Everything You Need to Know About References and Citations: Part 1

Everything You Need to Know About References and Citations: Part 1

When you conduct your research, it is important to record the details of all the information you find to provide accurate references, and to assist you or the reviewers to locate the information again later.  Many styles are used for citation referencing.  When you are given thesis or dissertation guidelines, check which style of referencing your advisor or committee asks you to use.  If you don’t check, and you use a style that is not the one stated in your guidelines, you could lose points. 

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How to Write a Proposal: For a Master’s Thesis or Dissertation

How to Write a Proposal: For a Master’s Thesis or Dissertation

Note: Many thanks to fellow PhDStudent blogger Ryan Krone for his contributions and insight to this post.

Your thesis/dissertation proposal provides an overview to your committee of your plan of research; including the general scope of your project, research questions, methodology, and significance of your study. Most universities offer guidelines for their dissertation and theses requirements with information about how to set up and organize the document. Most dissertations are organized into four or five chapters. The proposal generally consists of the first three chapters because it is designed to justify and plan the project as well as explain how it contributes to existing research.

Understand and accept that the proposal will be a scrutinized document that will most likely be redrafted and resubmitted before approval. Think of the proposal as an introduction to your thesis, bridging the gap between existing work and your research. Remember that the proposal is not binding or meant to limit your ideas- you will likely modify and refine your scope, argument, and methods throughout the submission process.

Parts of a Proposal

Theses and dissertation proposals across different programs generally include some form of these sections:

Title

At this stage in your proposal, you need only provide a working title. Don’t worry if you compose a lengthy title, the aim of a title is to convey the idea of your investigation. A good title should:

·         Familiarize the audience to the topic.

·         Indicate the type of study to be conducted.

Abstract

If required (since some fields and universities do not require abstracts), the abstract should provide a brief (350 words for Dissertation, 200 words for Thesis) overview of the proposal that gives the reader a basic understanding of your proposal. The abstract should summarize your introduction, statement of the problem, background of the study, research questions or hypotheses, as well as methods and procedures.

Introduction

Your introduction should put your project in conversation with other similar projects and provide necessary background information that establishes the purpose of your study. A good introduction establishes the general territory in which the research is placed and includes some references to existing literature (which will then be looked at in a later section called the Literature Review).

Statement of the Problem

This section may be incorporated into your introduction or stand independently (ask your advisor for the most appropriate format). Regardless of placement, you need to clearly identify the problem or knowledge gap that your project is responding to. To do so, be sure to limit the variables you address while stating the problem.

Purpose/Research Questions

Like the “Statement of the Problem,” this section can be included as part of the introduction or it can be separate. The statement of purpose/research objectives involves a description of the question(s) the research seeks to answer or the hypotheses the research seeks to advance. Once you begin your research, you may find that your questions or hypotheses may change- so don’t stress. What is important for you at this point is to specify your study’s focus and concisely explain the goals and research objectives. When doing this, however, remember to show how your approach will be different from the previous research and add to the field of knowledge.

Review of Literature

The literature review is a critical look at the existing research that identifies potential gaps in knowledge and is significant to the research you are proposing to carry out. Here, you need to be able to identify the key texts which contribute to your thesis or dissertation. Literature reviews often include both the theoretical and empirical approaches in order to effectively demonstrate your familiarity with the topic and the appropriate approaches to studying it.

Tips on drafting your Literature Review:

·         Categorize the literature into trends/themes and begin each with an appropriate subheading, then synthesize related information. Remember to:

o   stake out the various positions that are relevant to your project

o   build on conclusions

o   point out the places where the literature is lacking or flawed

·         Avoid defenses, praise, and blame. Your task is to justify your project given the existing knowledge.

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How to Find Free Money for Graduate School Part 2

How to Find Free Money for Graduate School Part 2

Getting into graduate school is already a challenge on its own, and funding the program once admitted is even harder. Graduate studies involve not just tuition, books and other miscellaneous fees. If you are seriously planning to enter a graduate program, you have to consider how you can pay for your living expenses, as well. As mentioned in my previous post (part 1 of my Free Money series), scholarships are only one way of getting free money towards your higher education, my post today is going to cover all you need to know about fellowships.

 

Fellowships

A fellowship is a type of financial aid that is awarded to a graduate student to support them in their full-time course of study without associated teaching or assistantship responsibilities. Fellowships are generally merit-based awards to support a student who is going to school full time.National fellowships are highly competitive, with most applicants in the top 10-15% of the class. Fellowships also often look for a record of leadership, public service, research experience, and meaningful participation in extracurricular activities.

Fellowships provide graduate students with learning opportunities that can help them with their careers post-graduation and earn money at the same time. Whether they are participating in research, entering a training program related to their field, or doing work in their community, fellowships can provide money for tuition, housing, and other expenses. In addition, depending on the specific fellowship program, students may be able to receive health care coverage and assistance with student loans.

