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How to Write
a
Thesis
A Handbook
for
Postgraduate Medical Students
How to Write
a
Thesis
A Handbook
for
Postgraduate Medical Students
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
January, 2008
ISBN: 984-300-002519-1
Publishing:
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Cover design: Dr. M d . Mizanur Rahman
© All rights reserved by BSMMU
First Edition: January, 2008
Price: Tk. 300.00
Printed by: Zaman Printers & Packaging
62, Khilgaon Hazipara, Rampura, D.LT. Road,
Dhaka-1219 Phone: 9356977
The Committee and Contributors of the Handbook
1.
Professor Md. Salehuddin
Chairman
Chairman, Department of Opthalmology
BSMMU, Dhaka
2.
Professor Syed Atiqul Hoque
Member
Department of Medicine,
BSMMU, Dhaka
3.
Professor Mir Mesbahuddin
Member
Chairman, Department of Pharmacology,
BSMMU, Dhaka
4.
Professor Khondaker Manzer-E-Shamim
Member
Chairman, Department of Anatomy,
BSMMU, Dhaka
5.
Dr. Hossain Imam AI-Hadi
Member
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology
Department of ENT, BSMMU, Dhaka
6.
Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman
Member
Associate Professor, Biostatistics
Department of Biostatistics,
NIPSOM, Dhaka
7.
Professor Md. Shahidullah
Professor of Biostatistics,
BSMMU, Dhaka
Member-Secretary
PREFACE
After the establishment of the Institute of Post-graduate Medicine and Research (IPGM&R) in
1965, the Medical Education in Bangladesh has expanded many-folds in various dimensions and
students of M. Phil & FCPS in IPGM&R would write dissertation and thesis as an integral part
of their postgraduate program.
The students of various postgraduate institutions like ICVD, IDCH, RIHD, NIPSOM and others
also have postgraduate education program of which dissertation / thesis is an integral part.
With the establishment of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in 1998, the necessity
was felt for a thesis guideline for the students. and teachers of all medical institutions in
Bangladesh.
With the passage of time some government medical colleges in Bangladesh also started
Post-graduate courses in medical sciences.
As a part of the curricula, each and every student is required to submit a thesis to obtain a
Masters or Ph. D Degree.
For the preparation of a standard thesis, adequate knowledge on biostatistics and other basic
medical science is a prerequisite. Many of our teachers and students lack sufficient knowledge in
biostatistics and research methodology.
A standard book as a guideline, is now the demand of the time. It is expected a standard book in
this regard will equally benefit both the teachers and the students, who are involved in research.
This handbook will be reviewed and updated periodically to accommodate new knowledge and
experience. Constructive criticisms and useful suggestions for improving the quality and contents
of this handbook from all quarters are welcome.
I thank the chairman and the members of the committee and contributors for their endeavor
without which this publication would not have been possible.
(Professor Md. Tahir)
Vice Chancellor
Table of Contents
Topics
I.
2.
Chapter I
Overview of the Thesis
:
Page no.
9-11
1.1
What is thesis?
9
1.2
An overview of the thesis structure
9
1.2.1
Thesis title page
10
1.2.2
Table of contents
10
1.2.3
Certificate of guide/supervisor
10
1.2.4
Declaration of authorship
10
1.2.5
List of tables and figures
10
1.2.6
Acknowledgements
10
1.2.7
Dedication
10
I .2.8
Abstract
II
1.2.9
Key points in Thesis Writing
II
Chapter 2
:
Writing the Thesis Introduction and Background
13-16
2. I
Introduction
13
2.2
The functions of the thesis introduction
13
2.3
Developing the thesis rationale
13
2.4
This is something we do not know already
14
2.5
Other people think this problem as important
14
2.6
The problem I am studying affects a lot of people in a
14
particularly unfortunate way and/or costs a lot of money
3.
4.
