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By Bishop Danilo O. Bantilan, Th.D.
This is one of the main struggle of most students in colleges and universities on how make a thesis or dissertation. What is the difference between the word thesis and dissertation? Let me explain further of these two words. A thesis is usually called a "Thesis Statement". This "statement" is normally less that 15 words and outlines an "idea" or "thesis" to the overall Dissertation. A Dissertation is the research and explanation of a thesis statement.1 The Thesis statement An integral part of most effective introductions’ is the thesis statement. The statement clearly explains the purpose of your writing in one or two sentences. It serves as a guide to the reader, either as a roadmap or as a justification for your argument. Strong thesis statement takes a stand, is specific, and express just one main idea. According to James D. Lester, developing a Thesis Statement, enthymeme, or hypothesis. He said that, one central will usually control an essay’s direction and content, so as early as possible, begin thinking in terms of a controlling idea. Each has a separate mission: A thesis statement advance a conclusion the writer will defend: contrary to what some philosophers or theologians have advanced, human beings have always participated in wars. • An enthymeme uses a because clause to make a claim the writer will defend: there has never been a “noble savage,” as such, because even prehistoric human beings fought frequent wars for numerous reasons. • A hypothesis is a theory that must be tested in the lab, in the literature, and/or by field research to prove its validity: human beings are motivated by biological instincts toward the physical overthrown of perceived enemies. Let’s look at another view in more detail. A thesis statement expands your topic into a scholarly proposal, one that you will try to prove and defend in your paper. It does not state the obvious, such as “for God so love the world” that statement or sentence will not provoke an academic discussion because your readers know that any published devotional books talks about God. The writer must narrow and isolate one issue by finding a critical focus, such as this one that a student considered for her essay: Here’s a better example: 1. Thesis: The Big Bang occurred when atoms collided. Dissertation: This is, normally, a lengthy "paper" which includes all of the previous research, current research, background information and "your theories" on why this is either wrong or right. Dissertations are used as a final project for Master's and Doctoral degrees for helping further the knowledge in the field that you are getting the degree in. this is cut and dry, but gives you a pretty good idea. If you still don't understand think of a thesis statement as the title, and the dissertation as the book. •
2. Thesis: SUVs are a threat to the environment. Scientists’ are warning that their contributions to global warming and air pollutions are far greater than most people realize.2 3. Thesis: The manifest presence of God would be experience to the entire Christian believers of Christ inside the Tabernacle. Theologically and Biblically the absence of God’s manifest presence inside the Tabernacle was the result of sin. 4. Thesis: Chat rooms and online matching services enable people to meet only after a prearranged engagement by e-mail. The writer will defend online romance as similar to prearranged marriage of the past. 5. Thesis: Poverty forced Santiago to venture too far and struggle beyond reason in his attempt to land the marlin. The writer will examine the economic conditions of Santiago’s trade.
Your instructor might want the research paper to develop an argument expressed as an enthymeme, which is a claim supported with a because clause.3 Example: 1. God’ manifest presence must be restore back to the Church, because without His presence and His Word; life became miserable and meaningless. 2. God’s manifest presence is so vital in the Church as Tabernacle because most of the Churches around the world were dying without life, full of legalism and man made services. 3. God’s manifest presence is necessary in body of Christ as the center of worship because man became the center of praise services.
A division of Kaplan, Inc. Liberty Plaza, 24th Floor New York, NY 10006© 2008 Published by Kaplan Publishing, p. 180 3 By James D. Lester and James D. Lester, Jr. writing Research Papers a complete guide thirteenth Edition Copyright© 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc. p.p 22-23
Using Your Thesis to Chart the Direction of Your Research
Often, the thesis statement sets the direction of the paper’s development. 1. Arrangement by Issues The thesis statement might force the writer to address various issues and positions. Thesis: Misunderstanding about organ donation distorts reality and set serious limits on the availability of those persons who need an eye, a liver, or a healthy heart. Issue 1. Many myths mislead people into believing that donation is unethical. Issue 2. Some fear that as a patient they might be terminated early for their body parts. Issue 3. Religious views sometimes get in the way of donation The outline above, though brief, gives these writer three categories that require detailed research in support of the thesis. The note taking can be focused on these three issues. 2. Arrangement by Cause and Effect In other cases, the thesis statement suggests development by cause/effect Issues. Notice that the next writer’s thesis on television’s educational values points the way to four very different areas worthy of investigation. Thesis: Television can have positive effects on a child’s language development. Consequence 1. Television introduces new words. Consequence 2. Television reinforces word usage and proper syntax. Consequence 3. Literary classics come alive verbally on television. Consequence 4. Television provides the subtle rhythms and musical effects of accomplished speakers. This outline can help the writer produce a full discussion on television viewing.
