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The components of a doctoral dissertation and their order

What is the table of contents?

❶But the ordering of some book components can be less obvious: It is important to be prepared to critique and revise your own work several times.

Getting on with the writing

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How to create your table of contents
Introduction

This would display a window with various formatting and appearance options. The change that you made to the style reflects on all headings or paragraphs that use this style. Table of Contents and the Abstract pages are not to contain any numbers. The remaining pages would carry the standard page numbers 1,2,3…. The Section titles and page numbers in the dissertation table of contents should have dotted lines between them.

If there are limited number of Tables or Figures, they may be listed in the table contents for dissertation. If there are many figures, tables, symbols or abbreviations, List of Tables, List of Figures, List of Symbols and List of Abbreviations should be made for ease of navigation.

These lists however, should not be listed in the thesis table of contents. Generating Dissertation Table of Contents To generate the Table of Contents, first start by entering a blank page after the pages that you need the table of contents to follow. To do so, click on the bottom of the page you want before the Table of Contents.

This will create a page between the top section and the bottom section of the Table of Contents area. How to Insert Table of Contents Place the cursor where you want to place the Table of Contents, on the page that you added earlier.

This would open a list of different Table of Contents designs and a table of contents sample. Although the available Table of Contents sample s are appropriate to be used, you may use a custom table of contents if it is more suitable to your needs. This allows you to modify different formatting options for the Table of Contents to satisfy your own requirement. Updating the Table of Contents As you proceed with editing your dissertation, the changes cause the page numbers and headings to vary.

This would open a dialog box. This would display all changes and additions that you have made to the document Anon. Conclusion Using this article, you should be able to understand how to create the best table of contents for dissertation. The University of Kansas. It is a good idea to prepare a list of people to include in the acknowledgements before one has started writing them. You can begin with this list months before you submit your dissertation; stick a post-it note on your desk and add the names of people to thank as you remember them.

The acknowledgements of a dissertation are the only part that everyone will read I believe that by the end of a defense event, everybody in the audience has read the acknowledgements in the dissertation copy before them.

Make time to write it well and include all people you want to thank to. Be aware that the acknowledgements of your dissertation can form the basis for the selection of your defense committee. Sometimes, the author may need to add a list of the transliterations used in the book. This is best done in the front matter and can include a table specifying the conversion of each symbol of the source alphabet into a symbol of the target alphabet. The list of abbreviation contains all the abbreviations used in the body text of the dissertation, listed in an alphabetical order.

If the list is less than a page, it can be places on the left-hand page next to the first page of text. The body matter contains the main text of the dissertation.

It is commonly divided into chapters, which are often but not necessarily of approximately the same length. Each chapter title should provide a reasonable clue to the contents of the chapter.

Choose short title chapters; in case this is not possible, consider having shorter versions to be used in the Table of Contents and as running heads. The Introduction often includes a literature overview, where the author provides short summaries of works relevant for the topic. The goal with this exercise is twofold: The exact structure of the middle chapters may vary, depending on the scientific field.

Dissertations in other fields may include one or more chapters on the theory and data. In some dissertations, the middle chapters are journal articles where the doctoral candidate is a first author. This model has certain disadvantages. Firstly, the dissertation cannot be easily published as a book later on.

It summarizes the conclusions of the scientific investigation, the solutions to the problems stated in the beginning, suggestions for future research, and practical implications of the findings.

This chapter should be relatively short and preferably written in a way that it can stand alone. Avoid copy-pasting sentences from the Abstract and the Introduction.

Long chapters can be divided into sections, which can be further divided into subsections and sub-subsections. When a chapter is divided in sections, there should be at least two of them. Just one section in a chapter is illogical and asymmetric — you should not have any sections at all in such case. The same applies to subsections and sub-subsections. Numbering the sections and subsections in a chapter provides an easy way for cross-referencing.

The most common numbering system is the multiple numeration system , where the number of each division is preceded by the number s of the higher division s. For instance, the number 3. The contents of the back matter are generally supplementary and often non-essential. The back matter of a dissertation comprises the following parts:. The material found in the appendix is not essential to the dissertation, but can be helpful for the reader who seeks further information.