2.7
Solving this problem has implications for other problems
15
2.8
The research is theoretically important and interesting
15
2.9
It will enable us to do it better
15
2.10
The thesis objectives, hypotheses or research questions
16
2. II
Key points in writing introduction in the Thesis
16
Chapter 3
:
Writing the Thesis Literature Review
17-19
3. I
How to write literature review
17
3.2
Selection of literature for inclusion in the literature review
17
3.3
Keep your literature search under control
17
3.3.1
Computer-assisted literature searching
17
3.3.2
Searches of collected printed abstracts
17
3.3.3
Manual searching of literatures
18
3.3.4
Consulting experts in the field
18
3.3.5
Order of different types of searches
18
3.3.6
Organization and filing of literature materials
18
3.3.7
The scope of literature collections
18
3.3.8
Bibliographic software
19
3.4
Key points in writing literature review in the Thesis
19
3.5
Concluding comment
19
Chapter 4
:
Writing the Thesis Materials and Methods
21-28
4.1
Introduction
21
4.2
Research participants/subjects
21
4.3
Research tools
22
4.4
Protocols and procedures
22
4.5
Methodological defense
23
4.6
Defense of sample size
23
4.7
Statistical power
23
4.8
Defense of participant selection method
24
Topics
5.
6.
7.
8.
Page
110.
4.9
Defense of the research design
24
4.10
Experimental designs
25
4.11
Survey research
25
4.12
Defense of data collection methods
26
4.12.1
Direct physical measurement
26
4.12.2
Clinical observation
26
4.12.3
Self-reported measures and questionnaires
27
4.12.4
Interviews
27
4.12.5
Secondary data collection from documents and databases
27
4.13
Key points to remember in writing thesis methodology
28
Chapter
5: Writing the Thesis Results
5. I
Introduction
29
5.2
The organization of the presentation of results chapters
29
5.3
Presentation design principles for the result section of theses
30
5.3.1
Well-presented tables and figures
30
5.3.2
Clarity of presentation of salient results
32
5.3.3
Reporting of qualitative studies
33
5.3.4
Good layout
33
5.4
A logical development of the findings
33
5.5
Key points to remember in writing Tables and Graphs
34
Chapter 6: Writing the Thesis Discussion
29-34
35-36
6.1
Introduction
35
6.2
Elements of discussion writing
35
6.2.1
Important Elements: Detailed Analysis
35
6.2.2
Hypothesis testing
35
6.2.3
Sources of errors
35
6.2.4
Alternative models
35
6.2.5
The future
35
6.3
Key Points to remember in discussion writing
36
Chapter
7 : Writing the Thesis Conclusions and Recommendations
7.1
Introduction
37
7.2
Summary of the outcomes of the literature review
37
7.3
Major findings of the thesis and how they integrate with previous work
38
7.4
Strengths and limitations of the research
38
7.5
Future avenues of research
38
7.6
The process of writing the concluding chapter
39
7.7
Key points to remember in writing thesis conclusions and recommendations
40
Chapter 8 : Writing the Thesis Reference or Bibliography
37-40
41-64
8. I
What is thesis reference or bibliography?
41
8.2
Referencing and bibliographic citation
41
8.3
The Harvard System (Author Date Method)
41
8.3.1
Citation in the text41
41
8.3.2
References at the end of the work
43
8.4
American Psychological Association (APS) Style
48
8.4.1
Citation in the text
48
8.4.2
References at the end of the work (Reference List)
50
8.5
Vancouver Style
55
8.5.1
Citation in the text
56
8.5.2
References at the end of the work
57
Bibliography
62
Appendages
63
Thesis Formatting and Submission
63
Sample Thesis Format
65
Sample Bibliography
87
CHAPTER 1
Overview of the Thesis
1.1 What is thesis?
A thesis is the written document that results from a period of supervised research at the University.
Theses are generally required for 'first' Masters degrees, and always for the higher degrees - Master
of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy. For some first Masters degrees, a less comprehensive piece
of research may be required. These are referred to as dissertations.
