Finalizing Your Thesis Document
Thesis Associates, through the forum of our articles, have thus far equipped you with all the tools required to successfully complete a highly acclaimed and noteworthy dissertation. The final article in our series picks up from last week’s article on “Utilizing your Waiting Time Effectively” and provides a summary of the necessitated tasks, inputs and tips to complete your finalized dissertation document. We will once more utilize the example on construction delays for the purposes of this week’s piece.
Once all questionnaires have been received, as outlined last week, there should have been substantial work completed in the areas of involving extensive research such as the Literature Review. In commencing the analysis of data received, one of the first steps should be the grouping of your questionnaires by responding party. This aids in the task of inputting the data into your relevant spreadsheets.
Remember that for your data analysis, using our example on construction delays, your input parameters will be items such as frequency and severity which are critical in calculating your importance index. You should set up spreadsheets utilizing Microsoft Excel with relevant formulas input into them, so that your output is readily calculated, and your data comparison and statistical analysis easily carried out. This ensures that you have the pertinent data to include in the data analysis section of your thesis and substantial information on which to base your discussion upon.
Your finalized thesis document is an extension of your research proposal. Once you have prepared a detailed, well researched proposal and put extensive effort into research and outlining the subject headings to be included in your dissertation, compiling the finalized document, although relatively time consuming, will be a non-daunting task. Your introduction section should expand on the key areas previously discussed in the proposal stage such as the background, aim, objectives, scope and hypothesis.
The literature review should focus on five main parts. You should commence this section by giving a general overview of your topic, then detailing root causes of your thesis problem. The key emphasis should then be a comprehensive look at previous studies undertaken and ways to minimize the causes of your problem. Finally you should summarize your literature review. It is imperative that in your literature review, you illustrate why you have adapted or chosen particular studies for the modeling of your undertaking. This can include factors such as similar Gross Domestic Product (GDP) values, export models or contractual project structure in your country of study when compared to other countries. It is also essential that the previous studies chosen be critiqued for any flaws or lacking data.
As per your research proposal, your methodology should be the next section expanded upon with particular attention placed on your research design. Once this is completed, you should then commence the data collection and analysis chapter which would include your questionnaire design, information on the responses received and tables taken from your excel spreadsheets. This section as well as the literature review forms the basis for your discussion.
The discussion generally encapsulates greater insight into the results established in your data collection and analysis. Key topics that can be focused upon within your discussion are the limitations of your study, a general discussion on your results, comparison of your results with those countries or studies highlighted in your literature review and an analysis on methods that can be implemented to eradicate or eliminate your problem of study.
Based on the previous sections of your dissertation you would then be able to formulate a fair conclusion and draw attention to recommendations that can be applied to future projects as well as recommendations for further study. Once this is completed you should move on to completing your abstract, a section which entails a summary of your entire thesis document.
Always remember to include citations within your document and complete your referencing and bibliography sections in the recommended style of your University Department. With these tips and those provided within our series “Thesis Writing & Tips for Engineering Students,” you will be well on your way to securing a high grade on your final dissertation!