Have you included all these in your thesis introduction?

Let us bring for you here a checklist of all the necessary components of the introduction section of a thesis.

  1. The motivation for the reader: in the introduction section itself you got to highlight the factors that would motivate the readers to go through the entire document. You would have already the set the base for this in the abstract by giving a glimpse of your results but in what way would it be useful for the academia or the field of study is a great motivator for the reader.  Remember to keep it grounded and not blown out of proportion.
  2. Your work strategy and outcome: this is not to be done as a repetition of the abstract. You must incorporate here your inspiration   for choosing the particular topic of study by referencing previous work. It will bring into limelight the key idea that led you  do take up this study that came into nobody else’s notice and how that adds a USP to your study. The more novelty and uniqueness you present for your paper, the better it is.
  3. Outline of the organisation or the industry: It is important that your give a brief of the industry or an outline of the organisation if you have any specific in your study. Make sure you do it in a very logical manner where very smoothly there is a transition from one section to another.
  4. Prerequisites: You need to give clarity in the introduction stage about all technical notifications that you would be using in the thesis. It should specifically and clearly become the reference point for the reader where by anywhere in the document if he gets stuck with any terminology or technicality, he can come to one stop to get it sorted.

In the introduction section, the reader doesn’t become judgemental about your work as he knows that till this stage he hasn’t received any exposure to your contribution in the field but this stage should be utilised by the researcher/writer to establish a clear and fundamental base for the reader to be able to grasp all the research findings and analysis he got to be reading in the subsequent chapters. Try to clear all ambiguities in this section that you anticipate may arise for the reader at the later stages.  Thus, it is a good idea to come back to the introduction section one more time in the end after completing all you’re writing to include whatever is needed for better clarity.

The Table of Contents: Simple Yet Challenging!!

Most of the writers try to create the “Table of Contents” manually, without actually knowing that there is a complete process that is there in the word that is helpful in building it. Doing the entire task manually can actually get very frustrating and sometimes the writers may just give up on it completely.

Small thing as spacing may just not go right and it can become really a task. But there isn’t much to worry, as if you follow some simple steps you can fix up the situation and creating the entire page won’t be as difficult as otherwise. MS word offers you a very good format which can be of help in creating the perfect content table.

In the first step, you need to see that the toolbar for formatting is visible above the paper. If it isn’t visible, you got to do it by moving down the toolbar from the View section.

Then, in the beginning you need to give a heading to the chapter. With the use of the “menu” that is there on the left side of the screen, at the top, you can do that. Next, click on Heading 1 to type the heading you want to give to the section. After that click on return. This process may be initiated either during the writing process of the paper, or once you have finished writing the document.

When all the sections in the paper have been divided, it is time to finalise the Table of Contents. This is the finishing stage. Have a blank page inserted at the beginning of the document. In the toolbar, click on insert, reference and then eventually at index and tables. Once the window has come up, click on Table of Contents and then finally on “ok”. You would be surprised here that your table of contents would be created, and it isn’t as difficult as you anticipated. The key is, to be patient while doing it and once you know the tricks it becomes extremely simple to format your paper and create sections like the these and others.

As a writer, never feel scared to learn new techniques and methods to simplify the way tricky and complicated things can be done. With some patience and focus, you may feel that things that frustrated you, may be simplified and easy to accomplish than you thought.

How to write Impressive Acknowledgements?

Acknowledgements are formally a part of any research and though they cannot be ignored or neglected in any research, most people want to write an acknowledgement from their heart. But, in an attempt to create an acknowledgement that comes with all emotions attached to it, often writers ignore or forget to attach a formal tone to it. Acknowledgements need to be written in a very gracious way, while thanking people at both professional and personal front.

