Acknowledgements (Roman numerals for page #) Table of Contents (Roman numerals for page #) List of Tables (optional; Roman numerals for page #) List of Figures (optional; Roman numerals for page #) Abstract (Roman numerals for page #) Chapter 1, 2, 3, … (arabic numerals for page #) References (cover page; no page #) References (arabic numerals for page #) Appendices (cover page; no page #) Appendices (arabic numerals for page #) Vita (cover page; no page #) Vita (arabic numerals for page #) Diss. structure Copyright © Lawrick 2011

6 Chapters’ organization patterns Chapters: Patterns of diss. organization Empirical (research-based) I ntroduction M ethods R esults D iscussion Theoretical ( e.g., astrophysics ) Introduction K nown Principles O bservations E quations designed to account for the observed phenomena See Unit 4 in Swales & Feak (2004). Meta-analysis (research reviews) Introduction H istorical view of the field C urrent works T heory/ M odel I ssue See Unit 5 in Swales & Feak (2004). Copyright © Lawrick 2011

7 In some disciplines, the structure is different. It’s wise to discuss this issue with your advisor. Organization of empirical dissertation Empirical (research-based) Introduction Methods Results Discussion Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Literature review Chapter 3. Research Design Chapter 4. Research Context (optional or integrated in the RD chapter) Chapter 5. Results (possibly, multiple chapters) Chapter 6. Discussion Chapter 7. Conclusion (possibly, combined with the Discussion chapter) For details, see Units 4,5,7,8 in Swales & Feak (2004). Copyright © Lawrick 2011

8 How long is a dissertation? -the length varies significantly: from 150 to 600+ pages (double-spaced) How long is a chapter? -varies, but the standard expectation is pages in length Should I provide a chapter summary? - it’s a great idea. Writing a Chapter Summary helps the readers a lot. Can I include references and appendices at the end of each chapter? - Yes. It’s a rather common way of organization of your dissertation. Another way is traditional – at the end of the dissertation. Some questions that worried me when I started my own dissertation Dissertation FAQs Copyright © Lawrick 2011

9 Should I consult with all committee members on every chapter? -typically, NOT. You’ll work closer with your advisor. However, if your committee members do not mind, use their expertise to the fullest. Who makes final decisions? -Your advisor. Some questions that worried me when I started my own dissertation (cont’d) Dissertation FAQs (cont’d) Copyright © Lawrick 2011

10 Introduction Chapter 1. Introduction Alternative titles: Foundations or your own 1.1. Introduction purpose: to provide the rationale for the research (i.e., establish the centrality of the issue under research) and to attract interest in the topic organization: from general discussion of the topic to the particular hypothesis or research questions language features: present tense (high frequency), present perfect & past tense (mid frequency) active voice (high frequency), passive voice (low frequency) citations (high frequency) e.g., this study aims to –NOT it was aimed to… 1.2. Theoretical Framework (optional; may be included in Chapter 2) Copyright © Lawrick 2011

11 Literature Review Chapter 2. Literature Review alternative titles: Theoretical Framework, Past/Previous works, or your own purpose: to create a research space organization: from general discussion of the topic to the particular hypothesis or research questions Move 1 – establish a research territory by… a.showing that the research area is central, problematic, and relevant b.introducing and reviewing previous research Move 2 – establish your own research niche (space) by… a.indicating a gap in the previous research b.OR extending previous knowledge in some way Move 3 – occupy your own research niche (space) by… a.outlining purposes or stating the nature of previous research b.listing research questions or hypothesis Copyright © Lawrick 2011

12 Literature Review Chapter 2. Literature Review (cont’d) language features: citations (highest level) Pattern 1 - reference to single studies – past tense (active & passive voice) e.g., Kachru (1986) proposed the influential Three Circles Model. English in the Indian context was first investigated by Kachru (1986). Pattern 2 - reference to areas of inquiry– present perfect tense (active & passive voice) e.g., The global spread of English has been widely studied (Berns et al., 2007; Kachru, 1986; Schneider, 2010). Several researchers have explored the global spread of English (Berns et al., 2007; Kachru,1986; Schneider, 2010). Pattern 3 - reference to state of current knowledge– present tense (active voice) e.g., The causes of the global diffusion of English are complex (Blommaert, 2010). The global diffusion of English seems to be connected with globalization ( Bhatt, 2010; Blommaert, 2010). Copyright © Lawrick 2011