Any thesis, no matter what the discipline, attempts to make a new claim. Its purpose is to shed new
light on something or to look at something in a novel way. This is true whether the thesis is written
in the medical sciences, the social sciences or the humanities. The role of the thesis in Academia is
to contribute to knowledge, This means that you, the researcher, are contributing to the knowledge
base we currently have about the world we live in. You have the potential to instigate new research,
change current practices and even change people's beliefs. Because of this, your thesis is judged
against strict criteria. It must reflect the expected standards of university scholarship.
A thesis reports on new findings and implications of research undertaken, set in the context of the
earlier work of others and making appropriate reference to those previous studies and results that
have influenced the conduct of the work. The thesis is also assessed by scholars external to the
University. After successful examination of the thesis it is lodged in the University Library, in both
'hard copy' and 'soft copy'. Theses are generally available for perusal by students and staff of this
and other universities. Frequently, parts of a thesis-or indeed even the whole thesis-are subsequently
published either as journal articles or as books.
1.2 An overview of the thesis structure
The health sciences thesis typically follows a well-designed overall structure. It may contain the
following elements:
i,
Thesis title page
ii,
..
Table of contents
111 ,
Certificate of guide/Supervisor
Iv,
Declaration of authorship
v,
List of tables
·
·
List of figures
VI,
VII,
Acknowledgements
VIlt ,
Dedication (optional)
·
.
IX
Abstract
X
Introduction
·
Literature review
·
XI
XII
Materials and methods
Xlll
Results
•
•
XIV
Discussion
xv
Conclusions and recommendations
·
•
XVI
. .
XVII
ReferenceslBibliography
Appendices
How to Write
10
a
Thesis
The substance of the thesis appears in the abstract, introduction and literature review, methods and
materials, results and discussion, conclusions and recommendations chapters. However, the production
of a research thesis is not simply a writing task. It is the culmination of an often arduous and lengthy
sequence of tasks performed in academic, clinical and community contexts. Many people are
involved in these tasks. This treatise reflects both a focus on the writing tasks and research context in
which these are written.
1.2.1 T hesis title page
This page includes title of the thesis (including subtitle), author's name, institutional affiliation, name
of respective department, month and year of submission.
1.2.2 Table of contents
The table of contents should list all the major sections of the thesis document and all their page
ranges. The skeleton of the table of contents can and should be produced in draft, but it can only be
finalized with the actual page numbers when the rest of the thesis has been printed in final form.
1.2.3 Certificate of guide/supervisor
A certificate is to be issued by the supervisor of the thesis that the student concerned has completed
the thesis under his close supervision with his full satisfaction.
1.2.4 Declaration of authorship
•
The declaration is signed by the student and it is generally claimed that the thesis is one's own work,
all sources have been correctly attributed and that the thesis is presented in accordance with the
university's guidelines and regulations for the degree.
1.2.5 List of tables and figures
The list of tables and figures shows the exact titles as they appear in the text of all table and figures
included in the thesis. It is better to cut and paste the titles from the actual tables an" figures to
ensure that they match exactly. You should include their page numbers to indicate their placement in
the text.
1.2.6 Acknowledgements
The acknowledgements section has no substantive impact upon the reception of the thesis. It is polite
to thank those who have substantially assisted you either technically, intellectually or financially
during your research work. The first paragraph is for the supervisor and c o supervi sor the second
-
.
paragraph is for any person, organization or institute who supported the research for financing and
the third and the final paragraph is for any other person(s), colleague(s) who substantiall) helped you
in the completion of the thesis work. A maximum of one page is earmarked for the acknowledgements.
1.2.7 Dedication
This is an optional page in which you can pledge your undying devotion to your goldfish. It is okay
in books but not mandatory in thesis.
