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Writing a dissertation

dissertation layout for a dissertation proposal

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Doctoral Studies
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Introduction

Leave three blank lines i. If one heading immediately follows another, leave only one blank line a double space between the two. Leave one blank line a double space after each heading. Capitalize the first letter of each word of headings except for articles, conjunctions, and prepositions.

The following is one way in which to order headings and to type them. Be sure that no heading appears at the bottom of a page without at least two lines of text beneath it.

The Table of Contents will contain all Level 1 and Level 2 headings exactly as they appear in the text. It is not necessary to include Level 3 or lower-level headings in the Table of Contents, but you may if it provides the reader with more useful information. Chapter numbers are upper case roman numerals with no period , e. All other items requiring numbers should have Arabic numbers. Appendices, should be designated by capital letters, e.

Use numbers or letters for other items only when necessary. Use 1 in the text and 1. If items in a numbered list run onto two or more lines, you may let the additional lines begin at the margin or indent the entire paragraph to the right of the numbers. Numbers beginning a sentence, as well as numbers below 10 or, if you prefer, 12 should be spelled out when they appear within the text.

If a table, appendix, illustration, or graph is too wide or long, or both, to fit within the specified margins, have it reduced, or if textual material, type it using a smaller font. Whenever possible, avoid inserting tables which must be read by turning the book sideways. If such a table is necessary, be sure to insert it with the heading to the spine or binding. You may also use a condensed typeface. For style guides other than APA, if you have more than one work by the same author, do not repeat his or her name over and over.

Use ten underscore characters, ending with a period if the author is exactly the same as the previous one, or with a comma if the author is the first of a series of new authors, as shown below.

Single space the entry; double space between entries. Indent the second and subsequent lines one-half inch. Note that authors with two initials have a space after the period between each initial, e. Do not allow initials to break between lines; keep them together on one line or the other.

Regardless of the style guide you use, avoid having one or two lines of an entry on one page and the rest of the citation on the next page.

The entry should be cited in its entirety on one page or the other. The way you cite an author in your manuscript is based on the context. If you are attributing an idea that you paraphrased to someone, use the name and date according to APA style such as Jones, , or as shown in the first sentence below. Also, specific information or ideas need a page number even if paraphrased.

For example, the following brief passage refers to the same publication by a hypothetical author:. Review the whole manuscript to be sure that every work referred to in the manuscript is cited in the text or footnotes and included in the bibliography. Four or more lines of a quotation should be set off from the main text with a double space, typed single spaced with no quotation marks, and the entire block indented one-half inch. Quotations within these block or indented quotations may use double quotations.

The first line of the quotation is not indented; however, the first lines of new paragraphs within the quotation should begin with an additional indent of one-half inch.

Each appendix should have the proper designation at the top of the first page. A title page does not need to be inserted before each one. Use the following format, centered between the left and right margins, beginning two inches from the top of the page:. If you have material that, because of its format, needs to have a title page because the title doesn't fit on the same page as the material , you need to consistently use title pages for all appendices. Avoid it if you can.

Again, all material in an appendix must fit within the overall page margins. It is necessary to obtain letters of permission for the reproduction of any copyrighted material which exceeds the Federal law pertaining to "Fair Use.

Copies of the letters do not need to be included in the dissertation. The abstract is a brief summary of the contents of the dissertation. Begin typing the abstract two inches from the top of a blank page with no heading.

The abstract should be typed double-spaced with the same typeface and margins as the dissertation. The length of the abstract should be limited to words. The abstract title page is identical to the dissertation title page with one exception: Each abstract is stapled in the upper left corner and kept separate from the dissertation. The chairperson of the dissertation committee should sign one copy of the abstract title page.

The following section includes sample dissertation pages which should be followed carefully. Refer to the preceding section for more detailed information on format requirements.

Students should follow the instructions on these sample pages rather than using a dissertation from the library or elsewhere as a guide. Format requirements differ from year to year and from school to school. Dissertation Formatting Guidelines This section describes the dissertation format that all NYUSteinhardt doctoral candidates are required to follow. Choice of Style Manual Faculty policy leaves the choice of a style manual to the doctoral candidate with the advice and consent of his or her committee.

Typically, the following style manuals are used by NYUSteinhardt students: Print and Copy Quality Your printer must produce consistently black letters and consistent margins. Typefaces The School and ProQuest UMI allow students to use typefaces that are between 10 and 12 points; however, because 10 point can appear too small in most typefaces, 12 point is generally preferred. Do not justify the right margin of your text; keep it left aligned like the text shown here. Margins To assure proper binding and for ease of reading, the following margins are required: The process of having to describe your study in detail, in a logical sequence of written words, will inevitably highlight where more thought is needed, and it may lead to new insight into connections, implications, rationale, relevance, and may lead to new ideas for further research.

The good news is that you have already started writing if you have written any of the following in relation to this study:. In each case the object of the writing was to communicate to yourself, your supervisors, or to others, something about your work.

In writing your dissertation you will draw on some of this earlier writing to produce a longer and more comprehensive account. Before embarking on any substantial writing for your dissertation you will need to check the exact requirements regarding:. There are some conventions that guide the structuring of dissertations in different disciplines. You should check departmental and course regulations. The title itself is an important opportunity to tell the potential reader what your research is about.

