Tip #1: How to Craft a Dissertation or Grad Thesis: Chapter 1: Introd

#1: Tips for Post Graduate Writing: How to Craft a Doctoral Dissertation, Doc Study, or Graduate Thesis for 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 regarding crafting and drafting your doctoral dissertation, doc study, 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, for the doc study, it is three sections.]

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,  your writing will offer an introduction, body, and conclusion for each individual chapters.   Chapter 1 then transitions into Chapter 2, which will be our next segment.

Chapter 1’s purpose is to look at that problem statement.  Your problem statement 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 examine? How will businesses look to your research to help them make real world decisions?

The whole idea 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, clear, concise, and succinct that your problem statement can be, the easier time that you will have crafting your study.

Let me invite you to also look at the university templates that you may have to see format for each section to include format for each subheading, as well as for each chapter/section required.  Let me invite you to 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 element.

Find that anchor statistic(s).  That anchor statistic is really going to follow your entire project.  We want to examine your proof for your problem statement 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. When you find that anchor statistic, this provides prove to support that a problem actually exists beyond your opinion alone and will help guide that specificity to 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 both your problem statement and your purpose statement, because these will be the basis that drives all of your writing going forward.  These elements sustain alignment to ensure that your all writing only 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–(a) who’s your audience and (b) what’s your message.  This outcome is where your purpose statement is very important for you to be able to state 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.

Next, 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 to extract all the information that you have learned so far in your educational curriculum.  Your study needs to offer a foundation based on this theoretical framework and the specific types of studies you’ll be doing: whether it is organizational behavior theories, leadership theories, management theories, and/or 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.

Finally, some discussion about who your population sample is and who your audience is going to be will be needed as well, concluding with a summary.  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 3 or 7 as the case maybe];  The micro level ensures 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 Blog http://www.DissertationPublishing.com 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.

 If you are really serious about crafting your dissertation, doc study, PhD research, or capstone thesis, click here to review additional help available.

With respect,



Dr. Cheryl Lentz

Chief Refractive Thinker®

February 15th, 2011 by admin

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