How to Write
a
Thesis
11
1.2.8 Abstract
An abstract should be viewed as a miniversion of the thesis. The abstract should provide a brief
summary of each of the main sections of the thesis: Introduction, materials and methods, results and
discussion. So, an abstract can be defined as a summary of the information in a document. A well
prepared abstract enables readers to identify the basic content of a document quickly and accurately,
to determine its relevance to their interests, and thus to decide whether they need to read the thesis in
it's entirety. The abstract in thesis should not exceed two pages of double spaced text and should be
designed to define clearly what is dealt with in the thesis. Abstract preferably be structured and
should (i) state the principal objective and scope of the investigation; (ii) describe the methodology
employed; (iii) summarize the results; and (iv) state the principal conclusions. Most or the entire
abstract should be written in the past tense, because it refers to work done. The abstract should never
give any information or conclusion that is not stated in the thesis. References to the literature must
not be cited in the abstract. The followings are the key points to keep in mind:
i.
A good abstract tells in one line why the thesis is important. A good abstract is concise,
readable and quantitative.
11.
Information in title should not be repeated.
Ill,
Be explicit.
1 V.
Answers to the following questions should be found in the abstract:
.
.
.
a.
What did you do?
b.
Why did you do it? What questions were you trying to answer?
c.
How did you do it? State methods.
d.
What did you learn? State major findings.
e.
Why does it matter? Point out at least one significant implication.
1.2.9 Key points in Thesis Writing
First and foremost, a thesis is a piece of writing. A great deal of emphasis is placed on your writing
ability and your grade will depend on how effectively you communicate your ideas. It is important to
develop a good, clear, concise writing style.
•
aim for simplicity rather than complex sentence structure
•
be clear about the point you are trying to make
•
be concise and direct, rather than excessively wordy
•
make important points strongly
Second, your thesis should contain a clear position or argument. Your writing needs to use the
appropriate language and writing conventions that reflect this.
•
use appropriate headings and sub-headings
•
each paragraph should have a clear point (topic sentence)
•
each point should be concluded before moving on to the next
•
use appropriate discourse markers
•
ideas should be linked appropriately
Chapter 2
Writing the Thesis Introduction and Background
2.1 Introduction
You cannot write a good introduction until you know what the body of the thesis is. Be sure to
include a hook at the beginning of the introduction. This is a statement of something sufficiently
interesting to motivate your reader to read the thesis, it is an important scientific problem that your
thesis either solves or addresses. You should draw the reader in and make them want to read the rest
of the thesis.
The introductory chapter should include rationale for the thesis, the previous relevant researches
done in this area. It should cite those who had the idea or ideas first and should also cite those who
have done the most recent work. You should then go on to explain why it was necessary (your work,
of course).
What else belongs in the introductory section(s) of your thesis?
a.
A statement of the goal of the thesis: why the study was undertaken, or why the thesis was
written. Do not repeat abstract.
b.
Sufficient background information to a110w the reader to understand the context and signifi
cance of the question you are trying to address.
c.
Proper acknowledgement of the previous work on which you are building. Sufficient references
such that a reader could, by going to the library, achieve a sophisticated understanding of the
context and significance of the question.
d.
Explain the scope of your work, what wi11 and what wi11 not be included.
Remember that this is not a review paper. We are looking for original work and interpretation and
analysis by you. Break up the introduction section into logical segments by using subheads.
2.2 The functions of the thesis introduction
Essentia11y the introduction to a health sciences thesis ought to perform the following functions in
the thesis document:
a.
Provide a rationale for the thesis research
b.
Review current knowledge in the field relevant to your thesis through the performance of a
literature review and analysis
c.
Culminate in the statement of research hypotheses or research questions to be answered by
the work in the thesis.
2.3 Developing the thesis rationale
An important function of the introduction is to provide a rationale for the thesis research. The thesis
rationale is concerned with answering the question 'Why does this work need to be done?' While
you might be convinced that your thesis topic is of obvious and intrinsic merit, it is the views of the
examiners that count! Therefore, it is important that you are able to communicate effectively to them
a plausible and convincing rationale for the work you have performed and which you are attempting
to report in the thesis.
