MASTERS THESIS – DOCTORAL DISSERTATION – CAPSTONE PROJECT
CAPSTONE, THESIS, DISSERTATION WRITING – Chapters
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Sample Capstone Syllabus
Abstract—An abstract contains four subjects: the purpose of the study, the methodology, the findings, and the conclusions and/or recommendations, all written in less than 350 words, which is the word limit allowed by dissertation abstracting services. Our thesis and dissertation consultants will help you summarize the results of your research and identify important keywords that will help other researchers find your thesis or dissertation within electronic databases.
Acknowledgments—Although this page is often not required, most theses and dissertation do include acknowledgments. Even though this page is considered “conversational,” there are still some do’s and dont’s: do express (specifiic) gratitude to those who helped you achieve your goal, don’t use this page to express grievances or complaints, and stay within the parameters of scholarly writing. This page will be part of your thesis or dissertation forever. Hint: It’s often recommended that the acknowledgments be inserted after you pass your oral defense and/or comprehensive exams.
Chapter 1: Introduction—Chapter 1 is the engine that drives the rest of the document, and it must be a complete empirical argument. Chapter 1 contains an introductory paragraph, the background of the problem, the purpose of the study, the research questions, the research design (methodology), the hypotheses, and the assumptions, limitations, and/or delimitations. Our consultants help students focus on a specific gap in the knowledge base and meet the requirements in this chapter needed to defend the choice of that gap.
Chapter 2: Literature Review—The purpose of the review of the literature is to prove that no one has studied the gap in the knowledge outlined in Chapter 1. The subjects in the Review of Literature should have been introduced in the Background of the Problem in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 is not a textbook of subject matter loosely related to the subject of the study. Every research study that is mentioned should in some way bear upon the gap in the knowledge, and each study that is mentioned should end with the comment that the study did not collect data about the specific gap in the knowledge of the study as outlined in Chapter 1. Our consultants can help you review published research for relevancy to your topic and suggest topics related to the gap in the knowledge that can be included in this chapter. Besides summarizing, your consultant can help you critically analyze, compare, and synthesize prior research to form a foundation for your current research.
Chapter 3: Methodology—The methodology is, essentially, the practices and procedures used to analyze your research questions; it states the questions you intend to answer and discloses obstacles (limitations) that may keep you from fully answering your research questions. This chapter describes your participants, instruments, procedures, and data analysis; in essence: your study sample, your data collection methods, the rationale for selecting these methods, the analytical procedures used to reach conclusions, and what (if anything) you might have done differently. Our research statisticians/statistical analysts can help: set up the research design, review surveys, select appropriate statistical tests, determine needed sample sizes from power analyses, develop operational definitions, develop hypotheses/research questions, measure constructs, and present the statistical data in narrative form. Our consultants help ensure that the purpose statement, research questions, hypotheses, collected data, and statistical approaches are in accord.
Chapter 4: Results and Discussion—The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the collected data and the statistical treatment and/or mechanics of analysis. Our consultants can provide the organization necessary to provide readers with a coherent flow of information.
Chapter 5: Conclusion—This is a summary of your research and recommendations for future research. Where did your research end off, and where might someone else pick up? Explain the progress you made towards research in your field of study.