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Preliminary Pages

-Preliminary pages consist of the title page, copyright notice (optional), signature page, abstract,
dedication (optional), acknowledgment (optional), and table of contents, list of figures, list of tables,
and other lists. Preliminary pages are paginated separately from the rest of the document.

1. Title Page

-The title of the thesis/dissertation is single-spaced and it must appear in all capital letters with each
line centered on the page. The degree date should be the month in which the degree is conferred (e.g.
May, August, and January).All text on the title page must be centered both vertically and horizontally.

2. Signature Page

- The signature page contains the title of the thesis/dissertation and the signatures of the
thesis/dissertation advisor, committee member(s), and Department Chair. The title of the
thesis/dissertation must be placed in all capital letters, centered and placed two (2) inches from the
top of the page. A lower-case Roman numeral is used on the signature page.

3. Copyright Notice

-Copyrighting of the thesis is optional. If included, the copyright page follows the title page. The
copyright page is not numbered, but it is counted. The copyright symbol © should appear with your full
legal name and the year centered between the margins on the page and approximately two-thirds of
the way down the page e.g.

4. Abstract

-The abstract summarizes the research undertaken and its findings. The abstract must be limited to
300 words or less. It should be double-spaced, adhere to the same style guide as the
thesis/dissertation manuscript. The title of this page, Abstract, must be in all capital letters and placed
two (2) inches from the top of the page. A lower-case Roman numeral is used on the abstract page.

5. Dedication page

-The dedication page provides recognition to special individuals who have provided support or
assistance to the candidate during his/her thesis/dissertation research. The dedication is single-spaced
and centered on the page horizontally and vertically.
6. Acknowledgments

-Acknowledgements recognize those who have been instrumental in the completion of the project. The
title of this page, Acknowledgments, must be in all capital letters and placed two (2) inches from the
top of the page. A lower-case Roman numeral is used on the acknowledgements page.

7. Table of Contents

- The table of contents includes all headings from the thesis/dissertation document, appendices, the
bibliography or references and the corresponding page numbers. Preliminary pages are not included.
The title of the first page of this section, Table of Contents, must be in all capital letters and placed two
(2) inches from the top of the page. A lower-case Roman numeral is used on the table of contents

8. List of Tables

- The list of tables includes headings from all tables that appear in the thesis/dissertation document.
The title of the first page in this section, List of Tables, must be in all capital letters and placed two (2)
inches from the top of the page. A lower-case Roman numeral is used on the list of tables’ page(s).

9. List of Figures

- The list of figures includes headings from all figures that appear in the thesis/dissertation document.
Preliminary pages are not included. The title of the first page in this section, List of Figures, must be in
all capital letters and placed two (2) inches from the top of the page. A lower-case Roman numeral is
used on the list of figures page(s).

The Text (Body)

-The main body consists of several chapters of background, ideas, methods, data, argument, conclusions
and implications. Each chapter develops a subdivision of the purpose of the thesis or dissertation.

The chapters are linked in order to connect the ideas. The purpose of the dissertation or thesis report
must be made clear and the reader must be able to follow its development .

-The introduction

The introduction states briefly why you are studying this topic. It situates your research in relation to
previous work that has been done in the area and shows how your study emerges from published
accounts. It should make clear your aims and purpose of the study, which cannot simply be a
description of something, but should be a reasoned attempt to explain why a certain situation is the
way it is.

The two ways of expressing this aim are by either a research questions or a hypothesis.

The introduction usually consists of three parts:

a. It should include a short review of the literature to provide a background to your report
and to attract the reader's attention. It may include a definition of terms in the context
of the report, etc.
b. It should try to explain why you are writing the report. You need to establish a gap in
current knowledge. This will be expressed in the form of a research question to be
answered or a hypothesis to be proved (or not).
c. It should also include a statement of the specific subdivisions of the topic and/or
indication of how the topic is going to be tackled in order to specifically address the

-Literature Review

Your study cannot depend wholly on your own data, but must be set against a background of what is
already known about the topic in question. So firstly you need to find the relevant information and
studies. You must then give an account of the relevant published studies, properly cited: who found
out what, when, and how this moved the study of the topic forward. You should always remember that
the reader will want to know why you have included any particular piece of research here. It is not
enough just to summarize what has been said: you need to organize and evaluate it. You have to show
how a study moved your own thinking forward and how you used it - or rejected it. You also review
here methods that have been used that are relevant to your own study. This will be a major section of
the dissertation - it may be around 30% of the total dissertation.

