What are the chapters in A Dissertation?

A dissertation comprises various sections, each serving a distinct purpose in conveying the research comprehensively. The title page initiates the document, presenting the dissertation’s title, author’s name, institution, and date. Following this, the abstract succinctly encapsulates the research’s essence, outlining the research question, methodology, findings, and conclusions. The acknowledgment section expresses gratitude to individuals or entities that contributed to the research process. The table of contents systematically organizes the subsequent chapters, sections, and subsections, facilitating navigation.

The introduction sets the stage by introducing the topic, stating the research question or hypothesis, and delineating the study’s purpose and scope. The literature review critically examines existing scholarly works related to the research, establishing the context and identifying gaps or areas requiring further exploration. The methodology section outlines the research design, data collection methods, and analytical approaches employed, offering a transparent framework for the study.

The results chapter presents the empirical findings, often utilizing tables, figures, and statistical analyses to convey the data effectively. Subsequently, the discussion section interprets and contextualizes the results, highlighting their implications and connections to existing literature. The conclusion synthesizes the main findings, emphasizing their significance and proposing potential avenues for future research.

The references section compiles all sources cited in the dissertation, adhering to a specified citation style. Appendices, if included, provide supplementary materials such as raw data, questionnaires, or in-depth explanations, enhancing the overall depth and credibility of the research. Crafting a dissertation of this length demands meticulous attention to detail, coherence, and adherence to any specific guidelines established by the academic institution or field of study. Each section contributes to the overall narrative, ensuring a comprehensive and well-supported exploration of the research topic.

Address everything that is asked for in the assessment guidelines, Tips :
‣Structure and clarity is very important
‣Have clear headings that signpost each chapter & section
‣Start each Chapter on a new page
‣Take note of the weighing (% of marks) for each section to guide word length
‣Pay great attention to referencing, formatting, spelling, grammatical and typographical errors

‣ This is a brief summary of the literature review that identifies the topic area, research approach and summary of main findings
‣It should be 250 – 300 words (not included in the word count)
‣Look at published literature reviews in your topic area for guidance on the structure (it can be a paragraph or with headings, no right or wrong way to do an abstract)
‣Write it towards the end of writing the literature review

Chapter 1: Introduction/Background (10%)
‣Provide an introduction to your topic
‣What is the wider health context of the topic (international, national, local)
‣Define your key terms
‣Why is this topic important/relevant?
‣Clearly state your research question
‣Make sure it is actually a question
‣Clearly state your aim(s) and objective(s)
Note differences between a topic/title, question, aim & objective
Topic: Mental health service users experiences of psychiatric inpatient care
Research question: What are mental health service users’ experiences of psychiatric inpatient care?
‣Aim: To understand mental health service users’ experiences of psychiatric inpatient care
‣Objective: To improve psychiatric inpatient care for mental health seservice users

Chapter 2:
Method / search strategy(15%)
‣Clearly describe your search strategy, including:
‣Databases used
‣Search terms/key words
‣Boolean operators
‣Hand searches (of reference lists and/or specific journals)
‣Clearly state your inclusion & exclusion criteria with the rationale for their usage
‣Produce a flow chart of your search process
Chapter 2: Methodology

‣Clearly describe the critical appraisal tool(s) used to appraise the research articles:
‣Identifying which tools/checklists were used for each research article
‣The rationale for use (e.g. the CASP RCT checklist was used to appraise two of the articles (Smith & Jones, 2011; Jones et al 2013) because both studies have RCT designs)
‣Include the critical appraisal tool table in the appendix

Chapter 3: Findings (35%)

‣Start this chapter with an introductory paragraph that describes the key characteristics of the research articles in your review (identified in your article summary table) e.g.
‣The different types of designs/methods (e.g. four Quantitative studies & four qualitative, the different research designs used)
‣The different countries where the research studies were conducted (if applicable)

Chapter 3 continues: Article summary table
‣Develop an article summary table, that extracts the key features of the review articles, for example:
‣Article reference (or authors & date)
‣Country where research conducted
‣Design of study/method(s)
‣Measures/questionnaires used (if any)
‣Sampling/sample size
‣Key findings

Chapter 3 continues: Findings (themes)
‣Identify the main findings from the research studies in your literature review
‣Include the summary table in the main body of the Chapter
‣Assign themes to the main findings of each of the research studies, you may have 2-6 main findings from each research study
‣Identify common themes across the research studies, e.g. patients’ experiences; nurse’’ attitudes, management of pain, training needs

Chapter 3 continues: Findings (synthesis of findings)
‣Structure the rest of the chapter according to the common themes identified, using the theme titles as sub-headings
‣You may have 3-6 themes
‣Compare & contrast the findings of the research studies within these thematic sections as a synthesis of the findings from ALL the studies
‣Demonstrate your critical appraisal of the research studies within this synthesis
Chapter 3 continues: Findings (critical evaluation)
‣Discuss the findings critically, demonstrating you have critically appraised the studies, e.g.
‣Three of the studies (refs) used a RCT design to assess the effectiveness of this intervention, which is an appropriate design for the focus of these studies. However, in the study by (ref) it was not stated whether the data collectors and patients were blinded to the intervention, therefore there could be potential bias in how the intervention was conducted that could affect the validity of the study. Thus the results should be treated with caution.

Chapter 4: Discussion /Implications (20%)
‣Critically discuss the findings of your literature review in relation to other literature and your area of practice ‣Critically evaluate the findings of your review and how they answer your research question
‣Discuss your findings in relation to other literature/research studies/guidelines and relate your findings to contemporary evidence-based practice

Chapter 4: continues Recommendations (10%)
‣Critically explore the implications of the findings from your literature review and make relevant recommendations for: ‣Practice ‣Further research ‣Education ‣Health care delivery Chapter 5: Conclusions ‣This can be relatively short (2-3 paragraphs) ‣Summarise: ‣the main findings of the literature review ‣how it has answered your research question ‣Implications for practice ‣Do not introduce new ideas or information here References ‣List all your references after the conclusion in one list ‣ Ensure that you use Harvard referencing


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