dlibrary.acu.edu.auresearchcelThesis_20Construc by yurtgc548


									School of Educational Leadership

  Thesis Construction
         An Overview

    A/Professor Denis McLaughlin
Right from the beginning of the course,
it is smart to have your academic efforts
focused on the generation of a thesis.

The thesis is:

• a balanced, carefully crafted,

• logical and cogent argument,

•which contains and is developed from your
own research

• and the acknowledged research of others.
This     sophisticated  and     elaborated
argument that constitutes a thesis must be
carefully structured.

The diagram in the next slide illustrates
what is the basic structure for many
doctoral theses.

There are variations but this essential
scaffolding is generally clear in most
                            Traditional Structure of a Thesis

Chapter 1      Chapter 2       Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Introduction   Literature      Methods      Results      Discussion   Conclusion
               Review                                    of results
Year One                                   Year Two                     Year Three +
(units 1 & 2)                              (units 3 & 4)

           Literature (Ch 3)

Research           Problem     Questions   Design          Data         Data           Answer
area                                                       collection   analysis       questions
(unit 1)           (unit 1)    (unit 1)    (unit 3)        (Ch 5)       (Ch 5)         (Ch 6)
(Ch 1)             (Ch 1)      (Ch 1)      (Ch 4)

           (unit 1 Ch 2)

Pre-empirical stage                        Empirical stage
Chapter 1 and Chapter 6 balance one another

  Chapter 1 sets the scene by

  • Briefly and clearly presenting the research
    problem, its importance and how the
    research may be undertaken.

  • Explaining its importance.

  • Indicating the way the problem will be
    addressed through research.
Chapter 6:

summarises the whole research,

•answers the research questions

•provides   conclusions   to   the   research

•offers  recommendations       to    enhance
theory and improve practice
Chapter 2 and Chapter 5 balance one another

  Chapter 2 introduces the major voices in
  the world of scholarship,
  who have something to offer in the
  conversation concerning your research
  You refer to the literature reviewed in
  Chapter 2 in writing your Chapter 5,
  in which you try to interpret your results
  within the broader scholarly conversation.
Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 balance one another

  Chapter 3 explains    and   justifies   your
  research design,
  which generates specific results, that are
  presented     (with    minimum    possible
  interpretation) in Chapter 4.

This particular model is the traditional
model based on the scientific (positivist)
This    approach       uses     predominantly
quantitative (statistical) research methods.
Within the last 15 years fewer and fewer
educational doctorates have been based in
the positivist paradigm.

  Now     most    education      theses    use
  predominantly      qualitative      research
  methods (interviews, observation etc) and
  so an adaptation of the model has evolved.
        Structure often used in qualitative theses
Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3    Chapter 4   Chapter 5      Chapter 6

Research    Research    Literature   Research    Presentation   Synthesis &
Problem     Context     Review       Design      & Discussion   Conclusions
Defined                                          of Results
The main differences between Figure 1 and
Figure 2 are in Chapters 2 and 5.
Chapter 2

 A context chapter is     almost always needed
 an explanation      of   the   context   “thick
 provides peculiar insights and explanations
 for your results
 that the literature review cannot do.
Chapter 5

This chapter combines presentation and
discussion of results.
In qualitative research, it is appropriate to
present and then to explain the data.
Separate   chapters  are    particularly
appropriate when statistical data are
Likewise it is also appropriate when
qualitative data is presented from an
“instrument” perspective.
Sometimes your study might invite an
additional theoretical framework chapter..

This is because you have justified that your
study can only be understood from a
particular theory perspective.

This is essential for a PhD thesis because
its priority is a contribution to theory.
•   Ch 1   Problem Defined
•   Ch 2   Context of the Study
•   Ch 3   Theoretical Framework (not usual for EdD)
•   Ch 4   Literature Review
•   Ch 5   Research Design
•   Ch 6   Presentation of results
•   Ch 7   Discussion (often in qual studies Ch 6 & 7 combined)
•   Ch 8   Conclusions & Recommendations

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