3. Arrangement by Interpretation and Evaluation 3
Evaluation will evolve from thesis statements that judge a subject by a set of criteria, such as your analysis of a poem, movie, or museum display. Notice how the next student’s thesis statement requires an interpretation Hamlet’s character. Thesis: Shakespeare manipulates the stage settings for Hamlet’s Soliloquies to uncover his unstable nature and forecast his failure. 1. His soul is dark because of his mother’s incest. 2. He appears impotent in comparison with the actor. 3. He is drawn by the magnetism of death. 4. He realizes he cannot perform cruel, unnatural acts. 5. He stands ashamed by his inactivity in comparison. 4.Arrangement by Comparison Sometimes a thesis statement stipulates a comparison on the value of two sides of an issue, as shown in one student’s preliminary outline: Thesis: Discipline often involves punishment, but child abuse adds another element: the gratification of the adult. Comparison 1: A spanking has the interest of the child at heart but a beating or a canning Has no redeeming value. Comparison 2. Time- outs remind the child that relationships are important and to be cherished, but lockouts in a closet only promote hysteria and fear. Comparison 3. The parent’s ego and selfish interests often take precedence over the welfare of the child or children.4 CHECKLIST EVALUATING YOUR OVERALL PLAN 1. What is my thesis? Will my notes and records defend and illustrate my proposition? Is the evidence convincing? 2. Have I found the best plan for developing the thesis with elements of argument, evaluation, causes/effect, or comparison? 3. Should I use a combination of elements- that is, do I need to evaluate the subject, examine the causes and consequences, and then set out the argument?
YOUR RESEARCH PROJECT 1. Make a list of key terms related to your topic. When you have a list, try to group the term into main ideas and subtopics. You can use this list as a rough working outline to guide your readings and note taking. 2. Develop a list of questions about your topic. Try to generate a list of questions yourself and then follow up by asking some of your friends or classmates to suggest 4 Ibid p.p 36-37 questions that they would like to know more about based on your initial topic. 4 3. Revisit your thesis statement to think about what kind of direction it sets for your paper’s development. Try to reconsider the pattern I give in the above thesis statement.
Doing the Introduction
What it is Good introductions do two things; they announce your subject and they grab [or hook] the reader’s attention. Depending on the type of writing you’re working, you might need to write more “ announcement” and less “ hook”5
Doing the Body What it is In the Body of your writing, you develop your argument, present your ideas, and analyze your topic. The body is made up of paragraphs that separate ideas and include details, example, and evidence to support those ideas.
Doing the Conclusion What it is As you end your writing, you have another chance to show your reader why everything you’ve said is important. Your conclusion should answer the question, “so what?” leave a good last impression with your reader with a story conclusion that avoids clichés. “to conclude” to summarize” “in closing” are boring and overused. Leave them out.6
Getting it right
Ibid., p.p 184-185
Conclusions are not the place for introducing new information. But you also don’t need a paragraph to repeat everything in the body of your writing. What makes an effective conclusion? Many of the techniques that help create story introductions also work well as doing. 1. Took to the future What do you anticipate doing or accomplishing? What outcome do you hope for? 2. Ask a question. The answer should echo your thesis statement E.g. how can a Christian find the presence of God inside the Tabernacle? 3. Issue a call to action; tell your readers what they should do. 4. Remind your reader why your topic is important to them.
