Writing The Thesis Or Dissertation

This guide has been created to assist my graduate students in thinkingthrough the many aspects of crafting, implementing and defending a thesisor dissertation. It is my attempt to share some of the many ideas thathave surfaced over the past few years that definitely make the task offinishing a graduate degree so much easier. (This Guide is a companion to the .)

The Thesis/Dissertation Defense

The introduction to Eusebius'

Stage 2 - Preparing the Proposal

28. Potentially the silliest part of the dissertation is the Suggestionsfor Further Research section. This section is usually written atthe very end of your writing project and little energy is left to makeit very meaningful. The biggest problem with this section is that the suggestionsare often ones that could have been made prior to you conducting your research.Read and reread this section until you are sure that you have made suggestionsthat emanate from your experiences in conducting the research and the findingsthat you have evolved. Make sure that your suggestions for further researchserve to link your project with other projects in the future and providea further opportunity for the reader to better understand what you havedone.

Stage 3- Conducting the Research

29. Now it's time to write the last chapter. But what chapter is thelast one? My perception is that the last chapter should be the first chapter.I don't really mean this in the literal sense. Certainly youwrote Chapter One at the beginning of this whole process. Now, at the end,it's time to "rewrite" Chapter One. After you've had a chanceto write your dissertation all the way to the end, the last thing you shoulddo is turn back to Chapter One. Reread Chapter One carefully with the insightyou now have from having completed Chapter Five. Does Chapter One clearlyhelp the reader move in the direction of Chapter Five? Are important conceptsthat will be necessary for understanding Chapter Five presented in ChapterOne?

Stage 4- Writing the Research Paper*

It alsoexplains the practicalities of surviving the ordeal.

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These key words provide a skeleton for much of your chapter outline.

Good referencing also tells the reader which parts of the thesis are descriptions of previous knowledge and which parts are your additions to that knowledge.

Or you could use a drop-box or other more sophisticated system.

Good referencing allows us to check the foundations of your additions to the structure of knowledge in the discipline, or at least to trace them back to a level which we judge to be reliable.

Okay, you're ready to write your research proposal. Here are some ideasto help with the task:

(New York:Robert Carter and Brothers, 1882), pp.

8. Read through someone else's research proposal. Very oftena real stumbling block is that we don't have an image in our mind of whatthe finished research proposal should look like. How has the other proposalbeen organized? What are the headings that have been used? Does the otherproposal seem clear? Does it seem to suggest that the writer knows thesubject area? Can I model my proposal after one of the ones thatI've seen? If you can't readily find a proposal or two to look at, askyour adviser to see some. Chances are your adviser has a file drawer filled withthem.

9); "we aredebtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh" (v.

Danker(Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1979), p.

(A physicist whodid not know all of those words would probably be glad to remedy the lacuna either fromthe context or by consulting a dictionary.)Sometimes it is easier to present information and arguments as a series of numbered points, rather than as one or more long and awkward paragraphs.

Headlam. . 3d ed. The International Critical Commentary, eds.

"Objects of very different albedo may be illuminated differently soas to produce similar reflected spectra" is longer and uses less common words, but, compared to the former example, it has the advantage of being true.