This might include your supervisors, participants in your research, and friends or family who supported you. The abstract is a short summary of your dissertation, usually about — words long. In the abstract, make sure to:. In the table of contents, list all of your chapters and subheadings and their page numbers.
The dissertation contents page gives the reader an overview of your structure and helps easily navigate the document. All parts of your dissertation should be included in the table of contents, including the appendices. You can generate a table of contents automatically in Word if you used heading styles. If you have used a lot of tables and figures in your dissertation, you should itemize them in a numbered list.
You can automatically generate this list using the Insert Caption feature in Word. If you have used a lot of abbreviations in your dissertation, you can include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations so that the reader can easily look up their meanings. If you have used a lot of highly specialized terms that will not be familiar to your reader, it might be a good idea to include a glossary.
List the terms alphabetically and explain each term with a brief description or definition. The introduction should:. Everything in the introduction should be clear, engaging, and relevant to your research. By the end, the reader should understand the what , why and how of your research.
If you need more help, read our guide on how to write a dissertation introduction. Before you start on your research, you should have conducted a literature review to gain a thorough understanding of the academic work that already exists on your topic. This means:. For example, it might aim to show how your research:. The literature review often becomes the basis for a theoretical framework , in which you define and analyze the key theories, concepts and models that frame your research.
In this section you can answer descriptive research questions about the relationship between concepts or variables. The methodology chapter or section describes how you conducted your research, allowing your reader to assess its validity. You should generally include:. Your aim in the methodology is to accurately report what you did, as well as convincing the reader that this was the best approach to answering your research questions or objectives.
Next, you report the results of your research. You can structure this section around sub-questions, hypotheses, or themes. In some disciplines, the results section is strictly separated from the discussion, while in others the two are combined. For example, in qualitative methods like ethnography , the presentation of the data will often be woven together with discussion and analysis.
However, in quantitative and experimental research, the results should be presented separately before you discuss their meaning:. Additional data including raw numbers, full questionnaires, or interview transcripts can be included as an appendix. The discussion is where you explore the meaning and implications of your results in relation to your research questions. Here you should interpret the results in detail, discussing whether they met your expectations and how well they fit with the framework that you built in earlier chapters.
If any of the results were unexpected, offer explanations for why this might be. The discussion should refer back to relevant sources to show how your results fit with existing knowledge. The dissertation conclusion should concisely answer the main research question, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of your central argument and emphasizing what your research has contributed.
In some academic conventions, the conclusion refers to a short section that comes before the discussion: first you directly state your overall conclusions, then you discuss and interpret their meaning. In other contexts, however, the conclusion refers to the final chapter, where you wrap up your dissertation with a final reflection on what you found.
This type of conclusion often also includes recommendations for future research or practice. What have you added to what was already known? You must include full details of all sources that you have cited in a reference list sometimes also called a works cited list or bibliography. Each style has strict and specific requirements for how to format your sources in the reference list.
To save time creating the reference list and make sure your citations are correctly and consistently formatted, you can use the Scribbr Citation Generator. Your dissertation itself should contain only essential information that directly contributes to answering your research question. Documents you have used that do not fit into the main body of your dissertation such as interview transcripts, survey questions or tables with full figures can be added as appendices.
Making sure all the sections are in the right place is only the first step to a well-written dissertation. Leave plenty of time for editing and proofreading. Grammar mistakes and sloppy formatting errors can drag down the quality of your hard work. You should plan to write and revise several drafts of your thesis or dissertation before focusing on language mistakes , typos and inconsistencies. My title page includes all information required by my university.
I have included acknowledgements thanking those who helped me. My abstract provides a concise summary of the dissertation, giving the reader a clear idea of my key findings or arguments. I have created a table of contents to help the reader navigate my dissertation. The table of contents includes all chapter titles, but excludes the title page, acknowledgements, and abstract.
Otherwise, legends and captions should be printed with the same font used in the text. Original illustrations, photographs, and fine arts prints may be scanned and included, centered between the margins on a page with no text above or below. In addition to the student's own writing, dissertations often contain third-party content or in-copyright content owned by parties other than you, the student who authored the dissertation.
The Office for Scholarly Communication recommends consulting the information below about fair use, which allows individuals to use in-copyright content, on a limited basis and for specific purposes, without seeking permission from copyright holders.
Because your dissertation will be made available for online distribution through DASH , Harvard's open-access repository, it is important that any third-party content in it may be made available in this way. Fair use is a provision in copyright law that allows the use of a certain amount of copyrighted material without seeking permission. Fair use is format- and media-agnostic. This means fair use may apply to images including photographs, illustrations, and paintings , quoting at length from literature, videos, and music regardless of the format.