How to Write
14
a
Thesis
The rationale for the thesis is not confined to any one section of the thesis, but it ought to be particularly
concentrated throughout the introductory chapter. It needs to be oven closely into the fabric of the
introduction and literature review.
A number of standard arguments can be used to defend the research work included in your thesis and
can be used in the development of your rationale. These arguments are discussed below in plain
language.
2.4 This is something we do not know already
The most basic rationale for studying something is that we do not know about it already. If we did
know already, then why would we bother to research it? If we wish to use a bit of jargon, we could
say the thesis introduction has to identify clearly the 'knowledge gaps' that need to be fulfilled. The
knowledge gap rationale is a bit weak on its own (i.e. we do not know this, so we should), but it is a
basic requisite for the other possible arguments in the rationale to be made. The knowledge gap
argument is a kind of Sir Edmund Hilary 'because it is there' explanation of why we need to know.
An example of some text that expresses this type of argument follows:
Thus, the literature review has revealed that the state of knowledge in the literature ;s unsatis­
factory cOllcerning whether long-term survivors of HIV (as defined by 10 years following infec­
tion without progression to AIDS) have psychological characteristics that are different from
those who have 110t survived. Accordingly, the research program was designed to examine this
position.
2.5
Other people think this problem as important
A second line of argument for a thesis program rationale is that other people think the problem is
important too. This relies on finding people who have said that your general research agenda or
approach is worth pursuing. Once again, this is not a particularly compelling stand-alone rationale
as it is a sort of appeal to authority or adherence to academic group norms. All the in-crowd wear
dungarees and hang around at the local coffee shop, so we should do this as well.
On {he basis of these results, Ternoshok
A[DS
(1988)
asserted that 'a bio-psychosocial approach to
research is necessary and .... may provide critical information for understanding and
treating AIDS.'
The above quotation is an excerpt from a paper that the researcher wrote recently concerning the
psychological characteristics of people with HIV who have survived their illness for a long time.
The researcher was arguing, as a psychologist, that psychological constructs had not been included
in the studies of long-term survival because the medical researchers had advocated totally biomedical
cellular level explanations for health hardiness. The researcher went on to cite evidence for the
existence of direct links between psychology states and immune competence in humans. One of his
arguments along the way was that people like Temoshok were supporting the approach he was
advocating. Thus he was using Temoshok as an appeal to authority justification for studying what
he was studying i.e. we were wearing the same color dungarees.
2.6. The problem I am studying affects a lot of people in a particularly unfortunate way and/or
costs a lot of money
Now we are talking! This aspect of the rationale is often fairly easy to develop in health sciences
How 1O
Write
a
Thesis
15
theses. If you are studying people with a particular problem, then a presentation of the epidemiology
of that problem is de rigueur. Even better, if it costs the community a lot of money. You can include
statements about the fabulous cost of the condition and how, if your research bears fruit, this
fabulous cost could be reduced.
The following excerpt from one of his papers on back pain
does the trick:
For some time. back injuries have affracted considerable research alfenlioll across a wide range of
COUlllries.
/11
Sweden. Anderson
(1979)
reponed that 'hack sickness' accounted for on average
12.5% of the days lost due to occupational injllry among Swedish workers. In the UK, Anderson
(1981) estimated that 7.3% of the total sick days were due 10 low back pain, representing a loss of
/5 million work days per annwlI. David ( /985J, however, reponed that sprains alld slraills to the
back at work, ill the UK, accow!led Jor an average oj /4.9% oj all work absentees over 3 days Jor
the period /978 to 1980, representing approximately 250000 cases for each year. Belll1 & Wood
(1975) estimated that 13000000 visits per (1II1lUIIl to general practitioners ill lhe UK were associaIed
will! low back problems alld that there were 6000 10\11 back operariolls each year.