Strategies to Avoid Plagiarism
Prevention– for Teachers, Students and Others
Students, teachers, and online entrepreneurs may be concerned about plagiarism. This article discusses strategies and resources for detection and prevention.7
1. Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism You probably know that buying a research paper online and turning it in as your own work is plagiarism of the worst kind. But do you really understand when you need to document [cite] a source and when you do not? Do you know what criteria to apply when when you need to decide if a particular piece of infromation needs to be documented in your paper? Most students who encounter plagiarism problem in college do so because they lack a clear understanding of the ethical and community standards in a academic environment. Plagiarism is defined as the act of claiming the words or ideas of another person as your own. Plagiarism is a serious violation of the ethical standards of academic writings, and most collegees and universities have strict penalties, including academic probation or expulsion, for students who are guilty of plagiarism. Most of school publish an official code of student conduct[ sometimes called an academic integrity policy], and you should be familiar with this document as it applies to your research and writing. Some students will knowingly copy whole passage from outside sources is the most blatant form of plagiarism. Unintentional plagiarism, however, is still violation of academic integrity. Unacknowledge use of another person’s sentences, phrase, or terminology is plagiarism.8 Can your teacher detect plagiarism?
by Christiane Marshall James D. Lester Writing Research papers© copyright 2010 thirteenth Edition
Student plagiarism is on the rise because it takes little effort to copy and paste from internet sources. Online writers often have their content stolen from website owners who may not understand how serious the consequences can be. Some individuals unknowingly plagiarize while others know what they are doing. Some students fear the accusation because they are not sure about their writing and research skills. Here are some things to keep in mind. 1. Plagiarism Penalties Consequences can be serious. In 2006, an engineering student at Ohio University was preparing to write his thesis. While reading the theses of past students, he found many instances of plagiarism. Forty past students were reported and were threatened with losing their degrees if they did not revise their thesis. Sometimes the penalty might be losing a grade for a paper, but for more serious cases, an entire degree might be forfeited. Plagiarism can sometimes lead to lawsuits or even arrests—and as was demonstrated at Ohio University, a person’s literary indiscretions can threaten a career many years later. 2. Check Paper for Plagiarism Merriam-Webster states that to plagiarize is: “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own: use (another’s production) without crediting the source.” Many high schools and colleges are using powerful tools to check papers for plagiarism. Sometimes institutions give students access to these tools in order to check their own papers. Also, students can open their own accounts if this is not available at their high school or college. Teachers and professors are often trained in detection, and they also learn to recognize their students’ writing voices and often suspect cheating before a tool is used. Entrepreneurs tempted to steal content should be aware that authors have access to tools that help find stolen content online within just a few hours. Authors who have to deal with content thieves can create a resource to share with them that discusses plagiarism and provides links to articles that can be purchased online. So although the internet has made it easy to copy and paste, it has also made it a simple matter to find the perpetrators.
3. Avoiding Plagiarism – Strategies & Resources
One of the best ways to avoid plagiarism is to improve writing and research skills. A writing tutor can help, and there are many good academic writing tutors available online. A good local and free resource is the reference librarian. Although the librarian usually is thought of as helping students find references, he or she can also help with research skills, writing formats and citing references. 7
People are sometimes surprised when they are accused of cheating. High school and college students may not have not mastered certain writing skills like summarizing and paraphrasing. Sometimes students think that finding synonyms for words in a paragraph is paraphrasing. However, this is known as “mosaic plagiarism.” Mastering true paraphrasing is one very useful skill to help a student avoid the plague of plagiarism. Other skills that should be pursued include: • • • • • • • research note-taking skills; how to gather bibliographic information; how to quote direct quotes; how to cite; how to synthesize two or more references; how to develop a writing voice; How to recognize which ideas are common knowledge and which are unique to a writer.
