Planning the Thesis/Dissertation
Planning the Thesis/Dissertation:
Selection of topic or problem for thesis is quite significant. Much care should, therefore, be taken in this regard. While selecting a topic, one must make sure that there is adequate supervision ; that there is significant importance of the problem; that there are sufficient equipments available for research; and finally, that there are adequate library facilities. Above
all, one must invariably think deeply whether or not one can make his investigation really feasible within the specified time. Many a thesis remains incomplete of one or many of the above reasons. Once a wrong selection of the research topic or problem is made, the researcher feels it rather a Harculean task to finish his thesis. Many have ofter suffered almost a nervous break-down because of the inadequacy of supervisory facilities.
After selecting the topic, one should come to the second significant stage of literature review. It can be divided into three stages: (a) primary sources, (6) secondary sources, and (c) tertiary sources.
By primary sources, we mean sources of information which include first-hand account of experimentation and investigation. Articles in professional journals, monographs, doctoral theses, interviews, questionaires, original letters, diaries, eyewitness accounts, poems, novels, autobiographies, reports such as the proceedings of parliament, court-testimony, reports from the government departments and agencies, annual reports and minutes etc.,—all are to be included in primary sources of literature-reviews. By secondary sources, we mean information gathered from summaries, translations, encyclopaedia articles, abstracts, guide books, commentaries etc., Textbooks are examples of tertiary sources. One has to take help of all these above-enumerated sources of information in order to complete his thesis within the stipulated time.
Study-design or the method to prove the facts is of great significance in writing a thesis. For this, one has to go through the following invariable stages:
- Statement of hypothesis ;
- Statement of asumption ;
- Statement of limitation ;
- Terms defined ;
- Rationale of the study-design ;
- Postulates ; and
- Validity and justification.
As a matter of fact, hypothesis suggests a problem; assumption operates upon it; limitation defines the scope ; term definition limits the circumference ; and study-design justifies all these. Postulatum sets a new finding established ; and validity and justification make it granted by others as a research-fact.
Chapter-planning mirrors the entire thesis at once to the reader. It has, therefore, to be prepared with a great deal of intelligence and diligence. A slight lapse on the part of a thesis writer in preparing the chapter-planning may lead to many confusing and misleading situations. The first chapter is usually based on the background of the problem; the second one on the empirical research study; the third and the fourth may be based on procedures and techniques (hypothesis, sample, tests, research design etc.); the fifth one on the results of the study; and the last two chapters may he based on postulates and conclusions. In languages and literatures, the chapter-planning may be slightly different from this planning. In such a thesis, every effort should be made to include every aspect of the problem.
General format is of great help to the technical writer both in a thesis and an assignment.
By limiting oneself to the frame-work of a general format, a writer may avoid irrelevance and capricious description. Though there are a number of formats to be practised and they often vary from institution to institution, yet there are three parts of a general format common to all varieties. They are:
- Title page
- Preface (also includes acknowledgements)
- Table of contents
- List of tables
- List of figures or illustrations
2. The Text
3. The Reference Material