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Structuring a PhD Thesis

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1 Structuring a PhD Thesis
Ismail Said School of Graduate Studies Universiti Teknologi Malaysia 12 Jan 2015 Examples were derived from Mazlina Mansor’s Thesis (2012)

2 What is PhD Research? Doing PhD study is putting yourself into a world of investigating new ideas and knowledge of a subject. And, to attain the new knowledge, you always link your research field with others. (Theoretical framework) Doing a PhD research may not solving a dubious problem that is it is not a rocket science. Neither, it is a breakthrough. It may investigate an obvious inquiry.

3 Novelty and Originality of a PhD Thesis
Carrying out an empirical work that has not been done before Making a synthesis that has not been made before Making a new interpretation of known materials Bringing new evidence to bear on old use Being cross-disciplinary and using different methodologies Adding new knowledge to the current pool of knowledge

4 Content Abstract Abstracts (ab=out, trahere=pull; “to pull out”)
An abstract is the prelude of your thesis. It is usually read first and may be only part read. Therefore, make it accurate, specific, objective, and self-contained (i.e., it makes sense alone without references to the main text). WRITE IT AT THE END. It must concisely describe the experimental question, the general methods and the major findings and implications of the experiments An example: Analyzing sunlight duration and optimum shading using a sky map A method of predicting the sunlight duration on windows in a densely packed building environment is presented.

5 Content Abstract Content
1.  Intent or objective of paper; Problem statement; Issue 2. Method of study 3. Results or Findings 4. Conclusion 5. Implication How many words? Generally, words.

6 Content Chapter 1 Introduction Research Background
Statements of Problem and Research Gap Research Aim and Objectives Research Assumptions Research Underpinnings Significances of Research Outline of Research Methodology Outline of Thesis

7 STATEMENTS OF PROBLEM Built environment is a harmful impediment to biophilic needs of urban residents from sedentary behaviour, high level of built-up urban pressures, increase immersion in the artificial human-made environment. Hence, residents disengage from the urban natural environment. (2) Issues on planning of urban green infrastructure Lack of availability Lack of connectivity Management practices – e.g. poor quality in development plan, low maintenance, lack of manpower, budget, expertise, interest, lack of awareness and civic mindedness and lack of monitoring.

8 RESEARCH GAP Lack of empirical evidences in Malaysia that determine physical and psychological effects of urban green infrastructure network. Very few studies were found in landscape architecture and urban planning disciplines that explore which properties and attributes have the strongest positive effects, and what can be done to improve urban settings - contribute to the search for functional landscape designs beneficial to human well-being and sustainability. Thus, this exploratory study is designed as an extension to the existing body of knowledge found in Western and European studies and to fill the gap on study in Malaysian setting.

KEY RQ 1: What makes green infrastructure network in a town possible for the residents to physically and visually access it? SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS: a)What are the types of green infrastructure that can be found in urban green environment? )How is the green infrastructure in Malaysian towns distributed? Does green infrastructure network exist in Taiping? )How do residents feel about the properties and attributes of green infrastructure which include diversity, naturalness, coherence and other additional attributes in the town? OBJECTIVE 1: To investigate the presence of diversity, naturalness, coherence and additional attributes that forms experiences of a green infrastructure network in a small town. OBJECTIVE 2: To identify uses and experiences that residents make of the green infrastructure and feelings that they have towards the properties and attributes. OBJECTIVE 3: To determine the effects of experiential contacts with the green infrastructure network, and the relationships to well-being of residents, physically, cognitively and socially. SUBSIDIARY QUESTION 2): How do the properties and attributes of green infrastructure network affect physical, cognitive and social experience and well-being of the residents? How do the residents benefits from their experiences in the green infrastructure? Is there a significant difference of the effects of visiting different green infrastructure on well being of the residents? How does green infrastructure network affect physical experience and well-being of the residents? What are the residents’ feelings towards the attributes of the green infrastructure? How does it affect their cognitive experience and performance? Do the residents develop a sense of attachment (cognitive effects) to the green spaces? How does green infrastructure affect residents’ social experience and well-being? Which attributes of the green infrastructure have a strong influence on physical, cognitive and social well-being of the residents? KEY RQ2: How do properties and attributes of the green infrastructure assist the residents’ experiential contacts with nature and how do they affect their well-being? SUBSIDIARY QUESTION I): How does the green infrastructure network contribute to urban residents’ experiences? Do the majority of the residents utilise green infrastructure as their everyday setting? What are the opportunities it offers to the residents? What are the levels of the residents’ familiarity of the green infrastructure? HYPOTHESIS: Ho: Physical, cognitive and social well-being of the residents is independent to the properties and attributes of the green infrastructure. Hı:Physical, cognitive and social well-being of the residents is dependent on properties and attributes of green infrastructure. OBJECTIVE 4: To propose a conceptual model eliciting the interrelationships of residents’ experiential contacts with the green infrastructure network to physical, cognitive and social well-being.