These skills take time to learn, but will repay the learner for a lifetime. Although there are free resources available, nothing beats the one on one help of a writing tutor who can give specific feedback to the writer. It is a worthwhile investment because what is learned will prevent frustration and temptation throughout the academic career. Online tutoring services make learning writing skills more convenient than ever. Once the basic writing and research skills are mastered, free online resources can serve as references. A good resource for institutions and teachers to help them plan prevention programs is The Center for Academic Integrity: Rutland Institute for Ethics. This is an organization that promotes academic integrity in high schools and universities. 4. Don’t Buy Research Papers! Giving in to the temptation could have serious consequences, especially if another student submits the same paper. Avoiding plagiarism is possible. Although not everyone will become a polished writer, anyone can learn to write a decent research paper or essay. It’s important to remember that improper paraphrasing can lead to what is known as “mosaic plagiarism.” There are many other mistakes that can lead to a student or writer being accused of pirating another’s work. The best way to avoid this problem is by: • • • • remembering the possible serious consequences; learning essential writing and research skills; accessing important resources; and Utilizing the services of a tutor and/or a reference librarian.
A teacher or writer can use the great tools available online; and develop material to help students or the entrepreneurs that have plagiarized.
To The Candidate:
So, you are preparing to write a Ph.D. dissertation in an experimental area of Computer Science. Unless you have written many formal documents before, you are in for a surprise: it's difficult! There are two possible paths to success: 8
Planning Ahead. Few take this path. The few who do leave the University so quickly that they are hardly noticed. If you want to make a lasting impression and have a long career as a graduate student, do not choose it.
Perseverance. All you really have to do is outlast your doctoral committee. The good news is that they are much older than you, so you can guess who will eventually expire first. The bad news is that they are more practiced at this game (after all, they persevered in the face of their doctoral committee, didn't they?).
Here are a few guidelines that may help you when you finally get serious about writing. The list goes on forever; you probably won't want to read it all at once. But, please read it before you write anything.
The General Idea:
1. A thesis is a hypothesis or assumption. 2. A PhD dissertation is a lengthy, formal document that argues in defense of a particular thesis. (So many people use the term ``thesis'' to refer to the document that a current dictionary now includes it as the third meaning of ``thesis''). 3. Two important adjectives used to describe a dissertation are ``original'' and ``substantial.'' The research performed to support a thesis must be both, and the dissertation must show it to be so. In particular, a dissertation highlights original contributions. 4. The scientific method means starting with a hypothesis and then collecting evidence to support or deny it. Before one can write a dissertation defending a particular thesis, one must collect evidence that supports it. Thus, the most difficult aspect of writing a dissertation consists of organizing the evidence and associated discussions into a coherent form. The same procedure on religious thesis and dissertation the principles were the same; could be applied in Christian worldview. 5. The essence of a dissertation is critical thinking, not experimental data. Analysis and concepts form the heart of the work. In other words the statement and facts base on internal evidence experiment. 6. A dissertation concentrates on principles: it states the lessons learned, and not merely the facts behind them. 7. In general, every statement in a dissertation must be supported either by a reference to published scientific literature or by original work. Moreover, a dissertation does not repeat the details of critical thinking and analysis found in published sources; it uses the results as fact and refers the reader to the source for further details. 8. Each sentence in a dissertation must be complete and correct in a grammatical sense. Moreover, a dissertation must satisfy the stringent rules of formal grammar (e.g., no contractions, no colloquialisms, no slurs, no undefined technical jargon, no hidden jokes, and no slang, even when such terms or phrases are in common use in the spoken language). Indeed, the writing in a dissertation must be crystal clear. Shades of meaning matter; the terminology and prose must make fine distinctions. The words must convey exactly the meaning intended, nothing more and nothing less. 9. Each statement in a dissertation must be correct and defensible in a logical and scientific sense. Moreover, the discussions in a dissertation must satisfy the most stringent rules of logic applied to mathematics and science.
What One Should Learn From The Exercise?
1. All scientists need to communicate discoveries; the PhD dissertation provides training for communication with other scientists. 2. Writing a dissertation requires a student to think deeply, to organize technical discussion, to muster arguments that will convince other scientists, and to follow rules for rigorous, formal presentation of the arguments and discussion. 3. Theologians and scholars of the Bible provide also the facts and theories of some other authors; basically their main reference is the Word of God. Theology without Scriptural support is invalid in Christian worldviews’.
