Your dissertation introduction will be similar to your proposal introduction, so you can use your proposal introduction as the starting point for it. The introduction needs to introduce your topic to the reader, establish the context of how you conducted your research, and summarize past and present formulations of the topic. The introduction should also cover your rationale, theoretical perspective, and research design and methodology. Remember to explain the significance of your research question and potential outcomes.
The introduction might include acknowledgement of the previous work on which you are building. It might also provide an explanation of the scope of your research, i.e., you may want to explicitly state what will and will not be included due to any circumstantial limitations or conscious decisions about coverage. The introduction can be a road map of sorts that helps you construct a table of contents of the completed dissertation.
Here are some tips for writing your introduction:
The literature review should provide background for your research, explain your research question, and elaborate how your contribution will fit into the existing literature. Further, through your literature review, you should:
Be aware of the need to be selective and strategic. Trying to include every article and source that you found on your topic is unnecessary (and is a quick route to making yourself crazy). Think of yourself as a curator at a museum. Select the most meaningful and representative works for the literature review. You will, however, read and critically evaluate many more sources.
The extent to which your dissertation will or will not include a separate and discrete literature review may depend on conventions within your department and/or discipline. As always, consult with your advisor!
The results section of your dissertation is the place to report your findings based on the data you gathered. This section should appear in a logical sequence based on your methodology. State your findings without interpretation.
Use non-text objects, including tables, figures, images, and visualizations, to illustrate your findings. These 10 simple rules show you how to generate better figures. The University of Kentucky offers a variety of software for free download that can assist you in creating effective illustrations and graphics.
Below is a video about presenting information in a visually appealing way.
The discussion section is often considered to be the core of your dissertation. It explains what your results mean and highlights the significance of your research. Consider having these elements in the discussion:
This section should contain the conclusions you have reached because of your research, an explanation of any limitations in your research, and some possibilities for future studies of the topic.
Seeking feedback, reviewing, and editing your draft will assist you in:
Feedback can help you immensely along the writing process. Think about how to connect with your dissertation support network and members of your committee to solicit constructive feedback.
You may receive more helpful feedback if you:
You should be editing and revising throughout the writing process, and you should also budget sufficient time to return to your draft for full-scale revision.
When making early edits, make large changes in organization and content ("Higher Order Concerns") first rather than spending time fiddling with a sentence ("Lower Order Concerns") that might end up being removed in the end. Purdue University's Online Writing Lab offers helpful advice on managing higher order and lower order editing concerns.
When it comes time to do your final small-scale editing and proofreading, pay attention to some common errors. The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin - Madison has created a list of common errors in its Writer's Handbook.
Additionally, you can hire an editor to help you. The Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies at the University of Kentucky provides a list of editors available for hire.
Copyediting can be tedious, but make sure to: