Tip #1: How to Craft a Doctoral Dissertation, PhD Research or Graduate Thesis: Chap 1: Introduction
Video: #1: Tips for Post Graduate Writing:
How to Craft a Doctoral Dissertation or Graduate Thesis Chapter 1: Introduction.
[Video transcript] Hello and welcome! My name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz,
owner of The Refractive Thinker® Press. Today’s video begins a 5-part series with regard to
crafting and drafting your doctoral dissertation or your graduate capstone thesis project.
The purpose of our Chapter 1 is to look at the foundation of your study. There are really
two levels that this exists on: the macro level, which is how all of your chapters for
your study are going to work together. [For many universities, this is a five chapter
series, for some it is seven.] The first chapter really has two functions.
You have to be able to, at the macro level, introduce your overall purpose for your problem
statement as it relates to all five chapters. And then at the micro level, to be able to
still offer an introduction, a body, and conclusion for each, within individual chapters. Chapter
1 then transitions into chapter 2, which will be our next segment.
Chapter 1’s purpose really is to look at that problem statement. This is what drives
the train and offers focus for your entire project. What are you doing this for? Why
is it relevant? What are you going to contribute to the greater body of knowledge? What is
that specific problem you are going to look at to solve?
The whole idea here with the problem statement is the ability to look at just solving a sliver
of the problem. If I may offer some advice that my mentor offered me? Don’t try and
solve world hunger! Save it for the book. *smiles.* Instead, go ahead and make a sandwich.
The more specific and succinct that your problem statement can be, the easier time that you
will have with this project. Let me invite you to also look at the university
templates that you may have, for each subheading, for each chapter that you’re going to require.
Let me invite you to religiously follow that template. It will make your life so much easier
to be able to strictly follow the template headings that your particularly university
suggests. Again the problem statement is going to be followed by all of your particular universities,
so we want to make sure that you spend a great deal of time crafting this.
Find that anchor statistic(s). That anchor statistic is really going to follow your entire
project. So we want to be able to look at that very specifically. If there is a high
turnover rate, mention that 10% turnover rate in terms of dollars and cents, or 90% turnover
rate or absenteeism or decision-making process, whatever that may be. If you can find that
anchor statistic that will help guide that specificity and always will keep your writing
focused going forward. Let me invite you that once this problem statement
is crafted, that you print it and put it in as many places as you can. And every time
you are writing your project, you are going to look at that, because that will be the
basis that drives all of your writing going forward. This will help keep you in a very
specific box and parameters—for looking at only how what your writing contributes
to the problem statement. Next we want to look at your purpose statement.
Why are you doing this? Why is this relevant? Who is going will benefit from it? We want
to look at your various attributes and stakeholders in this project because if you look at the
idea of answering two questions– no matter what writing you do–(1) who’s your audience
and (2) what’s your message. This is where your purpose statement is going to be able
to be very important for you to be able to say the significance to the overall organizational
field or the significance to the nature of leadership. These are the types of things
that you want to start looking at that your problem will potentially contribute to once
you complete your study. Lastly, we want to look at the theoretical
framework. The whole purpose of dissertation and capstone thesis is to be able to culminate
into a final project for you to extract all the information that you have learned so far
in your educational curriculum to be able to have a final project for you to extract
and apply this information. You’ll be looking at this theoretical framework and the specific
types of studies you’ll be doing: whether it is organization behavior theories, leadership
theories, management theories, and health related theories. These are the things that
will help justify once you get into Chapter 2 with relevance, where you will be taking
your problem statement. Makes sure you that choose your problem statement and your theoretical
framework very, very carefully. Lastly, you’ll have some discussion about
on who your population sample is and who your audience is going to be. You’ll finish with
a summary. And then you’ll be able to make sure that you move into your next chapter
with a transition. Remember we have two levels: that macro level for Chapter 1 to introduce
your entire project for all 5 chapters [or 7 as the case maybe.]; And then the micro
level that each chapter has an introduction, a body, and conclusion.
Remember those writing fundamentals! You want to introduce and tell your reader what to
expect in terms of your topic and writing objectives. Then you want to be able to summarize
those in your conclusion to prove that you have met your objectives that you started
with. I want to invite you to be able to join me
for our next segment, which will focus on Chapter 2 for research methodology. Please
join me for more tips on effective post graduate writing at our website [blog] http://www.refractivethinker.com/wordpress
for additional information. I wish you the best of luck as you continue
on this adventure. I’ll see you next time when we focus on Chapter 2. Thank you so much
for joining me. I’m Dr. Cheryl Lentz. Good bye. With respect, Cheryl
Dr. Cheryl Lentz Chief Refractive Thinker®
The Refractive Thinker® Press, where discriminating scholars publish.
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