So why are you not out there studying back injuries? The point I was establishing was that this is a
high-prevalence costly condition that requires study because of the issues. Later on in this paper, he
went into how it all costs. This is not a particularly academically respectable argument but it certainly
gets the community's attention. Most theses can stand a dose of this sort of epidemiological
contextualization o f the work reported within it.
2.7 Solving this problem has implications for other problems
It can be argued that solutions to problems within a particular field may have wider implications. For
example, the discovery of a vaccine for a particular virus may lead to the use of similar techniques
for other viruses. If he were performing a study of the health problems of nurses arising from
swift-work, he might feel moved to write something like this.
While the particular occupational group chosen for inclusion within the present research was nurses,
there is no reason to suppose that the findings would not be generalisable to all health workers
involved in regular swift-work.
In animal work, the anthropomorphic argument is a form of this argument.
The liver function of the pig has been found to be a parlicuJarly useful model of human liver func­
tion in that ....
2.8 The research is theoretically important and interesting
If the research involves the test of a particular theoretical approach to understanding the research
problem, then it can be argued that the work has important theoretical implications. Although the
other arguments presented above are useful arguments to include in a discussion of thesis topic
rationale, the theoretically important line of argument is probably the most academically respectable.
Some words that might express this line of argument follow:
Thus the proposed research will provide a direcL test of the cross·cultural validity of the Health
Belief Model in explaining health care service utilization by people from Australian Greek and
Australian Anglo-Celtic backgrounds. The validily of the model has important implications for the
prediction and understanding of the utilization of services.
2.9 It will enable us to do it better
Health scientists often have a strongly applied orientation and therefore warm to the discussion of
practice implications of any research. Claims and interventions may be better targeted, more effective,
How to Write
16
a
Thesis
more efficient. cost less, etc. as a result of the research, are also certain to put a partial smile on the
examiners' faces. This is because the researcher has taken the effort to connect his or her work to
the context in which it is performed as well as, perhaps, striven to make the world a slightly better
place.
There are, of course, many other possible lines of argument that can be advanced to support the
conduct of a research program. However, the above lines of argument are frequently employed in the
construction of the rationale for research theses and all ought be considered for inclusion in the
rationale.
2.10 The thesis objectives, hypotheses or research questions
It has been previously noted that one of the functions of the introduction to the thesis is to 'culminate
in the statement of the research questions to be answered by the worker in the thesis' and that the
literature review should 'identify any gap in knowledge pertinent to the research questions to be
addressed by the thesis'. The literature review needs to conclude with an explicit summary statement
of 'what we know' and 'what we do not' in order that the research questions can be developed from
the review.
It is imperative that the thesis has clear and unambiguous research objectives, hypotheses or research
questions. These questions need to be developed logically from literature review and be supported by
the research rationale. The research questions are normally stated at conclusion of the introduction
and they are used over and over throughout the thesis. They form the basis of methodology. They are
the basis upon which the results are presented. Since the objectives of the thesis are to pose and
answer the research questions, the discussion and conclusion sections necessarily focus on them. If
they are not well developed then the thesis quality can be severely compromised.
In terms of the relationship between research questions and hypotheses, consider the following
example for a hypothetical quantitative study:
The objectives oj this research was to swd)' the relationship between age alld decision makhzg perfo l1nance.
The research quesrioll addressed by Study I was: 'Is there an association between age and decision making perfor­
mance olilhe risk propelll'ity measure provided by the gamblillg task?'
It was hypothesized ,hal there would be a lIegative association betweell participant age and 'he risk propensity
score derived from fhe gambling task completed by the participants.
