675 MATUL Thesis Structure

Category: Education

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Tips on the design working back from your thesis presentation to your data analysis


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Structure of a Thesis:

Structure of a Thesis Viv Grigg By PresenterMedia.com

The Bones:

Chap 5 Literature Review Methodology The Bones The integration of thesis DNA Laying out the Scenario Data Analysis Chap 1 Chap 2 Chap 3 Chap 4

Flesh & Bones:

Chap 6 Literature Review Methodology Flesh & Bones Introduction: Laying out the Scenario Theological Data Analysis/ Missiological Implications Chap 1 Chap 2 Chap 3 Chap 4 Index Abstract Title Page Chap 5 Anthropological Data Conclusions/Recommendations Appendices Bibliography

Chapter 6: Data Analysis: all Logic:

Contextual Ethnography: Define Context and Focus Chapter 6: Data Analysis: all Logic

What is top level:

What is second level What is third level What is purely illustrative What is top level Box Lines and Nodes

Process of Developing a Cultural Domain Analysis = Taxonomy:

Participant Observation Field Notes Descriptive Observations All ethnographic analyses begin by identifying the problem, identifying the cause, and listing possible solutions Process of Developing a Cultural Domain Analysis = Taxonomy

Process of Developing a Cultural Domain Analysis = Taxonomy:

X is Kinds of Part of Result of Reason for A place of doing Used for Way to do A step in An Attribute of Act Place Object Activity Relationship Time Actors Feelings Goals Process of Developing a Cultural Domain Analysis = Taxonomy

Broad and Narrow:

Focus down on a few items (5?) or one (5 around one theme). Broaden the entire analysis Broad and Narrow

Cut your workload:

Focused observations Selective observations within the focus Eliminate a lot of extra material Are your interviews definitive or will you use them as illustrative. Definitive: Write out the whole as case studies – short analysis for each, then a longer analytical chapter. Illustrative: Write out a long analysis and use portions from the transcriptions as mini-case studies of 1-2 paragraphs Cut the waffle factor: focus Cut your workload

A Picture is worth a thousand words:

Create charts Always Fig. 1: Title (Use word so it automatically develops a list of figs. Always Fig 1: Description that links each part of the figure to the other Always in the text refer to the figure A figure or chart takes about 3 hours but communicates a lot in a short space Tabulate your data A Picture is worth a thousand words Its not complicated . It shows a relationship . Its visually pleasing

Conversational Questions:

What are the kinds of questions you know of? Conversational Questions

Conversational Questions:

Descriptive questions: Can you describe what you do when you light incense every day? Contrast and similarity questions. Why do you put your god here and they all put their gods up there? What is the difference between worship and seeking to avoid the spirit from harming you? A triadic contrast: of these three styles of fundraising which is most Indian in style? Card sorting = computer column sorting: 1298 churches in Auckland each with 3-5 types of community engagement. Writing these in columns is like putting on cards then sorting and shuffling till some macro – leel concept of engagement begins to fall out, then beneath those some secondary levels. Conversational Questions

Selective Observation:

Descriptive Observation CEO’s and fundraising The pro-active CEO. The reluctant CEO. The tradition-bound CEO. What is the difference between the pro-active and the tradition-bound? Technological fundraising Church-based fundraising Grant fundraising What are the similarities? What are the differences? Which CEO’s better relate to which of these categories. Which categories can I eliminate as a waste of time for this study Focused observation Selective Observation You have done your domain analysis, now focus

Qualitative Data analysis:

Qualitative Data analysis Plan it before you get it or it will get you!! Collect Code Collect Modify Codes Sub-categorize Connect Generate Theory

Coding Process:

Coding Process (Strauss and Corbin (1998) Collect Code Collect Modify Codes Sub-categorize Connect Generate Theory

Conclusion: Quality in Qualitative:

