Requirements for a Dissertation (MindMap)


Structure of the Proposal – Chapter 1• Introduction “Since the late 1990s, scholars and practitioners investigating the global economy havestruggled in understanding if whether or not a developing country’s “e-readiness” is or canbe an emerging factor in accelerating economic growth and political stability…”• Background to the Study Why is this an issue What has been accomplished to date• Statement of the Problem What are the gaps in the body of knowledge• Purpose of the Study An attempt (based on empirical research) to close a gap or explain why there is a gap• Research Questions and/or Hypotheses A question: “Is e-readiness a significant factor in accelerating economic growth andpolitical stability?” Related hypotheses: Null hypothesis – “There is no relationship between e-readiness andeconomic growth and/or political stability in a developing country.” Alternate hypothesis – “There is a relationship between e-readiness and economic growthand/or political stability in a developing country• Nature of the Study Quantitative, qualitative or both• Significance of the Study May close a gap in the body of knowledge May help developing countries close the gaps in the distribution of wealth andresources in the global economy• Definition of Terms E-Readiness Global economy Developing country Economic growth Political stability• Assumptions and Limitations Identify the assumptions that “allow” you to conduct the research Identify the limitations to your proposed research, particularly as theypertain to your choice of research design/methodology

Structure of the Proposal – Chapter 2• The literature search should provide knowledge and citations to support threethings: Rationale for undertaking the research Background of previous research bearing on the topic (helpful hint – youshould follow the related literature back to its seminal origins) Theory generating research questions and/or hypotheses• Every successful literature review addresses basic issues The review helps to focus the topic within the scope of the related literature The review substantiates the researcher’s hypothesis, or research question, withtheories of respected authorities in the field The review shows how the topic will contribute to the research field• The purpose of the literature review is to offertheoretical and/or research support for the problemyou want to investigate and for the methodology youplan to use in your research• The expectation is that you will be able to prepareChapter 1 and Chapter 3 once you have completed thereview of the literature on your topic

Structure of the Proposal – Chapter 3• The research design should derive logically from the problemstatement• The discussion of method should include sources of data(sampling), instrumentation, the collection of data, the analysisof data, and participants• The design should provide for field and/or pilot testing ifappropriate• The details of each step taken to respond to the researchquestion(s) or test the hypotheses should be clearly described• The following elements, where relevant, should be identified: Who or what is being studied? How will it (they) be studied? How will the information be gathered? How will the analysis be undertaken?• The ethical considerations of your proposed research should beaddressed Do you speak fluent “IRB” yet? Are you planning to collect data from within your employerorganization?

Structure of the Dissertation – Chapter 4• Chapter 4 presents findings and analysis• Brief summary of the research design and methods employed inyour study• Presentation of the first research question and/or hypothesis andthe quantitative or qualitative analyses employed to test/addressthat question/hypothesis Typically, quantitative findings are summarized in tables, graphs,and/or figures followed by brief interpretations of the statisticaltests used to test the hypothesis Note that any extensive output should be placed in an appendix• Repeat the process for the second research question/hypothesis,and repeat the process until the findings in support of allresearch questions/hypotheses are presented• Each research question/hypothesis should represent asubheading in this chapter• Each of your statistical tests and organizing your findings intables, graphs, or figures should be reviewed with your Mentor• With qualitative studies state each research questions and reportthe results by an analysis of the data• Content analyses are usually presented case by case with anattempt to refine or modify the research question or hypothesesin the presentation of each case• Regardless of the qualitative or quantitative nature of yourfindings and analytic procedures used to interpret your data, it isnot the purpose of Chapter 4 to engage in elaborate discussionsof your findings

Structure of Dissertation – Chapter 5• Summary and discussion of results, conclusions, and recommendations An overview and discussion of the entire study including beginning with a restatement of thepurpose statement The types of literature reviewed and their relevance The methodology used The study’s findings• Analysis and interpretation of what was found in the study and recommendations foradditional research This section typically goes beyond the study’s findings in an attempt to place them within theconceptual framework• The only place in the dissertation where you may have your own opinion General recommendations – those developed directly from the data Recommendations for further research – including ideas for further study that have arisen butare not supported by the data – here you can elaborate on what you thought your woulddiscover and why you did or didn’t… your suggestions for further research are based on yournewly “informed” opinions

Structure of the Dissertation – References and Appendix • References (Bibliography) No texts (except to support Chapter 3) Peer reviewed journal articles Previous dissertations A small number of monographs/books and “popular” literature • Appendix (Proposal) Copies of data gathering instruments, permission letters, informed consent, i.e., anydocumentation that pertains to inviting participants, getting their consent, collecting data IRB application including the CITI completion certificate • Appendix (Dissertation) Everything except the IRB application Do not “pad” the Appendix to add “heft” to your completed dissertation… rule of thumb:unless you make reference to information in your Appendix in the body of the dissertation,then it shouldn’t be there… another rule of thumb: and if you reference your Appendix then why isn’t that information in the body of your dissertation?


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