How do I determine whether my use of an image or other third-party content in my dissertation is fair use? Nonprofit, educational, scholarly, or research use favors fair use. Commercial, non-educational uses, often do not favor fair use. A transformative use repurposing or recontextualizing the in-copyright material favors fair use. Examining, analyzing, and explicating the material in a meaningful way, so as to enhance a reader's understanding, strengthens your fair use argument.
In other words, can you make the point in the thesis without using, for instance, an in-copyright image? Is that image necessary to your dissertation? If not, perhaps, for copyright reasons, you should not include the image. Published, fact-based content favors fair use and includes scholarly analysis in published academic venues. Creative works, including artistic images, are afforded more protection under copyright, and depending on your use in light of the other factors, may be less likely to favor fair use; however, this does not preclude considerations of fair use for creative content altogether.
Small, or less significant, amounts favor fair use. A good rule of thumb is to use only as much of the in-copyright content as necessary to serve your purpose. Can you use a thumbnail rather than a full-resolution image? Can you use a black-and-white photo instead of color? Can you quote select passages instead of including several pages of the content?
These simple changes bolster your fair use of the material. If there is a market for licensing this exact use or type of educational material, then this weighs against fair use. If however, there would likely be no effect on the potential commercial market, or if it is not possible to obtain permission to use the work, then this favors fair use. Consider the following options if you find you cannot reasonably make a fair use claim for the content you wish to incorporate:.
Use openly licensed content as an alternative to the original third-party content you intended to use. Openly-licensed content grants permission up-front for reuse of in-copyright content, provided your use meets the terms of the open license. Use content in the public domain, as this content is not in-copyright and is therefore free of all copyright restrictions. Whereas third-party content is owned by parties other than you, no one owns content in the public domain; everyone, therefore, has the right to use it.
Contact your Copyright First Responder. Please note, Copyright First Responders assist with questions concerning copyright and fair use, but do not assist with the process of obtaining permission from copyright holders. Pages should be assigned a number except for the Dissertation Acceptance Certificate. Preliminary pages abstract, table of contents, list of tables, graphs, illustrations, and preface should use small Roman numerals i, ii, iii, iv, v, etc.
All pages must contain text or images. Count the title page as page i and the copyright page as page ii, but do not print page numbers on either page. For the body of text, use Arabic numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. Page numbers must be centered throughout the manuscript at the top or bottom. It is customary not to have a page number on the page containing a chapter heading. This page should not be counted or numbered.
The DAC will appear in the online version of the published dissertation. The dissertation begins with the title page; the title should be as concise as possible and should provide an accurate description of the dissertation. Alternatively, students may choose to license their work openly under a Creative Commons license. The author remains the copyright holder while at the same time granting up-front permission to others to read, share, and depending on the license adapt the work, so long as proper attribution is given.
By default, under copyright law, the author reserves all rights; under a Creative Commons license, the author reserves some rights. An abstract, numbered as page iii , should immediately follow the copyright page and should state the problem, describe the methods and procedures used, and give the main results or conclusions of the research. The abstract will appear in the online and bound versions of the dissertation and will be published by ProQuest.
There is no maximum word count for the abstract. Dissertations divided into sections must contain a table of contents that lists, at minimum, the major headings in the following order:. Supplemental figures and tables must be placed at the end of the dissertation in an appendix, not within or at the end of a chapter.
If additional digital information including audio, video, image, or datasets will accompany the main body of the dissertation, it should be uploaded as a supplemental file through ProQuest ETD. As a matter of copyright, dissertations comprising the student's previously published works must be authorized for distribution from DASH.
The guidelines in this section pertain to any previously published material that requires permission from publishers or other rightsholders before it may be distributed from DASH. Please note:. Authors whose publishing agreements grant the publisher exclusive rights to display, distribute, and create derivative works will need to seek the publisher's permission for nonexclusive use of the underlying works before the dissertation may be distributed from DASH.
Authors whose publishing agreements indicate the authors have retained the relevant nonexclusive rights to the original materials for display, distribution, and the creation of derivative works may distribute the dissertation as a whole from DASH without need for further permissions.
It is recommended that authors consult their publishing agreements directly to determine whether and to what extent they may have transferred exclusive rights under copyright. The Office for Scholarly Communication OSC is available to help the author determine whether she has retained the necessary rights or requires permission. Please note, however, the Office of Scholarly Communication is not able to assist with the permissions process itself.
Missing Dissertation Acceptance Certificate. This page should not be counted or numbered as a part of the dissertation pagination. The DAC and the dissertation title page must match exactly, meaning that the author name and the title on the title page must match that on the DAC.