A Rule Of Thumb:
Good writing is essential in a dissertation. However, good writing cannot compensate for a paucity of ideas or concepts. Quite the contrary, a clear presentation always exposes weaknesses.
Definitions and Terminology:
1. Each technical term used in a dissertation must be defined either by a reference to a previously published definition (for standard terms with their usual meaning) or by a precise, unambiguous definition that appears before the term is used (for a new term or a standard term used in an unusual way). 2. Each term should be used in one and only one way throughout the dissertation. 3. The easiest way to avoid a long series of definitions is to include a statement: ``the terminology used throughout this document follows that given in [CITATION].'' Then, only define exceptions. 4. The introductory chapter can give the intuition (i.e., informal definitions) of terms provided they are defined more precisely later.
Terms and Phrases to Avoid:
adverbs Mostly, they are very often overly used. Use strong words instead. For example, one could say, ``Writers abuse adverbs.'' Jokes or puns they have no place in a formal document.
``bad'', ``good'', ``nice'', ``terrible'', ``stupid'' A scientific dissertation does not make moral judgments’. Use ``incorrect/correct'' to refer to factual correctness or errors. Use precise words or phrases to assess quality (e.g., ``method A requires less computation than method B''). In general, one should avoid all qualitative judgments’.
``true'', ``pure'', In the sense of ``good'' (it is judgmental).
``perfect'' Nothing is. 10
``an ideal solution'' You're judging again.
``today'', ``modern times'' Today is tomorrow's yesterday.
``soon'' How soon? Later tonight? Next decade?
``we were surprised to learn...'' Even if you were, so what?
``seems'', ``seemingly'', It doesn't matter how something appears;
``would seem to show'' All that matters are the facts.
``in terms of'' Usually vague
``based on'', ``X-based'', ``as the basis of'' Careful; can be vague
``different'' Does not mean ``various''; different than what?
``in light of'' Colloquial
``lots of'' Vague & colloquial
``kind of'' Vague & colloquial
``type of'' Vague & colloquial
``something like'' 11
Vague & colloquial
``just about'' Vague & colloquial
``number of'' Vague; do you mean ``some'', ``many'', or ``most''? A quantative statement is preferable.
``due to'' Colloquial
``probably'' Only if you know the statistical probability (if you do, state it quantatively
``obviously, clearly'' Be careful: obvious/clear to everyone?
``simple'' Can have a negative connotation, as in ``simpleton''
``along with'' Just use ``with''
``actually, really'' Define terms precisely to eliminate the need to clarify
``the fact that'' Makes it a meta-sentence; rephrase
``this'', ``that'' As in ``this causes concern.'' Reason: ``this'' can refer to the subject of the previous sentence, the entire previous sentence, the entire previous paragraph, the entire previous section, etc. More important, it can be interpreted in the concrete sense or in the meta-sense. For example, in: ``X does Y. This means ...'' the reader can assume ``this'' refers to Y or to the fact that X does it. Even when restricted (e.g., ``this computation...''), the phrase is weak and often ambiguous.
``You will read about...'' The second person has no place in a formal dissertation.
``I will describe...'' 12
The first person has no place in a formal dissertation. If self-reference is essential, phrase it as ``Section 10 describes...''
``we'' as in ``we see that'' A trap to avoid. Reason: almost any sentence can be written to begin with ``we'' because ``we'' can refer to: the reader and author, the author and advisor, the author and research team, experimental computer scientists, the entire computer science community, the science community, or some other unspecified group.
``Hopefully, the program...'' Computer programs don't hope, not unless they implement AI systems. By the way, if you are writing an AI thesis, talk to someone else: AI people have their own system of rules.
``...a famous researcher...'' It doesn't matter who said it or who did it. In fact, such statements prejudice the reader.
Be Careful When Using ``few, most, all, any, every''. A dissertation is precise. If a sentence says ``Most computer systems contain X'', you must be able to defend it. Are you sure you really know the facts? How many computers were built and sold yesterday?