Your literature may include a discussion of the relevant theories that you intend to use in order
to interpret your findings, or they may be included in a separate section.


You have reviewed the methods used in your field in the literature review. In this section you
should justify and describe the methods you selected to use, saying how much you took from
previous studies or from common professional practice and say what you changed or added.
You will need to give a step-by-step account of the study you carried out, your subjects or
informants and how you selected them, the interviews - for example - you held and how you
recorded them, the language you studied and how you selected it, the procedures and
materials you used, the analyses you carried out and so on. You will certainly need to discuss
and make clear the theoretical foundations for your approach.
So the methodology section gives details of how the information in the report was obtained. It
may give details of the materials and procedures used. In any kind of experimental report,
details of the people involved will need to be included.

- Findings/Results

At this stage, you say what you did and what you found out. There is an important distinction to
remember here, and that is the one between results and interpretation. In the former, you are
only saying what you found, for example, what the informants said or did, how many times
they said or did it, how many examples of particular language features you found, and so on.
You will need to record your results and there are many ways to do this: tables, diagrams,
charts, graphs and so on.

The findings and results give the data that has been collected. In all cases, reference must be
made to the location of the information in your text, the main details of the data and any
comments on this. See: Writing Research Results

V. Discussion.

When you have some results, you can decide what they mean - that is, interpret them. Start by
repeating the main purpose of the study. Then give possible explanations for or speculations
about your findings. You need to judge how strong you think your findings are. If all the
evidence points clearly in one direction, you are probably quite safe in saying that in these
circumstances, with these informants and these conditions, this will be the result, but beware
of generalising inappropriately. It is important to attribute the right amount of weight to the
right factors, and discard as unreliable any evidence that is irregular .

Make sure you relate each finding back to those you discussed in the literature review, so as to
show how your results compare with others. You will need to say if yours are the same or
different, and will need to say why. Relate this also to your original question or your
hypothesis/es: say whether your findings support your original hypothesis or answer your
research question. Think widely when interpreting the results: think about how you can explain
your findings. There may also be an interaction between certain factors that you had not
considered at first, but which may be the explanation of something that you could not at first

You will need to consider any limitations of your study as they will affect the strength of your
conclusions. Look back over the conduct of your study, and, seeing it globally, discuss whether
you think you have done it in the best way. It is quite likely that in the course of it you thought
of better ways of doing things: don't disguise this, but mention your criticisms. Your basic
question here is: what aspect of the dissertation could have been done better? Did you ask the
right question? Did you use the best possible data-collection techniques? Focus honestly on
what you see as the weakest points of the project, and address them. It is important that you
disclose what went wrong. Nobody expects research to go absolutely smoothly. Worse in some
ways is when you realise - half-way through the study - that the method you're using is not
going to give quite the information you wanted. Don 't hide any of this: it gives you part of your
final interpretation of the results. What are the implications of your study? How far can you

So the main purpose of the discussion is to show your reader that the results lead clearly to the
conclusion being drawn. This may include any limitations that might cause problems with any
claims being made as well as any possible explanations for these results. See: Writing Research

VI. The Conclusion.

The conclusion starts with a summary of what you have found. Was your research question a
good one? Was your hypothesis justified? What are you now sure of? How does it relate to
other findings?

The conclusion includes the your final points.

a. It should recall the issues you raised in the introduction and draw together the points
you made in the results and discussion
b. and come to a clear conclusion.

It should clearly signal to the reader that the dissertation or thesis is finished and leave a clear
impression of your new contribution to the knowledge of your subject. You might here include
and practical implications or recommendations for practitioners in your field and suggestions
for further research in the area