13 Research Design Chapter 3. Research Design alternative titles: Methods, Methodology, or your own purpose: to describe methodology, study instrument, procedures, research context, subjects in great detail organization: cater for your research language features: Past simple tense in passive voice (the highest frequency—mostly, to describe the procedures) e.g., the questionnaire was distributed Present tense and active voice (low frequency—mostly, to describe subjects and research context) e.g., because the study examined …., I chose to … Citations (low frequency—only if the previous methodology was applied) Copyright © Lawrick 2011

14 Organization of empirical dissertation Empirical (research-based) Introduction Methods Results Discussion Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Literature review Chapter 3. Research Design Chapter 4. Research Context (optional or integrated in the RD chapter) Chapter 5. Results (possibly, multiple chapters) Chapter 6. Discussion Chapter 7. Conclusion (possibly, combined with the Discussion chapter) For details, see Units 4,5,7,8 in Swales & Feak (2004). Copyright © Lawrick 2011

15 Results Chapter 4. Results alternative titles: your own purpose: to describe the findings organization: possibly, by a research question language features: The main focus is on reporting results by following the procedure(s) e.g., The respondents were first asked to indentify…. Then they were asked to …. Past simple tense in active or passive voice – to report the findings e.g., Fifty five percent respondents indicated that … The respondents were first asked …. Present tense in active voice - to make generalizations and comment on tables and figures e.g., These data identify... The results suggest that… Figure 5.3 below shows … Citations (low frequency—only when commenting on results) For reporting and commenting on the data, see Unit 4 in Swales and Feak (2004). Copyright © Lawrick 2011

16 Discussion Chapter 6. Discussion alternative titles: Discussion & Conclusion or your own purpose: to discuss the findings of the entire project and its limitations. Great if connected to the statements made in the Introduction and Literature Review chapters to show how the study contributed to the previous knowledge. organization: from specific to general rhetorical features: discussions should go beyond being summaries of the results. They are … MORE theoretical, abstract, general, integrated with the field, connected to the real world, concerned with implications or applications Copyright © Lawrick 2011

17 Discussion (cont’d) Chapter 6. Discussion (cont’d) language features: Summarize a finding  discuss it and connect with the relevant literature Citations (high frequency) Present tense in active voice (high frequency) e.g., This report brings together... From these data it is clear that… Present perfect tense in active voice (high frequency) e.g., This study has confirmed the initial hypothesis … Past simple tense in active voice (high frequency)– to report contextualize the findings in the previous research e.g., This interview study supported the claim made in Kachru (1986) that … Use of modality to express confidence or hedge (i.e., present with caution) the generalizations e.g., These results seem to be in line with … This characteristic may be indicative of … My findings most definitely support ….

18 Conclusion Chapter 7. Conclusion alternative title: if combined with the Discussion Chapter, Discussion and Conclusion purpose: provide concluding remarks & discuss the implications for further research Language features: Present or past tense in active voice (high frequency) e.g., Given the unprecedented scope of diffusion of English in the world, this study is a timely contribution…. This research empirically confirmed… Modals (high frequency) – to discuss future research e.g., The following aspects need to be more closely investigated.

19 Resources Some Resources Swales, J. & Feak, C. (2004). Academic writing for graduate students: Essential tasks and skills. 2 nd ed. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. Online resources (notice that some of then are UK-based) m

20 References Swales, J. & Feak, C. (2004). Academic writing for graduate students: Essential tasks and skills. 2 nd ed. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. Dissertation. Definition. Retrieved from Copyright © Lawrick 2011

21 THANK YOU! QUESTIONS, PLEASE? Copyright © Lawrick 2011


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