Dissertation how long should introduction be

Dissertation introduction length

Do not confuse the primary research questions with interview questions in a qualitative study, or survey questions in a quantitative study. The research questions in a qualitative study are followed by both a null and an alternate hypothesis. A hypothesis is a testable prediction for an observed phenomenon, namely, the gap in the knowledge. Each research question will have both a null and an alternative hypothesis in a quantitative study.

Qualitative studies do not have hypotheses.


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The two hypotheses should follow the research question upon which they are based. Hypotheses are testable predictions to the gap in the knowledge. In a qualitative study the hypotheses are replaced with the primary research questions. In Chapter 1 this is a summary of the methodology and contains a brief outline of three things: a the participants in a qualitative study or thesubjects of a quantitative study human participants are referred tyo as participants, non-human subjects are referred to as subjects , b the instrumentation used to collect data, and c the procedure that will be followed.

All of these elements will be reported in detail in Chapter 3. In a quantitative study, the instrumentation will be validated in Chapter 3 in detail. In a qualitative study, if it is a researcher-created questionnaire, validating the correctness of the interview protocol is usually accomplished with a pilot study.

For either a quantitative or a qualitative study, using an already validated survey instrument is easier to defend and does not require a pilot study; however, Chapter 3 must contain a careful review of the instrument and how it was validated by the creator. In a qualitative study, which usually involves interviews, the instrumentation is an interview protocol — a pre-determined set of questions that every participant is asked that are based on the primary research questions. In the humanities, a demographic survey should be circulated with most quantitative and qualitative studies to establish the parameters of the participant pool.

Demographic surveys are nearly identical in most dissertations. In the sciences, a demographic survey is rarely needed. The theoretical framework is the foundational theory that is used to provide a perspective upon which the study is based. There are hundreds of theories in the literature. In the sciences, research about new species that may have evolved from older, extinct species would be based on the theory of evolution pioneered by Darwin.

Some departments put the theoretical framework explanation in Chapter 1; some put it in Chapter 2. Assumptions are self-evident truths. In a qualitative study, it may be assumed that participants be highly qualified in the study is about administrators. It can be assumed that participants will answer truthfully and accurately to the interview questions based on their personal experience, and that participants will respond honestly and to the best of their individual abilities.

Limitations of a study are those things over which the research has no control. Evident limitations are potential weaknesses of a study. Researcher biases and perceptual misrepresentations are potential limitations in a qualitative study; in a quantitative study, a limitation may be the capability of an instrument to accurately record data. Scope is the extent of the study and contains measurements.

In a qualitative study this would include the number of participants, the geographical location, and other pertinent numerical data. In a quantitative study the size of the elements of the experiment are cited. The generalizability of the study may be cited. The word generalizability, which is not in the Word dictionary, means the extent to which the data are applicable in places other than where the study took place, or under what conditions the study took place.

Delimitations are limitations on the research design imposed deliberately by the researcher. Delimitations in a social sciences study would be such things as the specific school district where a study took place, or in a scientific study, the number of repetitions.

Writing the Dissertation

The definition of terms is written for knowledgeable peers, not people from other disciplines As such, it is not the place to fill pages with definitions that knowledgeable peers would know at a glance. Instead, define terms that may have more than one meaning among knowledgeable peers.

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Formed in , Book Editing Associates is a one-stop shop for writers who need professional book editors, tested proofreaders, published ghostwriters, and publishing consultants. Thank you so much for this article Barbara. I have read it at the right time when I am writing the Introduction chapter of my PhD thesis and it has helped me very much. Our goal is to help.

Please l need permission to use this article as part of our Research Methods note in a Seminary in Nigeria, Africa. Your email address will not be published. Skip to content Dissertation Writing. December 5, May 30, Network Coordinator 11 Comments. Introductory Paragraph State the general field of interest in one or two paragraphs, and end with a sentence that states what study will accomplish.

Background of the Problem This section is critically important as it must contain some mention of all the subject matter in the following Chapter 2 Review of the Literature 2 and the methodology in Chapter 3. Statement of the Problem Arising from the background statement is this statement of the exact gap in the knowledge discussed in previous paragraphs that reviewed the most current literature found.

Writing your dissertation introduction, conclusion and abstract

The problem with providing a simple answer that will apply universally to every scholarly thesis and dissertation is that each research project is unique and will therefore present its own specific requirements. Several factors may play a role in determining the length of the final document. The nature of the research, then, will determine the length and much else about the introduction because it is that research that the introduction must introduce, and introduce well, to examiners and other readers.

The first thing to do when you are wondering how long your thesis or dissertation introduction should be is to consult the guidelines or regulations for theses and dissertations provided by your department or university or other research or educational institution if you are not studying at a university.

How to write an introduction

Be sure to look at the instructions specifically intended for the type of thesis or dissertation you are writing and use the guidelines relevant to your discipline, department and subject area. There will usually be some sort of overall word or page limit set on the length of a thesis or dissertation, sometimes a lower limit that must be met as well as an upper limit that must not be exceeded.

Occasionally, there will also be information on how long each part of the document, such as the introduction, should be, but this is rare.


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  • Starting your introduction?

You may also find it helpful to discuss the matter of introduction length with your supervisor or primary mentor, who will probably be able to give you more specific advice about the length of introduction expected for your particular research topic and approach. Another excellent strategy is to consult successful theses and dissertations that have recently been completed in your department and discipline; their introductions, especially when the research is similar to your own, may serve as useful models of length.

How to Achieve Academic Success Generally speaking, the more advanced the research, the longer the thesis or dissertation written to report it, so an undergraduate dissertation will be a lot shorter than a doctoral thesis researched in the same department and even one exploring the same research topic. This does not mean, however, that undergraduate dissertations will always be of the same or a similar length, or that all doctoral theses will resemble each other in length.

A doctoral thesis in the humanities might consist of a good many more words and paragraphs than a PhD thesis in the sciences does, but that scientific thesis might in turn make up the difference in tables, charts and other presentations of data. As you are designing and drafting the introduction for your thesis or dissertation, the guidelines, advice and models available to you will help you aim for an appropriate length, and as you finish and polish your work, they will help you edit for that perfect length.

Even more important, however, will be the content you are required to include in your introduction. Here, too, those guidelines, mentors and successful theses and dissertations will prove invaluable. Department and university guidelines may list or describe the basic contents expected in the introduction; your mentors may have very specific ideas about what must be communicated to clarify your research; and those successful theses and dissertations will reveal what other students chose to write about in their introductions.

In fact, the introductions to scholarly theses and dissertations of all kinds tend to have very similar primary functions, so I have listed a number of these below. Do be aware, however, that these points are particularly relevant to a thesis or dissertation that makes an original contribution to knowledge.

Some of them may not be necessary or useful for your thesis or dissertation, they might be presented in a variety of different orders, and disciplines and departments will vary in the terminology used to describe them, so it is essential while using this list to prioritise any instructions you obtain from your own educational institution and mentors. This can be done at any point in the introduction, but mentioning it in a brief and engaging manner near the beginning and then developing it into a more comprehensive statement often works well.

This can take many forms including a survey of the history of the occurrence of the problem or phenomenon and a summary or brief review of previous research on the topic.