Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Dissertation Writing
Chapter 1 - Introduction:
a. Is the topic and title properly introduced and explained?
b. Is the theoretical framework mentioned?
c. Is about the author written within the contextual framework of the dissertation topic?
d. Are selected texts introduced with reference to the dissertation topic?
e. Are research questions or hypotheses mentioned at the end of the chapter?
f. Are ‘In-text citations’ referred in parenthesis and mentioned in ‘Works Cited’ at the end of the chapter?
Chapter 2 - Literature Review:
a. How many articles, theses, books, etc. are reviewed?
b. Are the beginning and closing paragraphs interlinked to give a smooth flow to the readers?
c. Is the chapter written with ‘Introduction’ and ‘Conclusion’ of the review of related literature?
d. Is the research gap clearly identified and mentioned in the concluding paragraph?
e. Is the research gap matching with the research questions / hypotheses mentioned in the previous chapter?
Chapter 3 & 4 - Core Analyses of Texts:
a. Is the analysis done with the help of research questions / hypotheses and the research gap mentioned in previous chapters?
b. Are articles, books, theses, etc. reviewed in chapter 2 referred to bring home the argument, interpretation, or inferences in these chapters?
c. Are textual evidences in form of “quotes” from the texts written in these chapters?
d. Are interpretations based on the evidences from reviewed literature and supported from literary texts?
e. Are you able to add your own understanding to the analyses?
f. Are you able to apply the relevant literary theories while analyzing the texts?
Chapter 5 - Conclusion:
a. Have you answered the research questions / hypotheses mentioned in chapter 1?
b. Have you filled the research gap which is mentioned in chapter 2?
c. Is your conclusion based on the inferences drawn from the analyses in chapter 3 & 4?
d. Do you think you have added anything new to the existing understanding of the topic / research area?
1. Is the dissertation written cohesively with a smooth flow of ideas and arguments?
2. Is the language clear and concise?
3. Are there any grammatical or spelling errors?
4. Are all sources cited properly in-text and in the works cited section?
5. Have you followed the guidelines provided by your university or department for formatting and structuring the dissertation?
6. Have you proofread your work thoroughly?
7. Is the word count within the specified limit?
8. Have you followed ethical guidelines for research and writing?
Further explanations for conceptual clarity:
1. What is the difference between title and topic in dissertation writing?
In dissertation writing, the terms "title" and "topic" refer to different aspects of the dissertation.
The title of a dissertation is a brief, concise phrase that provides a clear indication of the content of the dissertation. It is usually displayed prominently on the cover page of the dissertation and may include keywords or phrases that are relevant to the research topic. The title should be eye-catching and informative, and should accurately reflect the scope and focus of the research.
On the other hand, the topic of a dissertation refers to the subject or area of research that the dissertation covers. It is a broader concept than the title and encompasses all of the research questions, theories, and methodologies that the dissertation explores. The topic may be more general than the title and may include multiple aspects of the research area.
To sum up, the title of a dissertation is a concise phrase that provides a clear indication of the content of the dissertation, while the topic of a dissertation is the broader subject or area of research that the dissertation covers.
2. What to do you mean by theoretical framework in literary research?
A theoretical framework in literary research refers to the set of concepts, theories, and ideas that provide a conceptual framework for understanding the literary work being studied. It is essentially a conceptual or analytical framework that helps the researcher to interpret and analyze the literary text under investigation.
Theoretical frameworks in literary research can come from a variety of fields, including literary theory, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, feminism, postcolonial theory, and so on. These frameworks provide a lens through which the literary text can be analyzed, helping to uncover the underlying meaning, themes, and messages within the work.
In literary research, the theoretical framework typically informs the research questions, methodology, and data analysis techniques used in the study. It provides a way for the researcher to organize and interpret their findings, and to develop a deeper understanding of the literary work in question.
To sum up, the theoretical framework is an important component of literary research, as it provides a foundation for the study and helps to guide the research process from start to finish.
3. What do you mean by research question or hypothesis?
A research question is a clear, concise, and focused question that a researcher asks in order to guide their investigation and help them achieve their research objectives. It is usually formulated as a question that can be answered through empirical investigation and analysis.
A hypothesis, on the other hand, is a tentative statement or explanation about a phenomenon or relationship between variables that a researcher puts forward and seeks to test through empirical observation and analysis. A hypothesis is a more specific prediction or statement about what the researcher expects to find as a result of their research, and it can be supported or refuted by the data that is collected during the study.