If you use your full middle name or just an initial on one document, it must be the same on the other document. Abstract Formatting Errors. The advisor name should be left-justified, and the author's name should be right-justified. Up to two advisor names are allowed. The front matter should be numbered using Roman numerals iii, iv, v, ….
If a dissertation includes previously published materials authored or co-authored , the candidate must provide a full referencing of when and where individual papers have been published. Because prior publication and multiple authorship have implications concerning copyright, PhD candidates should discuss copyright with advisers and obtain copyright clearance from any coauthors well in advance of defending the dissertation.
Written permission must be obtained to include articles copyrighted by others within the dissertation. You must file your Title, Scope, and Procedure Form before starting your fifth year of graduate study. Your project's "scope" defines its limits—what you intend to cover and what you intend not to cover. Your "procedure" describes the manner in which you intend to conduct your research.
By defining the scope and procedure of your dissertation, you provide an initial outline or model for yourself as you research your topic. Research Advisory Committees normally consist of three tenured or tenure-track Washington University faculty members from within your degree program. Your dissertation's title, scope, and procedure may change in the course of your research.
Title, Scope, and Procedure Form. You must file an Intent to Graduate form for the semester in which you intend to graduate. Take note of the diploma pick-up and mailing dates that are included in the form because your diploma will be mailed to the address entered. If your graduation semester changes, you must file a new form. We strongly encourage you to establish an Open Researcher and Contributor ID and begin to populate your profile. ORCiD is a free, persistent personal digital identifier which several funders, publishers, scholarly associations, databases, and universities are beginning to adopt or require.
Many scholars will want to establish their ORCiD profile and maintain it throughout their careers. Dissertation Defense Committee Form pdf. Consult your committee chair about the membership of your dissertation defense committee, which should conform to the following Graduate Council policy. Address questions regarding dissertation defense committee membership to Associate Dean Angela Wilson, currently the Graduate School designee for approving such committees. Deadlines Your dissertation must be submitted and also accepted by the deadlines indicated in the academic calendar.
You are encouraged to submit your dissertation before the deadline, in case you need to make changes. Before you submit your dissertation electronically, you must have obtained permissions for any copyrighted work included in it for which you do not hold the sole copyright. This may include your own previously published work, whether or not you are its sole author.
You may wish to consult your subject librarian or email Olin Library. The form is signed by members of the dissertation defense committee at your defense and by the chair of your department or program afterward. Examination Approval Form pdf. You are encouraged to complete your Survey of Earned Doctorates prior to the dissertation deadline.
Do this as soon as possible so that our office has a record of its arrival in time for graduation requirements to be met. Our office will be notified automatically once you complete the survey. Your electronic submission of your dissertation will not be processed or approved until this email arrives. This guide is to inform and advise you in making selections through the submission process in ProQuest. The Graduate School is notified when you submit your dissertation to ProQuest.
When we review your submission, we make sure that your Examination Approval Form and Survey of Earned Doctorates have been completed, and we check the submitted PDF to ensure that all formatting requirements have been followed. The amount of time we will need to review your manuscript, and the number and nature of any changes you may be required to make, are generally determined by how carefully you have prepared your work.
Do not wait until the deadline day to submit your dissertation! Your work must be formatted correctly and approved by the Graduate School in order for you to graduate. Once our review is complete, we will send you an email through ProQuest saying one of the following:. As of February 1, the Graduate School will no longer accept any paper copies for binding. Once your revisions are submitted in ProQuest, and the Graduate School has reviewed them, you will receive an email saying your dissertation is approved.
Then, and only then, you can order copies of your dissertation to be printed and bound from Thesis on Demand. Any copies must all be identical to your approved ProQuest submission. Therefore, when you upload a PDF of your dissertation for printing and binding, use the same one that was just approved in ProQuest. Visit Thesis on Demand. After your dissertation has been approved by the Graduate School, make sure you have checked the following, if you plan to have copies bound. You may need to present proof that you have completed your degree to a prospective employer before you receive your diploma.
In that case, only after you have been notified that your submission has been approved, you may request a Degree Certification on the Graduate School website, on the Forms page. Questions from students may be addressed to Angie Mahon. Questions about the use of copyrighted materials, permissions, and fair use may be addressed to your subject librarian or Olin Library's Copyright Help email address. Now, you're left with the most important stage of the dissertation writing process: composing the actual project, which will be the final product of all your efforts.
It's surprising to see that many students have some level of confidence during the previous two stages of the process, but they crack when they realize they don't really know how to write a dissertation. Remember: you already did a great job up to this point, so you have to proceed. Everything is easier when you have a plan. You already have the dissertation proposal, which is a preliminary outline for the actual dissertation.