10 Content Chapter 2: Literature Review
Review of past studies and relationship of a study to another, and then relationship of the reviewed studies to yours Defining your research underpinnings or conceptual framework Further justification of your research gap Situating your research into the framework

11 EXPERIENTIAL CONTACTS OF RESIDENTS WITH GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK IN TAIPING Chapter Literature Review 1 GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK AND EXPERIENTIAL CONTACTS WITH ITS PROPERTIES AND ATTRIBUTES Introduction Urban Green Infrastructure Green Infrastructure Network Conceptual Frameworks on Green Infrastructure Network and Well-being Types of Green Infrastructure Network in Malaysian Towns Properties and Attributes of Green Infrastructure Network Conclusion

EXPERIENTIAL CONTACTS OF RESIDENTS WITH GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK IN TAIPING Chapter Literature Review 2 EXPERIENTIAL CONTACTS WITH GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE AND WELL-BEING Introduction Perceptual Theories on Humans’ Relationships with Environment consisting of Green Infrastructure Effects of Experiential Contacts with Green Infrastructure Conceptual Framework Linking Residents’ Experiential Contacts with Green Infrastructure Conclusion

Habitat specific Savanna, Forest and Grassland-woodland Hypotheses. Non-habitat specific Prospect-refuge Theory (Appleton, 1975) Landscape Preference Theory (Kaplan and Kaplan, 1982, 1989) Biophilia Hypothesis (Wilson, 1984; Kellert and Wilson, 1993) “People have a more general innate bond with nature. Respond of people is in favour of natural settings than that of urban or man-made.” “The innately emotional affiliation is a fundamental component of building and sustaining good health” PERCEPTUAL THEORIES b) Cultural Preference Theory Topophilia (Tuan, 1974) “Human-nature relationships are predominantly dependent on the cultural background and personal attributes e.g. gender, occupation, hobbies, academic background.” This study support mixture of these theories – responses to green infrastructure are innate as well as challenged and changed by cultural influences and experiences. 2) FRAMEWORKS that support the perceptual theories derived from urban ecosystem, conservation biology, landscape ecology, urban design, environmental planning and landscape architecture disciplines i.e. Tzoulas et al., 2007; Pickett & Cardenasso, 2008.

PHYSICAL DETERMINANTS EXPERIENTIAL CONTACTS viewing in & out, being in & active engagements: kinetic-physical, leisure & social activities PERCEPTUAL DETERMINANTS Perception; familiarity, preference The interaction between human behaviour and the non-human environment (the green infrastructure network) as a two way process PROPERTIES AND ATTRIBUTES: Diversity, naturalness, coherence & additional attributes (cleanliness, maintenance, facilities) Independent parameters (PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS) Dependent parameters (from psychophysical procedures) Parameters that affect the link between cause and outcome parameters Physical well-being Feeling active; bodily healthy; mobility Cognitive well-being Forget worries, relief stress & clear mind from distractions comfortable, relax and calm privacy; safe; preference; satisfaction; attachment Social well-being Interactions with neighbours & other residents; participate; friendly and satisfied

15 Content Chapter 3: Research Methodology
Explanation of your research design or approach, defining your parameters, site background information, methods of data collection, methods of data analysis, verifying your study reliability and validity, and conclusion. For research on people-place relationship, it is important to explain the approach of your study either positivism, post-positivism, constructivism, or pragmatism.

16 Methodological Approaches in the Studies of Human-Environment
EXPERIENTIAL CONTACTS OF RESIDENTS WITH GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK IN TAIPING Chapter 3: Research Methodology Introduction Methodological Approaches in the Studies of Human-Environment Research Questions Research Design Triangulations of the Mixed-methods Approach Reliability and Validity Analyses of Data Conclusion

17 THE STUDY SITE 10 main types of green infrastructure
6 types of green open space: Recreational green infrastructure (The Lake Gardens), Large open playfield, Public buildings and institutional grounds, Designed pocket spaces Small incidental and loose-fit green spaces, Neighbourhood open spaces, home gardens, and Existing private lands and undeveloped lands. 4 types of green network: Transport corridors Linear green spaces (commercial shop houses and five-foot walkways) River corridors Linear green spaces and reserves.