``must'', ``always'' Absolutely?
``should'' Who says so?
``proof'', ``prove'' Would a mathematician agree that it's a proof?
``show'' Used in the sense of ``prove''. To ``show'' something, you need to provide a formal proof.
``can/may'' Your mother probably told you the difference.
Use active constructions. For example, say ``the operating system starts the device'' instead of ``the device is started by the operating system.'' 13
Write in the present tense. For example, say ``the system writes a page to the disk and then uses the frame...'' instead of ``the system will use the frame after it wrote the page to disk...''
Define Negation Early:
Example: say ``no data block waits on the output queue'' instead of ``a data block awaiting output is not on the queue.''
Grammar and Logic:
Be careful that the subject of each sentence really does what the verb says it does. Saying ``Programs must make procedure calls using the X instruction'' is not the same as saying ``Programs must use the X instruction when they call a procedure.'' In fact, the first is patently false! Another example: ``RPC requires programs to transmit large packets'' is not the same as ``RPC requires a mechanism that allows programs to transmit large packets.'' All computer scientists should know the rules of logic. Unfortunately the rules are more difficult to follow when the language of discourse is English instead of mathematical symbols. For example, the sentence ``There is a compiler that translates the N languages by...'' means a single compiler exists that handles all the languages, while the sentence ``for each of the N languages, there is a compiler that translates...'' means that there may be 1 compiler, 2 compilers, or N compilers. When written using mathematical symbols, the difference are obvious because ``for all'' and ``there exists'' are reversed.
Focus On Results And Not The People/Circumstances In Which They Were Obtained:
``After working eight hours in the lab that night, we realized...'' has no place in the dissertation. It doesn't matter when you realized it or how long you worked to obtain the answer. Another example: ``Jim and I arrived at the numbers shown in Table 3 by measuring...'' Put an acknowledgement to Jim in the dissertation, but do not include names (even your own) in the main body. You may be tempted to document a long series of experiments that produced nothing or a coincidence that resulted in success. Avoid it completely. In particular, do not document seemingly mystical influences (e.g., ``if that cat had not crawled through the hole in the floor, we might not have discovered the power supply error indicator on the network bridge''). Never attribute such events to mystical causes or imply that strange forces may have affected your results. Summary: stick to the plain facts. Describe the results without dwelling on your reactions or events that helped you achieve them.
Avoid Self-Assessment (both praise and criticism):
Both of the following examples are incorrect: ``the method outlined in Section 2 represents a major breakthrough in the design of distributed systems because...'' ``although the technique in the next section is not earthshaking...''
References to Extant Work:
One always cites papers, not authors. Thus, one uses a singular verb to refer to a paper even though it has multiple authors. For example ``Johnson and Smith [J&S90] reports that...'' Avoid the phrase ``the authors claim that X''. The use of ``claim'' casts doubt on ``X'' because it references the authors' thoughts instead of the facts. If you agree ``X'' is correct, simply state ``X'' followed by a reference. If one absolutely must reference a paper instead of a result, say ``the paper states that...'' or ``Johnson and Smith [J&S 90] presents evidence that...''.
Concept vs. Instance:
A reader can become confused when a concept and an instance of it are blurred. Common examples include: an algorithm and a particular program that implements it, a programming language and a compiler, a general abstraction and its particular implementation in a computer system, a data structure and a particular instance of it in memory.
Terminology for Concepts and Abstractions
When defining the terminology for a concept, be careful to decide precisely how the idea translates to an implementation. Consider the following discussion: VM systems include a concept known as an address space. The system dynamically creates an address space when a program needs one, and destroys an address space when the program that created the space has finished using it. A VM system uses a small, finite number to identify each address space. Conceptually, one understands that each new address space should have a new identifier. However, if a VM system executes so long that it exhausts all possible address space identifiers, it must reuse a number. The important point is that the discussion only makes sense because it defines ``address space'' independently from ``address space identifier''. If one expects to discuss the differences between a concept and its implementation, the definitions must allow such a distinction.
