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The components of a doctoral dissertation and their order

How to create your table of contents

❶Notes The notes section must be arranged by chapters, with chapter numbers and even chapter titles serving as section titles. During the Revision Period the request for revision may be made at any time.

Doctoral Studies

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What is the table of contents?
order of contents in dissertation

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. Even the early chapters submitted for assessment, and passing that assessment, may need to be revised later on. This is not a failure, but a positive sign of increased experience and skill.

You will refer to the work of others as you make your argument. This may involve critiquing the work of established leaders in the field. It is important that you are assertive about what you are arguing, but it is unlikely that, in a dissertation project, you will be able to be definitive in closing an established academic debate. You should be open about where the gaps are in your research, and cautious about over-stating what you have found.

Aim to be modest but realistic in relating your own research to the broader context. Once you have the dissertation in draft form it becomes easier to see where you can improve it. To make it easier to read you can use clear signposting at the beginning of chapters, and write links between sections to show how they relate to each other.

Another technique to improve academic writing style is to ensure that each individual paragraph justifies its inclusion. More ideas will be presented in the Study Guide The art of editing. You may choose to review your draft from the standpoint of a dissertation examiner, which might involve preparing a list of questions that you want to see answered, then reading through your dissertation scribbling comments, suggestions, criticisms, and ideas in the margin.

The verso back of the title page is where you find the copyright notice, the publisher, the ISSN number, etc. This may look like this:. Your university might not have a standard for a copyright page.

If this is the case, you could put here the names of your supervisor s and evaluation committee members instead. On the dedication page the author names the person s for whom the book is written. It is for the author to decide whether to have a dedication or not.

It is not necessary to identify the person s to whom the work is dedicated. Examples of a dedication are:. Patribus a pueris semper parendum est. The epigraph is a short quotation or a poem, which usually serves to link the book to other, usually well-known, published works. The source of the quotation is given on the line following the epigraph and is usually aligned right, often preceded by a dash. The table of contents should contain the title and beginning page number of everything that follows it: If some chapter titles are too long, consider choosing alternative short titles to be used in the table of contents.

Do not include the contents in the table of contents unless you want to make a joke. The list of illustrations contains all illustrations in the dissertation and the page numbers where they can be found. If there are various kinds of illustrations, the list can be divided into parts, such as Figures, Maps , etc. The titles of the illustrations need not correspond exactly to the captions printed with the illustrations themselves; you can use shortened titles.

The list of Illustrations is usually titled simply Illustrations , but appears as List of Illustrations in the table of contents. A list of tables usually titled just Tables but entered in the table of contents as List of Tables contains all tables and their page numbers.

The titles of the tables may be shortened if needed. The abstract includes a concise description of the thesis — the problems discussed in it and their proposed solution. The abstract must focus on the result of the scientific investigation, rather than giving the background and methodology for the investigation. This is why people read the abstract: The abstract is a self-contained text and should not contain references.

If this is needed, then you can include the whole reference in the abstract. The abstract is best written towards the end of the dissertation writing process. The abstract will be the most widely read and published part of your thesis: In the acknowledgement you thank the people who have contributed to your doctoral degree by providing academic supervision, administrative support, food and shelter, friendship, etc.

First and foremost, you should thank your main supervisor, followed by the co-supervisor s and the people who have helped you shape your academic profile.

It is a good idea to thank the administrative staff at the Faculty, who will have most likely helped you sort out some problems during your postgraduate studies.

You can then continue with thanking your close colleagues, friends, spouse, kids, parents, and optionally God. The acknowledgements are the only place in the dissertation where you may reveal personal information about yourself and your life.

It is less formal than the rest of the dissertation and can include jokes, sentences in foreign language, etc. Keep in mind though that a lot of people who do not know you personally will read this part, so you should not be too personal and revealing.

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. A smaller or condensed typeface can be used for tables that otherwise might not fit across a page within the correct margins, however, mixing typefaces is otherwise not recommended.

Underlining or italics may be used for statistical symbols, book titles, or definitions but use either one or the other consistently throughout your manuscript, including tables. Headings should be underlined when appropriate and not italicized.

Bold type should not be used in the manuscript. Avoid leaving more than two inches of white space without type. This applies to tables and figures as well as to text. A table or figure should be inserted in the text as soon after it is first referred to where it will fit in its entirety on one page. Leave three blank lines between a table and text or text and a table; the same for figures. Continue your text if you can fit at least four lines after it. You may have more than one table on a page and you may have a table, discussion, and a table.

The same procedure applies to all illustrative material. APA style requires writers to double space all typed material, including the exceptions noted above. You have the option, however, of double spacing your references and block quotations; MLA style users also have this option.

The title page is counted as page one and the copyright page as page two, but numbers do not appear on them. Lower case roman numerals iii, iv, v, vi, etc. Beginning with page 1 of Chapter I, Arabic numbers are used and are continuous through the last page including all appendices. Page numbers for all pages in the chapter, including the first page of each chapter or major section, should be placed three quarters of an inch from the top or bottom edge of the paper centered between the margins.

You are required to follow that format exactly. You should include a copyright page with your name and copyright date in the middle of the page, centered left to right between the margins and top to bottom.

Please note that the copyright date is the year of your degree conferral. The copyright page is page ii of the pages preceding the text the title page is understood to be page i , but no number should appear on either the title page or the copyright page. Because a dissertation does not have an index, your Table of Contents should be as comprehensive as possible.

Include all headings and subheadings, exactly as they appear in the text, up to and including Level 2. Including lower level headings is optional. See sample Table of Contents in the next section. Note that the indentation of a heading used in the Table of Contents corresponds to the level of the heading. The following illustrates this:. You should supply the reader with lists of tables, figures, and any other illustrative material used in your dissertation. See the sample lists in the next section.

Lists of musical examples or reproductions of art, or information about films, follow the same form as that used for lists of tables and figures. Headings within the chapter should indicate the weight you assign to particular ideas by the form of headings suggested in the style manual you have selected or the form suggested below.

Leave three blank lines i. If one heading immediately follows another, leave only one blank line a double space between the two. Leave one blank line a double space after each heading. Capitalize the first letter of each word of headings except for articles, conjunctions, and prepositions. The following is one way in which to order headings and to type them. Be sure that no heading appears at the bottom of a page without at least two lines of text beneath it.

The Table of Contents will contain all Level 1 and Level 2 headings exactly as they appear in the text. It is not necessary to include Level 3 or lower-level headings in the Table of Contents, but you may if it provides the reader with more useful information. Chapter numbers are upper case roman numerals with no period , e.

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The table of contents should not contain listings for the pages that precede it, but it must list all parts of the thesis or dissertation that follow it. If relevant, be sure to list all appendices and a references section in your table of contents.

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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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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. Do acknowledgements follow or precede the table of contents? What comes first – the appendix or the bibliography? you can read about the main components of a doctoral dissertation and their order. A doctoral dissertation is a book, and books have a particular structure. you can read about the main components of a doctoral dissertation.

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This article helps the readers on how to create the best table of contents for dissertation. An important thing to note is that the article shares the creation of table of contents in word In order to update the table of contents, Select ‘Update Table’ in References tab. 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 further sections or sub-sections is needed.