You will need it to be succinct, specific, descriptive, and representative of the research you have done. There is likely to be a required format for the title page in your discipline, so you need to check what that is. This may be one of the shortest sections of your thesis or dissertation, but it is worthwhile taking great care to write it well.

Essentially, the Abstract is a succinct summary of the research. It should be able to stand alone in representing why and how you did what you did, and what the results and implications are. It is often only one page long, and there may be a word limit to adhere to. The Abstract is an important element of the thesis, and will become a document in its own right if the thesis is registered within any database. The examiners will therefore assess your Abstract both as part of your thesis, and as a potentially independent document.

It can be best to write the Abstract last, once you are sure what exactly you are summarising. Alternatively it can be useful to write the abstract earlier on, as an aid to identifying the crucial main thread of your research, its purpose, and its findings, which could then guide the structure of the dissertation.

It might be useful to look at how others have managed. It is certainly an academic exercise, but perhaps not too different from the concise explanations of your research you may have had to give to relatives and neighbours over the last few years, in terms of its brevity, accessibility, and comprehensiveness.

This is your opportunity to mention individuals who have been particularly helpful. Reading the acknowledgements in other dissertations in your field will give you an idea of the ways in which different kinds of help have been appreciated and mentioned. The contents pages will show up the structure of the dissertation.

This is a useful check on whether amalgamation of sections, or creation of further sections or sub-sections is needed. Although this is the first piece of writing the reader comes to, it is often best to leave its preparation to last as, until then, you will not be absolutely sure what you are introducing. The introduction has two main roles:.

The purpose of this chapter is to show that you are aware of where your own piece of research fits into the overall context of research in your field. To do this you need to:. This can lead logically into a clear statement of the research question s or problem s you will be addressing. In addition to the research context, there may be other relevant contexts to present for example:.

It can be difficult to identify the best order for sections in this chapter because the rationale for your choice of specific research question can be complicated, and there may be several inter-linked reasons why the research is needed. It is worth taking time to develop a logical structure as this will help to convince examiners of the relevance of your research, and that you understand its relevance.

It will also provide you with a framework to refer back to in your discussion chapter, when you reflect on the extent to which your research has achieved what it set out to do. In these chapters a straightforward description is required of how you conducted the research.

If you used particular equipment, processes, or materials, you will need to be clear and precise in how you describe them. You must give enough detail for another researcher to replicate your study. You will need to check which style of reporting is preferred in your field. For example a scientific dissertation would probably have very clear separation between the results and the discussion of those results; whereas a social science dissertation might have an overall chapter called Findings, bringing the results and their discussion together.

This is where you review your own research in relation to the wider context in which it is located. You can refer back to the rationale that you gave for your research in the literature review, and discuss what your own research has added in this context.

It is important to show that you appreciate the limitations of your research, and how these may affect the validity or usefulness of your findings. Given the acknowledged limitations, you can report on the implications of your findings for theory, research, and practice. This chapter tends to be much shorter than the Discussion.

This section needs to be highly structured, and needs to include all of your references in the required referencing style. As you edit and rewrite your dissertation you will probably gain and lose references that you had in earlier versions. It is important therefore to check that all the references in your reference list are actually referenced within the text; and that all the references that appear in the text appear also in the reference list.

You need to check whether or not the appendices count within the word limit for your dissertation. Items that can usefully go in the appendices are those that a reader would want to see, but which would take up too much space and disrupt the flow if placed within the main text. Again, make sure you reference the Appendices within the main text where necessary.

If your dissertation is well-structured, easy to follow, logical, and coherent, your examiners will probably enjoy reading it, and will be able to listen to your argument without the distraction of trying to make all the links themselves. The only way to achieve a consistent argument throughout a piece of writing is by creating some kind of plan or map of what you want to say. It can be useful to think of the research question or topic going like a strong thread throughout the dissertation:

Getting on with the writing

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dissertation layout for a dissertation proposal can be well defined considering the following dissertation proposal sections: Introduction which should clearly state the problem related to your area of research and give the answer of its cause being significant. Mention the intended research questions to be answered in your MSC dissertation.

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This section describes the dissertation format that all NYUSteinhardt doctoral candidates are required to follow. Dissertations must adhere to these requirements in order to be accepted by the Office of Doctoral Studies for the scheduling of the final oral examination. Please read this section.

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There is likely to be a required format for the title page in your discipline, so you need to check what that is. Abstract. This may be one of the shortest sections of your thesis or dissertation, but it is worthwhile taking great care to write it well. Essentially, the Abstract is a succinct summary of the research. If your dissertation is. Format footnotes for your thesis or dissertation following these guidelines: Footnotes must be placed at the bottom of the page separated from the text by a solid line one to two inches long. Begin at the left page margin, directly below the solid line.

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Oct 21,  · The layout requirements for a dissertation are often determined by your supervisor or department. However, there are certain guidelines that are common to almost every program, such as including page numbers and a table of contents/5(12). THE LAYOUT OF THE DISSERTATION OR THESIS Before starting your dissertation or thesis you should start by setting out each chapter, section and sub-sections. The outline of the report should clearly reflect the logical details of the book. The logical structuring of chapters, sections and.