In general, both research questions and hypotheses serve as the foundation for the design and execution of a research study, helping to focus the research efforts and provide a clear direction for the investigation.
4. The purpose of literature review is to find research gap. What do you mean by research gap?
A research gap refers to an area in the literature where there is a lack of research or knowledge, or where existing research is limited, inconsistent, contradictory, or outdated. It is an identified need or opportunity for further research in a specific area or topic, where new insights, information, or evidence are needed to advance knowledge and understanding.
The purpose of a literature review is to identify and analyze the existing research on a particular topic, in order to identify research gaps and research questions that have not yet been addressed or answered. By conducting a comprehensive review of the literature, a researcher can determine what is already known and what still needs to be explored, and can identify the areas where new research is most needed.
Research gaps are important because they provide opportunities for researchers to contribute new knowledge to a particular field, and to address important questions that have not yet been answered. Identifying research gaps is also important for the development of research proposals, as it helps to justify the need for further research and to outline the specific research questions and objectives that will be addressed.
5. It is said that in the core chapters in dissertation, the analyses of literary text shall be based on literature reviewed and textual evidence. How to do so?
To analyze literary texts based on the literature reviewed and textual evidence, it is important to follow a structured and systematic approach. Here are some steps that can be helpful:
- Define the scope of the analysis: Begin by defining the scope of the analysis, which may include the specific literary works, themes, characters, or aspects that will be examined. This can help to narrow down the focus of the analysis and make it more manageable.
- Review the literature: Review the relevant literature, including scholarly articles, books, and other sources, to gain a thorough understanding of the existing research and theories related to the literary texts and themes under investigation.
- Identify key concepts and themes: Identify the key concepts, themes, and issues that emerge from the literature review and that are relevant to the literary texts being analyzed. This can help to guide the analysis and focus on the most important aspects of the texts.
- Collect textual evidence: Collect textual evidence from the literary texts, including quotes, passages, and scenes that are relevant to the key concepts and themes identified in the literature review.
- Analyze the textual evidence: Analyze the textual evidence in relation to the key concepts and themes, using the theories and frameworks identified in the literature review. This can involve close reading, interpretation, and critical analysis of the literary texts.
- Draw conclusions and make connections: Draw conclusions and make connections between the textual evidence, the key concepts and themes, and the existing literature. This can help to identify gaps in the research, provide new insights and perspectives, and contribute to the overall understanding of the literary texts and themes under investigation.
To sum up, the analysis of literary texts in the core chapters of a dissertation should be based on a thorough literature review and careful analysis of textual evidence, using a structured and systematic approach.
6. It is said that in the conclusion of dissertation the research questions raised in chapter 1 or hypotheses or research gap identified in literature review shall be thoroughly answered or explained. It is also said that all inferences drawn in conclusion shall be based on the interpretation in core analyses. How to do so?
To thoroughly answer the research questions, hypotheses, or research gaps identified in the literature review in the conclusion of a dissertation, and to ensure that all inferences drawn are based on the interpretation in the core analyses, it is important to follow a structured and systematic approach. Here are some steps that can be helpful:
- Review the research questions, hypotheses, or research gap: Begin by reviewing the research questions, hypotheses, or research gap identified in the literature review, and ensure that they are clearly defined and understood.
- Summarize the core analyses: Summarize the findings from the core analyses of the dissertation, including the methods used, the data collected, and the key results and conclusions.
- Relate the core analyses to the research questions, hypotheses, or research gap: Relate the findings from the core analyses to the research questions, hypotheses, or research gap, and explain how they address or contribute to answering the research questions, hypotheses, or research gap.
- Draw conclusions: Draw conclusions based on the findings from the core analyses and the relation to the research questions, hypotheses, or research gap. This can involve identifying patterns or themes that emerged from the analyses, discussing the significance of the findings, and providing recommendations for future research.
- Discuss limitations and implications: Discuss the limitations of the research, including any potential biases or shortcomings in the data or analyses, and explain how these limitations may impact the conclusions drawn. Also, discuss the implications of the findings for theory, practice, policy, or future research.
To sum up, the conclusion of a dissertation should provide a clear and concise summary of the key findings and conclusions from the core analyses, and should demonstrate how these findings address the research questions, hypotheses, or research gap identified in the literature review. All inferences drawn in the conclusion should be based on the interpretation in the core analyses, and should be supported by evidence from the data and the literature.