The appendix should not be a repository of raw data that the author has not been able to work into the main text. If there are two or more appendices, they are designated by letters: Appendix A, Appendix B, etc. The notes section must be arranged by chapters, with chapter numbers and even chapter titles serving as section titles. A reference list includes all sources cited in the work. A bibliography contains all sources the author has consulted, including sources that are not cited in the work: No matter whether you have a Reference List or a Bibliography, make sure that all works cited in the text are included there.

There is nothing worse than searching for a cited article in the back matter and not finding it there. To do this you need to:. This can lead logically into a clear statement of the research question s or problem s you will be addressing. In addition to the research context, there may be other relevant contexts to present for example:. It can be difficult to identify the best order for sections in this chapter because the rationale for your choice of specific research question can be complicated, and there may be several inter-linked reasons why the research is needed.

It is worth taking time to develop a logical structure as this will help to convince examiners of the relevance of your research, and that you understand its relevance. It will also provide you with a framework to refer back to in your discussion chapter, when you reflect on the extent to which your research has achieved what it set out to do.

In these chapters a straightforward description is required of how you conducted the research. If you used particular equipment, processes, or materials, you will need to be clear and precise in how you describe them. You must give enough detail for another researcher to replicate your study. You will need to check which style of reporting is preferred in your field.

For example a scientific dissertation would probably have very clear separation between the results and the discussion of those results; whereas a social science dissertation might have an overall chapter called Findings, bringing the results and their discussion together. This is where you review your own research in relation to the wider context in which it is located.

You can refer back to the rationale that you gave for your research in the literature review, and discuss what your own research has added in this context. It is important to show that you appreciate the limitations of your research, and how these may affect the validity or usefulness of your findings.

Given the acknowledged limitations, you can report on the implications of your findings for theory, research, and practice.

This chapter tends to be much shorter than the Discussion. This section needs to be highly structured, and needs to include all of your references in the required referencing style.

As you edit and rewrite your dissertation you will probably gain and lose references that you had in earlier versions. It is important therefore to check that all the references in your reference list are actually referenced within the text; and that all the references that appear in the text appear also in the reference list.

You need to check whether or not the appendices count within the word limit for your dissertation. Items that can usefully go in the appendices are those that a reader would want to see, but which would take up too much space and disrupt the flow if placed within the main text.

Again, make sure you reference the Appendices within the main text where necessary. If your dissertation is well-structured, easy to follow, logical, and coherent, your examiners will probably enjoy reading it, and will be able to listen to your argument without the distraction of trying to make all the links themselves. The only way to achieve a consistent argument throughout a piece of writing is by creating some kind of plan or map of what you want to say.

It can be useful to think of the research question or topic going like a strong thread throughout the dissertation: Moving from doing the research to writing a comprehensive account of it is not necessarily easy. It can be helpful to break the task down into smaller, more easily accomplished elements.

The process of producing your writing plan could go as follows. It can be a good idea to put the word limit to the back of your mind at this point, and concentrate on getting everything recorded in a document.

You can always edit upwards or downwards later as necessary. It is likely, and advisable, that you will not wait until the end of your research before starting to write it up. You may be required to produce one or more chapters for assessment part way through your research.

The process described above can be used for any individual chapter you are working on. It is important to be prepared to critique and revise your own work several times.


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The title of the thesis or dissertation in all capital letters and centered 2″ below the top of the page. Your name, centered 1″ below the title. .

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SAMPLE TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii LIST OF TABLES vi LIST OF FIGURES vii CHAPTER I RESEARCH OBJECTIVE 1 entire dissertation (beginning with the title page and continuing through the last page of the last appendix). Maintain a 1½ inch right margin for the.

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Table of contents is the section of a dissertation that provides guidance about the contents of each section of the dissertation paper. Depending on the level of detail in a table of contents, the most useful headings are listed in order to provide the reader with a reference of which page the said information may be found at. The table of contents is an index of everything in the dissertation - it should not include the title and contents page! A table of contents, TOC for short, lists in order the varying chapters of your dissertation all the way through to the bibliography and appendices.

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Do acknowledgements follow or precede the table of contents? What comes first – the appendix or the bibliography? And what is the difference between a bibliography and a list of references? In this article, you can read about the main components of a doctoral dissertation and their order. The contents pages will show up the structure of the dissertation. Any imbalance in space devoted to different sections of content will become apparent. This is a useful check on whether amalgamation of sections, or creation of .