Following tips can be kept in mind for writing good acknowledgements:

  • Have a consistent tone and flow in writing: It is up to you whether you want to write in in bullet points or a paragraph. Whatever be your choice, address the people you are wishing to thank in a formal tone and personally as well. You can do that in an order of preference, if you want with the person you want to thank most coming first. Some people find this a complicated task, so follow the alphabetical order when writing acknowledgement.
  • Give preference to the most important people, surely: Whatever order that you decide to follow is your own choice, but do not forget to address the most important person first. That of course is your supervisor. Followed by that, do not miss on to writing the names of other committee members who have a direct or indirect role in your project.
  • The indirect helpers need not be ignored: Throughout the process of your research, lot many people may have helped you, some directly and some indirectly. From the librarian to the lab assistants, class mates, seniors or any other person you think, made your task little easier and less stressful, deserves a mention in the acknowledgement.
  • The financial helpers: If you have received financial help from anywhere, a scholarship or funding for your research work, a grant from a financial group. Whatever it is, you must address them with the correct name and if possible and required, also the list if personal contacts.
  • Don’t forget the emotional anchors: Emotional support is integral, more for a stressful journey like your PhD research. Your acknowledgement is incomplete if you have not mentioned all those who have supported you mentally as well as emotionally. These could be family, friends, acquaintances or anyone else. However, do not make this a platform for personal love related declarations. You sure can thank your partner for support and help, formally as well as graciously.

Choosing a specific and narrow topic is the best way to begin good research

The first few weeks after enrolling into a PhD programme are the most exciting days. This is actually the stage where all decisions need to be made. Decisions that relate to your supervisor, the project work that you choose etc. one important thing to take care of  at this stage is to have a specific and focused topic. This is something I insist upon as  choosing a very broad topic can seem to be easy and interesting in the formative stage but as you progress you may fumble with  finding relevant material itself because you don’t have a narrow research topic. In addition to that, if your research topic is not specific you would not be able to make noticeable and relevant contribution in your field of study as such a broad topic would get lost in the big broad field of your study.

The  possibility of a new discovery or innovative contribution in the existing academia is only workable when there something very specific that you are studying. You can go in the depth of the study then. For a broader and vague topic, you end up floating just on the top as there is so  much material in a broader perspective that  you feel lost and don’t know what to incorporate and what to leave.

Now, doing  so isn’t an  easy task. Finalizing a topic that is accurately narrow  may be very herculean for  a novice researcher, more so if he doesn’t have the back up and support of his supervisor in the formative stage. Few are so fortunate to have a supportive and intellectually equipped supervisor. If you are not among the fortunate few,  you can still be wary of not choosing the wrong topic initially itself. The best and the most appropriate way to do so is to do extensive literature review reading. The more you will read , the better you will understand the dimensions  of your  field of study and  you will be able to  distinguish well between what is specific and what is broad. Make sure  what you read is good and worthy literature as one major concern  with the  overdose of information available on the internet is  that researchers get too much and most of it is not good enough to be considered or taken inspiration from.

Try it out and work on your topic, more so if it is your beginning of the PhD journey.

What are the main stages of writing?

The process of writing can be split into various stages sand for each stage a different sort of energy and perspective is required. Among the general population, most of the people are able to exhibit excellence at one of the stages only while faltering at the other stage. If writing is you r challenge area or you wish to excel at it, it may a be a good idea to reflect on the different stages of writing so that you can know of your strength areas as well as your weak areas, knowing where to focus and where to not.

There can be various versions of the different stages of writing, here is how I see the main ones:

  • Commencement: The origin stage where the idea you want to write about is conceived and you start preparing the first draft on it. There is rule that works very well for this stage, you need not worry about grammar or feel boggled down with trying to seek perfection in grammar, flow, format or other typographical details. At this stage, the best thing is to not obstruct the flow of your creative juices as the idea is at its fresh best in your mind. This stage is the most exciting stage for many of the writers, however some also feel quite unsure at this stage about their work and the kind of worth they will be able to generate from it. Don’t let any kind of fear come in the way of your creativity here and just go ahead with just the creativity part of the
    writing at this stage.
  • Combining together: at this stage, all that you have and know about your work, you need to bring it up under one roof. You got to reorganise your write ups, literature reviews and other ideas at one place. You can chose the method that works best for you just that the outcome should be a coherent first draft. Those that find themselves handicapped at this stage may see themselves struggling with the scepticism about the format that they should follow, stay in your comfort zone and do what gives the best results for you. What may work for one may not work the best for the other.
  • Revision: This is making better stage. Some may prefer to do revision on a hard copy and some may opt for the onscreen options. Taking help from someone at this stage can help you to overcome the blocks as positive and unbiased ideas and feedback from another person can speed up this stage and also make it more fruitful.