VALIDITY Internal: Are you measuring what you claim you are measuring?? External: to what extent can it be generalized to other social settings? If you start with too lofty a theoretical framework, likely its not valid. Improve reliability by Those interviewed check your material Experts check it Analysis of alternative explanations Expanded literature review Provide a good audit trail Provide evidence for each piece of interpretation Acknowledge your perspective Provide thick descriptions. Can the study be replicated Some consider this impossible, but use categories of transferability, dependability, confirmability and credibility. Reliability Conclusion: Quality in Qualitative Rigor in design, rigor in data, rigor in analysis, rigor in presentation This goes into a section in your conclusion You have to self- critically evaluate the validity and reliability of your study . Usually 3-4 paragraphs

Before Everything: Plan your write up before your analysis:

Table of Contents Use the H1, H2, H3 styles in Word. Simplest to use what they give you unless you are a graphics artist. Then use the Insert/Table of Contents and chose your style etc. Set this up early and do one run through, then one after you have it half done then leave it till towards the end, else you will find yourself going over and over it. Do the same for the figures. That means that you need to put a label above each figure using the Insert Caption. List of figures Before Everything: Plan your write up before your analysis Title Page Title, name, school, program, date, supervisor


Reflectivity You are not invisible. Multiple Investigators Reflective journal, your schedule, log of methodological decisions, personal diary reflections Pre and Post research analysis of self This goes into a section in your introduction on your assumptions and how you identified and dealt with your biases Usually 3-4 paragraphs

Refine your literature review:

Find the Progressions Who produced the documents Why? Is it germaine to the person? Is it part of a flow of discussion Who ar the conversationalists What year does it fit into the progression? Ethics in how you use their material? Anthropology Tribal Cultures Folk Religions Urban Anthropology (Peasants in the Cities) Urban Folk Religion Missiological Reflections on this (International Society of Missiology) Anthropological Reflections on this. Find the subfields in the Discipline Refine your literature review


Non-academic causes. Psychologically, you have finished your thesis, so it is hard to write another chapter. You are exhausted after two years work You are bored with the topic because the interesting discoveries have been made BUT It is not technically difficult It is a short chapter. Often “Feel” conclusions are hard to write. Conclusion-a-phobia Its not complicated . Its short . Its motivational writing .


For grading/Examination Its the LAST piece the examiner reads. They may have read it over weeks Bits and pieces This piece integrates it all in a few minutes A good conclusion will provide you with the energy to publish your thesis when you come back to recap your findings…after your post-thesis rest For Longer Term Career Importance Increase your grade by half a grade

The Five Avoids:

Claiming findings that you have not proven Introducing new data Hiding weaknesses or limitations in your thesis. (Use a self critique, but don ’ t go overboard) Avoid too long (repetitive) or too short (nothing to say) The Five Avoids

Sample 6 Paragraph Conclusion Structure:

One paragraph restating what you researched and your original contribution Then break into sections One section on what you research and how you did it One section on main findings One section on possible areas of future research Motivational pitch about application of your findings Final summary paragraph – motivational and integrative. Sample 6 Paragraph Conclusion Structure

The “1 Must” and “3 Ideals”:

Must: Make a clear and concise statement of your contribution to knowledge Aspire to: Show links between key ideas across the chapters Show your commitment and aspiration to academic research Leave a positive impression with the examiners The “1 Must” and “3 Ideals”

Now to Your Abstract!:

300 words or less Summarizes research topic in context, approach, main issues, outcomes Based on the 5 th version of your conclusion Do not do on the last day. I nearly failed three students last year because the abstract was nonsense done lying in bed while watching Bollywood or Hollywood in an overnighter. Do first version in week 6 and rewrite 5 times Now to Your Abstract!


Not a single unnecessary word Use numbers No citations 1-2 paragraphs Don’t repeat title What was it you studied in what context? Why is this important What did you discover? What was your methodological approach How does this imply change processes Abstract On Cover page Concise Readable Quantitative


David E Gray “ Analysing and Presenting Qualitative Data”. In Doing Research in the Real World . 3 rd edn James Spradley.1980 ”Making a Domain Analysis” in Participant Observation . Holt Reinehart and Wonston References