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Thesis and Dissertation Guide

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❶Reduction of Tables and Other Materials If a table, appendix, illustration, or graph is too wide or long, or both, to fit within the specified margins, have it reduced, or if textual material, type it using a smaller font. Look back over your dissertation once complete.

Introduction

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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.

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. Refer to the List of Tables, Figures, and Illustrations section for additional information. You are required to list all the references you consulted. For specific details on formatting your references, consult and follow a style manual or professional journal that is used for formatting publications and citations in your discipline.

In some cases, students gain approval from their academic program to include in their thesis or dissertation previously published or submitted, in press, or under review journal articles or similar materials that they have authored.

For more information about including previously published works in your thesis or dissertation, see the section on Use of Your Own Previously Published Materials and the section on Copyrighting. If your academic program has approved inclusion of such materials, please note that these materials must match the formatting guidelines set forth in this Guide regardless of how the material was formatted for publication.

Print complete guide Introduction I. Formatting Guidelines Margins All copies of a thesis or dissertation must have the following uniform margins throughout the entire document: Non-Traditional Formats Non-traditional theses or dissertations such as whole works comprised of digital, artistic, video, or performance materials i. The 6th edition of the Publication Manual brings an important and exciting change: The updated headings style should make headings easier to understand, implement, and see in your finished paper.

Here are five essential things you need to know:. Click the image below to get a close-up view of the new heading style. Proceed through the levels numerically, starting with Level 1, without skipping over levels this is in contrast to the 5th edition heading style, which involved skipping levels depending on the total number of levels you had—how complicated!

The first heading in your paper will appear within the body of the paper, that is, after you have started writing your text.

Doctoral Studies

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Dissertation Formatting Guidelines This section describes the dissertation format that all NYUSteinhardt doctoral candidates are required to follow. Dissertations must adhere to these requirements in order to be accepted by the Office of Doctoral Studies for the scheduling of the final oral examination.

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Headings and Subheadings The candidate shall consult the appropriate style manual as approved or recommended by the department or Committee when creating and formatting headings and subheadings. Regardless of specific style, headings and subheadings of chapters and sections are constructed and presented in a consistent manner within a .

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Numbering chapters, headings and subheadings is not mandatory, but the heading levels must be clearly distinguished. If you do number the headings, the numbering must be sequential and accurate. Please use bolding or a larger font . thesis in one of two basic ways: (1) using the “Purdue format” to dictate layout of content and headings and using either APA or MLA for the formatting of tables/figures and references, or (2) using “pure” APA or MLA formatting for .

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The Abstract is an important element of the thesis, and will become a document in its own right if the thesis is registered within any database. The examiners will therefore assess your Abstract both as part of your thesis, and as a potentially independent document. Use the same heading hierarchy throughout the dissertation or thesis. Do not mix roman and arabic numerals (e.g., V.1, III.2). Do not type subheadings entirely in uppercase letters. Triple-space from the end of a subdivision to the next subheading. Do not end a page with a.