Doctoral dissertations

How to Write a Doctoral Dissertation

A doctoral dissertation refers to a document submitted by a student pursuing a philosophy of doctorate degree to present his/her research finding. In writing the doctoral dissertation, the writer must use a systematic approach that gives emphasis on the dissertation management process rather than writing general text in the dissertation. The use of a good systematic approach in writing a doctoral dissertation has three advantages. One it can help in performance improvement by means of proposal documentation, topic analysis, planning, scheduling and so on. Two the approach helps the student in management of the doctoral dissertation as he/she has all the management responsibility. Third, it helps the student in use of methods that help effective use of advisors time and talents through interactions and presentations.

In writing a doctoral dissertation, the writer should start with a plan to ensure that his/her dissertation has an odd number of chapters that is between 5 and 9. The writer then starts with an abstract that gives a brief and comprehensive summary of the content of the dissertation. The abstract gives the reader a quick review of the content of the doctoral dissertation.

After the abstract, the writer starts with chapter one which is the introduction. The chapter describes the problem, statement of hypothesis and the importance of the doctoral dissertation. In this chapter, the student gives clear and genuine arguments of why the topic is worth investigation, the reasons for research and how he/she intendeds to carry out the research.  Chapter two of doctoral dissertation is the background. The background chapter gives a description of the literature review and the previous knowledge on the topic. The chapter gives appreciation to the scholars who had further put their effort in the knowledge or problem under research. In addition, it gives more information on the background of the problem statement and provision of motivation. The motivation states how the student wants the committee to judge his/her dissertation during defense. Chapter three is related work. This chapter gives a close relationship between the students work and the previous work on the problem statement from other scholars. The chapter gives a close survey and critical assessment of the previous works to establish their relationship to the student work.

Chapters 4-6 of doctoral dissertation form the main body.  The chapters give an in-depth description of the methodologies, design, analysis, interpretation, and implementation of the results.  The students explains the research methods applied during the research, the different research designs applied, the analysis of the results, the implementation of the results and a discussion or interpretation of the results.

Chapter 7 of the doctoral dissertation gives the critical assessment of the student’s work though evaluation of the student’s work in clarifying the hypothesis statement. It gives the student’s contribution, thoroughness, and demonstrated precision to the problem statement. In addition, it is in this chapter that the student does a comparison of his/her work with the previous closest work. Chapter eight of doctoral dissertation gives further work that needs to be done on the problem statement. The chapter gives the remaining parts of the research that a student/researcher is willing to undertake a research.

The final chapter of doctoral dissertation is a summary/conclusion chapter that gives the students final remarks by explicitly stating the importance and implication of the research.  Finally, the student gives the bibliography or references that give a list of all the sources of reviewed work during the research.

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