Knowledge vs. Data
The facts that result from an experiment are called ``data''. The term ``knowledge'' implies that the facts have been analyzed, condensed, or combined with facts from other experiments to produce useful information.
Cause and Effect:
A dissertation must carefully separate cause-effect relationships from simple statistical correlations. For example, even if all computer programs written in Professor X's lab require more memory than the computer programs written in Professor Y's lab, it may not have anything to do with the professors or the lab or the programmers (e.g., maybe the people working in professor X's lab are working on applications that require more memory than the applications in professor Y's lab).
Drawing Only Warranted Conclusions:
One must be careful to only draw conclusions that the evidence supports. For example, if programs run much slower on computer A than on computer B, one cannot conclude that the processor in A is slower than the processor in B unless one has ruled out all differences in the computers' operating systems, input or output devices, memory size, memory cache, or internal bus bandwidth. In fact, one must still refrain from judgment unless one has the results from a controlled experiment (e.g., running a set of several programs many times, each when the computer is otherwise idle). Even if the cause of some phenomenon seems obvious, one cannot draw a conclusion without solid, supporting evidence.
Commerce and Science:
In a scientific dissertation, one never draws conclusions about the economic viability or commercial success of an idea/method, nor does one speculate about the history of development or origins of an idea. A scientist must remain objective about the merits of an idea independent of its commercial popularity. In particular, a scientist never assumes that commercial success is a valid measure of merit (many popular products are neither welldesigned nor well-engineered). Thus, statements such as ``over four hundred vendors make products using technique Y'' are irrelevant in a dissertation.
Politics and Science:
A scientist avoids all political influence when assessing ideas. Obviously, it should not matter whether government bodies, political parties, religious groups, or other organizations endorse an idea. More important and often overlooked, it does not matter whether an idea originated with a scientist who has already won a Nobel Prize or a first-year graduate student. One must assess the idea independent of the source. Canonical Organization: In general, every dissertation must define the problem that motivated the research, tell why that problem is important, tell what others have done, describe the new contribution, document the experiments that validate the contribution, and draw conclusions. There is no canonical organization for a dissertation; each is unique. However, novices writing a dissertation in the experimental areas of CS may find the following example a good starting point: Chapter 1: Introduction An overview of the problem; why it is important; a summary of extant work and a statement of your hypothesis or specific question to be explored. Make it readable by anyone. 16
Chapter 2: Definitions New terms only. Make the definitions precise, concise, and unambiguous. Chapter 3: Conceptual Model Describe the central concept underlying your work. Make it a ``theme'' that ties together all your arguments. It should provide an answer to the question posed in the introduction at a conceptual level. If necessary, add another chapter to give additional reasoning about the problem or its solution. Chapter 4: Experimental Measurements Describe the results of experiments that provide evidence in support of your thesis. Usually experiments either emphasize proof-of-concept (demonstrating the viability of a method/technique) or efficiency (demonstrating that a method/technique provides better performance than those that exist). Chapter 5: Corollaries and Consequences Describe variations, extensions, or other applications of the central idea.
Chapter 6: Conclusions Summarize what was learned and how it can be applied. Mention the possibilities for future research. Abstract: A short (few paragraphs) summary of the the dissertation. Describe the problem and the research approach. Emphasize the original contributions.
Suggested Order For Writing:
The easiest way to build a dissertation is inside-out. Begin by writing the chapters that describe your research (3, 4, and 5 in the above outline). Collect terms as they arise and keep a definition for each. Define each technical term, even if you use it in a conventional manner. Organize the definitions into a separate chapter. Make the definitions precise and formal. Review later chapters to verify that each use of a technical term adheres to its definition. After reading the middle chapters to verify terminology, write the conclusions. Write the introduction next. Finally, complete an abstract.