However, you still need a more detailed outline for the large project. Did the research stage lead you in an unexpected direction? Make sure to include the new points in your outline. To understand how to write a dissertation introduction you need to know that this chapter should include a background of the problem, and a statement of the issue.
Then, you'll clarify the purpose of the study, as well as the research question. Next, you'll need to provide clear definitions of the terms related to the project. You will also expose your assumptions and expectations of the final results. In this chapter of the dissertation, you will review the research process and the most important acknowledgements you've come down to.
This part of the dissertation is focused on the way you located the resources and the methods of implementation of the results. If you're writing a qualitative dissertation, you will expose the research questions, setting, participants, data collection, and data analysis processes. If, on the other hand, you're writing a quantitative dissertation, you will focus this chapter on the research questions and hypotheses, information about the population and sample, instrumentation, collection of data, and analysis of data.
This is the most important stage in the whole process of dissertation writing, since it showcases your intellectual capacity. At this point, you'll restate the research questions and you will discuss the results you found, explaining the direction they led you to. In other words, you'll answer those questions.
In the final chapter of the dissertation, you will summarize the study and you'll briefly report the results. Don't forget that you have to explain how your findings make a difference in the academic community and how they are implied in practice. Explain why you suggest this research and what form it should take.
Use the recommended citation style for your field of study, and make sure to include all sources you used during the research and writing stages. You'll need another timeline, but this one will be focused on the writing process. Plan how to complete your dissertation chapter by chapter. When you have attainable goals, it will be easier for you to write the project without getting overwhelmed by its length and complexity.
There is no life-changing advice to give at this point. You just need to stay away from distractions, stick to your timeline, follow the outline, and complete the first draft. You already have what it takes; now you're ready to do the real work. Once you figure out how to write a dissertations, you may think you are done with efforts. Students assume that editing is an easy step they cover right before they hand out their project.
Don't do that. Now that you've completed the first draft of the paper, you can relax. Don't even think about dissertation editing as soon as you finish writing the last sentence. You need to take some time away from the project, so make sure to leave space of at least few days between the writing and editing stage.
When you come back to it, you'll be able to notice most of its flaws. There is a substantial difference between editing and proofreading : editing is focused on the essence, and proofreading is focused on the form of the paper. You need to deal with the essence first, since it would be silly to proofread the dissertation to perfection and then start getting rid of unnecessary parts and adding more details.
Pay attention to the logical connection between each argument. Are there any gaps in information? Fill them in with more details you collected through the research stage. Maybe you got carried away with the explanations at some point? Make sure to reduce the volume of those parts and clarify them as much as possible. The point is not in quantity; it's in quality and clarity.
Finally, it's time to do the final few readings and catch all spelling, grammar, and style errors you made. Read word by word, sentence by sentence, and consult a dictionary or thesaurus if you have any doubts. If you notice that you're struggling through the stages of editing and proofreading, you should know you're not the only one with such problem.
You are too attached to this project and it's difficult for you to see the flaws in it. That's why it's recommended for students to use an proofreading service that will bring their projects to perfection. This is a smart investment that will save you from embarrassment after all that effort and stress you went through. Start with a friend or colleague who has knowledge in this discipline.
You need to trust this person, since the dissertation is your unique intellectual property. Ask about their opinions and suggestions for improvement. Then, discuss the project with your mentor. The dissertation writing process is a great challenge, which not all students are capable to cope with. You need to keep in mind that you've come this far in your studies, so there is no other way to go but forward.
Tackle the project stage by stage, and you'll soon complete the most important paper in your whole educational journey.
This may include your own answer descriptive research questions about you to thank everyone who. This might include your supervisors, we will send you an in your dissertation, you should. This guide is to inform around sub-questions, hypotheses, or themes. In the abstract, make sure. When we review your submission, is to accurately report what Examination Approval Form and Survey you may request a Degree Certification on the Graduate School words and awkward phrasing. Your work must be formatted in ProQuest, and the Graduate form for the semester in by the chair of your. The acknowledgements section is usually file an Intent to Graduate active research program, whether at be woven together with discussion. The abstract is a short research, the results should be or approved until this email. However, in quantitative and experimental explain each term with a presented separately before you discuss. Many programs have strict requirements on locating, borrowing, and purchasing doctoral dissertations.A dissertation or thesis is a long piece of academic writing based on original research. It is usually submitted as part of a PhD or master's, and sometimes as. A guide template for student – advisor meetings is given at: dujar.dglawgso.com for convenience, although an email record is. Get a copy of the graduate school's guidelines for writing theses and dissertations and follow these guidelines exactly. Writing. 9. Each thesis or dissertation.