Institutional Fellowships

Institutional fellowship funding is awarded to the student by the university, and typically includes full tuition and stipend support, although the stipend levels vary depending on a student’s division and the prestige of the award.

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How to Find Free Money for Graduate School

How to Find Free Money for Graduate School

You’ve finally earned your Bachelor’s degree and have made it into graduate school. Whether you already have massive student loans from undergrad or you managed to graduate unscathed, you don’t want to add to your tremendous piles of debt or create a new pile. My new series will help you discover four ways to find free money and keep your head above water.

Scholarships

While less common than undergraduate scholarships, scholarships for graduate students are available. Luckily, a number of scholarship providers are willing to help graduate students continue their education by providing some extra funding.

College-Based Funding

Some universities aid their alumni through tuition discounts on graduate programs and additional certification and training. You may be surprised by what your alma mater can offer you, so explore all of your options.

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Part 3 of How to Pick Your Defense Committee

Part 3 of How to Pick Your Defense Committee

What strategies can a doctoral student employ to maneuver the trials and tribulations of a dissertation committee?

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Best Dissertation Proofreading and Editing Tips to Make Your Work Spotless

Best Dissertation Proofreading and Editing Tips to Make Your Work Spotless

 

You’ve heard this statement many times before: “the dissertation is the most important project you’ve ever worked on.” That may sound like a cliché, but it’s absolutely true. You managed to surpass many obstacles during the research and writing stage. You probably consulted at least one online guide that taught you how to write your dissertation project step by step. Now, you’re finally near the final point of the journey. Before you can present the dissertation project and earn the degree you deserve, you have to go through one last challenge: the editing and proofreading stage.

That may seem like an easy challenge. You already covered the hard part; now you only need to read the content and fix some minor flaws, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Many MA and PhD candidates are overwhelmed by the editing stage. They have spent months and years working on these projects, and now they have to be ruthless when editing their own work.

When you’re too attached to the content you wrote, it’s not easy to admit it’s deeply flawed. That’s why you need to approach it from a researcher’s point of view. The following tips and tricks will help you do that. Some of the editing and proofreading steps we suggest will sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many candidates neglect them. That’s why it’s important to approach the process as a true beginner.  

The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to Editing a Dissertation

  1. The first step is to take a break

    ...
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Rusya27
It's one of the difficult lesson for me. And often if I need write it, I ask for help.
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 03:31
ciarsky
Advertising is your main tool to have the business ready to go. Actually, everybody is busy in their company marketing over the Wo... Read More
Monday, 07 May 2018 10:39
cirrylla
I think it's really important thing. When it comes to the dissertation, you can't just rely on the luck or something. You need to ... Read More
Tuesday, 08 May 2018 05:44
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Part 2 of How to Pick Your Defense Committee

Part 2 of How to Pick Your Defense Committee

Choosing a committee can be a daunting task for a doctoral student.  We’ve already covered two strategies that can help you through this process. 

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Part 1 of How to Pick Your Defense Committee

Part 1 of How to Pick Your Defense Committee

So you’re ready to pick your committee members; there are a few things to keep in mind first—after all, it is a 3–6 year process. It is essential that doctoral students take the time to reflect on who they will choose to guide and mentor them through the doctoral process and to eventually determine whether they have earned the degree. It should be said that I come from a social science background, so my perspective is tailored to my particular field, but the strategies I discuss in this series of posts can really be applied to any academic background. There is a lot to talk about so let’s start with the first two guidelines.

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Intro To Series on How to Pick Your Defense Committee

Intro To Series on How to Pick Your Defense Committee

Choosing the right defense committee can potentially be the difference between a smooth transition of receiving your doctoral degree or dodging bullets in an all-out civil war. Hyperbole aside, I’ve been particularly lucky with picking my defense committee members. However, I’ve had colleagues who have struggled, so it’s easy to be on either side of this tough choice. As a new blogger to this site, I wanted to contribute to other great blog posts here and here, so I thought I’d create a series about important decision for grad students.

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eilidee
good guide, I will take into account. I am committed to helping students, if there are questions, then write https://domymathhome... Read More
Thursday, 16 August 2018 02:11
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On Babies and Dissertations: Part 3

On Babies and Dissertations: Part 3

I recently had the experience of expecting my first baby a month before I graduated. Throughout the process, I accidentally learned several tips to graduating on time with a PhD.

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On Babies and Dissertations: Part 2

On Babies and Dissertations: Part 2

I recently had the experience of expecting my first baby a month before I graduated. Throughout the process, I accidentally learned several tips to graduating on time with a PhD.

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On Babies and Dissertations: Part 1

On Babies and Dissertations: Part 1

I recently had the experience of expecting my first baby a month before I graduated and accidentally learned tips on graduating on time with a PhD.

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