Key to Success:
By the way, there is a key to success: practice. No one ever learned to write by reading essays like this. Instead, you need to practice, practice, and practice. Every day. 17
We leave you with the following ideas to mull over. If they don't mean anything to you now, revisit them after you finish writing a dissertation. After great pain, a formal feeling comes. -- Emily Dickinson A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it. -- Samuel Johnson Keep right on to the end of the road. -- Harry Lauder The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but the transference of bones from one graveyard to another. -- Frank J. Dobie 9 The differences that mark a dissertation and a thesis may be subtle but not entirely indistinguishable. There are some clear-cut parameters that set apart thesis and dissertation like length, presentation, format etc. The difference between a Thesis and Dissertation is also made confusing by different universities. Most universities in North America call a PhD research paper a dissertation and the masters degree research paper a thesis. But most British universities call the PhD the thesis and the masters the dissertation. A dissertation is a lengthy formal treatise compulsively required for obtaining a doctoral degree in any university. A thesis is also a treatise but for the limited purpose of validating a hypothetical proposition as a result of research findings. A thesis has to be submitted for obtaining an advanced academic degree.10 A dissertation is generally written at the end of ones research degree studies and it should reflect an erudite and in-depth knowledge of a topic. The dissertation has to be inevitably long and more specific. A thesis will be shorter and will not cover as much of details as a dissertation. The length of a thesis and dissertation are invariably set by the concerned university departments or faculties based on the nature of subject, its scope and type of presentation. Dissertation in the humanities and social sciences are hover around 100,000 words. Thesis in the sciences is generally set at roughly half that length. The length of master's thesis varies considerably, but is almost always between 10,000 and 30,000 words. In most cases, a thesis is shorter than a dissertation. This vindicates the fact that a Master's thesis is usually written in a relatively brief period of time - mostly under a year, whereas a PhD dissertation takes much longer. A thesis written for a Masters degree usually involves analysis or synthesis of data and Researched contents based on the interpretation of the person submitting the thesis. It is also permitted for a Master's thesis to rely on the research of other writers and scholars. But a PhD dissertation is written more in the form of a book than a formal research paper and calls for findings based on firsthand original research.
The difference between a thesis and dissertation can be summarized as: 1. in most universities, a thesis is written to get masters degree while a dissertation is written to get doctoral degree. 2. The length of thesis is around 100+ pages for dissertation around 300+ pages. 3. A dissertation is much longer than a thesis as it has much more detailed information in terms of researched data, diagrams, fact and figures. 4. A dissertation has to reflect original research, theory or argumentation. 5. A thesis has study of data and borrowed ideas from other scholars. 6. A thesis is usually completed in a year since it is written less number of pages than a dissertation. 7. A dissertation requires much more time than a thesis since it has a greater number of pages and it requires original research and in-depth analysis. Whether it is a thesis or a dissertation, it is important to clearly explain your argument substantiated by valid logic and reasoning. The goal should be to communicate facts to the reader cogently and in an unambiguous manner. Most of all, remember that you need not feel diffident when you undertake to write a thesis or dissertation. There are plenty of tutorials available, both online and offline and more importantly, your professors and advisors will be only too ready to offer you help in any manner you need. About The Author Dr. Bishop Danilo O. Bantilan, the founding President and overseer of Church of Christ Brings Revival, International, Inc., and also he is the founding President of Asian Revival College of Theology, Inc., located at 3f Elipe Building, Elipe Park Carmen Cagayan de Oro City 9000 Philippines. He is a professor of ARCT, locally and globally in the year 2008 at the present. He was graduated in Bachelor of Theology Degree (B.Th.) at Mindanao Bible College Cagayan de Oro City, Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Major in Church Planting, and he earned his Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) Major in Christian Theology, at Newburgh Theological Seminary in USA. Doctor of Religious Education (DRE Candidate), Trinity Graduate Study of Apologetics and Theology. India. Authored of different articles and reference books such as theological and devotional for teachers and students. Singer, musician, composer and a business man; he owned and manage Oro’s Specialties delicacies in Cagayan de Oro City.
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A division of Kaplan, Inc. Liberty Plaza, 24th Floor New York, NY 10006© 2008 Published by Kaplan Publishing, p. 180 By James D. Lester and James D. Lester, Jr. writing Research Papers a complete guide thirteenth Edition Copyright© 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc. p.p 22-23
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