Review of literature Theoretical frameworks & underpinnings Exploratory & correlational study design Strategies of inquiry n Techniques Surveys 335 Self-administered questionnaire; quantitative closed-ended with open a few open-ended questions 2) Semi-structured interview 33 Semi-structured questions 3)Behavioural observation 580-The Lake Gardens; 334-Town centre Unobtrusive observations and mapping of activities Pragmatism knowledge claim The context that was tested-Taiping Mixed-methods approach Analysis of data Descriptive Inferential Content analysis Triangulation FINDINGS

19 Content Chapter 4: Results and Discussion
You displayed your results in tables or figures. Sort your results according to your research objectives, research hypothesis or research questions. Each table or figure must be interpreted that is what is the meaning of a result. Interpretation is the findings that is answers for your research objectives. Relate your findings to those of past studies in three forms: AFFIRM, MODIFY or REJECT. Affirmation means your findings run parallel to the past ones. Modification means your findings are a slight different from those of the past studies that certain add new knowledge to the current pool of knowledge of your research subject. Rejection means your findings is total contrast to the past ones. You are creating a new concept or theory for the research subject.

20 Reliability Analyses of Constructed Parameters
EXPERIENTIAL CONTACTS OF RESIDENTS WITH GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK IN TAIPING Chapter 4: Results and Discussion Introduction Reliability Analyses of Constructed Parameters Factor Analysis of the Constructed Parameters Characteristics of Residents Uses and Familiarity of the Green Infrastructure Experiential Contacts with Properties and Attributes of the Green Infrastructure Well-being Effects from the Green Infrastructure Network Conclusion

21 6 main FINDINGS Visits to green infrastructure (RO2 & RQ2)
Residents regularly used the green infrastructure. The act of visiting or not visiting does not depend on residents’ characteristics. 2) Familiarity (RO2 & RQ2) With at least 6 types of green infrastructure. Residents were more familiar with green open spaces than green network. 3) Activities (RO2 & RQ2) Residents were actively engaged in at least 22 types of activities. 4) Experience of green infrastructure’s attributes (RO1 & RQ1) Diversity, naturalness and coherence are presence in Taiping. E.g. The Lake Gardens has high diversity & naturalness, hills (naturalness), neighbourhood (proximity). The attributes shaped preferences 5) Effects to well-being (RO3 & RQ2) Benefits - The experience fulfils nature and human interactions needs. Residents felt affiliated with the green infrastructure. Physical well-being – residents achieved at least 6 types of physical effects (active living, feeling bodily healthy, etc.). Cognitive well-being – at least 13 cognitive effects (emotional relief, comfort, relaxed, calmness, etc). Social well-being – at least 6 social effects (interactions, participation, satisfaction).

22 FINDINGS 6) Relationships of attributes and well-being (RO3 & hypotheses) Diversity affects physical well-being the most. Naturalness affects cognitive well-being the most. Coherence affects cognitive and social well-being the most. Cause-effect relationship from green infrastructure

23 Content Chapter 5: Conclusion
This is the pinnacle of your thesis; situating the novelty of your thesis. It is a generalization of a new knowledge. It displayed the new knowledge that you have discovered. Explanation should be simple that bringing together the findings of all objectives into a conclusive one. The conclusion only situated in your thesis.

24 EXPERIENTIAL CONTACTS OF RESIDENTS WITH GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK IN TAIPING Chapter 5: Conclusion Introduction Conclusion to the Findings 1. Uses of the Green Infrastructure Network 2. Green Infrastructure Network 3. Experiential Contacts with Attributes of 4. Green Infrastructure and Their Effects on Well-being 5. Physical, Cognitive and Social Well-being Implications and Recommendations for Planning of Green Infrastructure Areas for Future Research Conclusion

25 FINDINGS A conceptual model (RO4)
Viewing, being with the attributes and engaging in physical, leisure and social activities contribute to familiarity, frequent visits, preference, satisfaction and attachment that lead to well being.

The presence of these properties and attributes assists sequential experience. The green infrastructure is integrated, providing concentration nodes and vital channels of movement that fulfil their needs for nature and interaction. Green infrastructure network is essential amenity that produces healthy environment. Criteria – Green infrastructure must be reflected much more clearly in urban planning policies to ensure that towns are liveable and green spaces are attractive to urban residents.

27 Read Novels The Uncharted Path: The Autobiography of Lee Myung-Bak
 What is a life well lived?

28 Question and Answer Session Thank you
Question and Answer Session Thank you. YOU WILL SEE A RAINBOW AFTER THE STORM HAS PASSED.

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