2.11 Key points in writing introduction in the Thesis
•
In the introduction, you should introduce your readers to the nature of your research and why the research is significant:
•
Relevant background information is appropriate here;
•
Include as much detail in the introduction as possible; it will help your readers to understand the decisions you have
made;
•
Be sure to include the research objectives, research questions or hypotheses in the problem statement, and try to anticipate
and answer any question(s) your reader may ask;
•
Be sure to define all terms and symbols that may be unknown to your readers: if you are uncertain about whether to
define it. define it.
Chapter 3
Writing the Thesis Literature Review
3.1 How to write literature review
One of the areas of the thesis in which many students struggle is the writing of the literature review.
A literature review has several functions. The most important of these are:
a.
Review current knowledge in the field relevant to the thesis
b.
Describe the characteristics of previous studies in the area including who conducted them,
where they were conducted, who were the participants, what protocols were followed and
what were the findings and conclusions.
c.
Compare and contrast relevant studies and findings
d.
Comment on the strengths and limitations of the relevant studies and findings
e.
Identify any gap in knowledge pertinent to the research questions to be addressed by your
thesis..
A literature review should be informative, evaluative and integrative. These attributes correspond
to the three stages in the construction of a literature review. It is suggested that the students first write
the informative detail of the studies to be reviewed in a neutral way, then add critical (this does not
always mean negative) analysis of the literature they have just described. They should then integrate
the various studies to compare and contrast their findings.
3.2 Selection of literature for inclusion in the literature review
Part of the skill in constructing a literature review is the ability to make connections between relevant
materials and to choose which information to include and which information to omit. Reading other
literature reviews in the same area is a useful guide to these decisions. The thoroughness with which
the literature researching process is performed is the best insurance for ensuring that all previous
works relevant to your thesis are found.
3.3 Keep your literature search under control
There are several basic strategies and procedures for locating the literature that is pertinent to your
search topic. These include computer-assisted searches using electronic databases or the internet
more generally, searches using printed collected abstracts, manual literature searching and consultations
with experts in the field.
3.3.1 Computer-assisted literature searching
Most university libraries maintain various computer-based literature databases, often
stored using
CD-ROM technology. The user conducts a search by first accessing the relevant databases. Then the
user keys in a combination of subject keywords and also the names of key authors in the field, in
order to locate all the works they have written (at least those that appear in the database).
Computerized literature databases are a superb tool but only if used skillfully.
3,3.2 Searches of collected printed abstracts
In the reference section of the library, you will find shelves-full of books of abstracts with associated
author and subject indices to guide you around them. It is also possible to subscribe to some specialized
How to Write
18
a
Thesis
abstracting services that provide regular updates to individual users using search parameters defined
by the subscriber.
3.3.3 Manual searching of literatures
This process involves hitting the library shelves. If you are early in your literature search process, it
is useful to find some text-books and read their reviews of the literature pertinent to your topic. in
order to discover key works in the field. The basic strategy for a manual search is simple. Most
libraries maintain separate lists of their journal subscriptions. Inspect list with a view to possible
interest for your research topic and locate the journals of promise.
3.3.4 Consulting experts in the field
A further source of key references is other academicians. If you know of any academician in the field
who is accessible in person or by telephone or by e-mail, call him or her up or e-mail and ask, if
he/she could point you to his/her recent work.
3.3.5 Order of different types of searches
In terms of the order of sequence of searching, one may pursue the following sequence:
a. Locate integrative reviews in texts
b. Conduct an electronic search using the keywords and authors located in (a) above. Perhaps
now speak to your supervisor(s) for advice.
c. Conduct a manual search of relevant journals
d. Using the keywords and authors found, conduct another electronic search
e.
Start reading on a regular basis the journals where you have located most materials of relevance
to you. Since your candidature, in the case of a higher degree, may last a few years. you need
to monitor regularly the literature and keep up to date. In fact, at the last moment before the
submission of the thesis, it is recommended to the students that they repeat their electronic
search using their usual search parameters to check that nothing new and vital has appeared.
3.3.6 Organization and filing of literature materials
Organization of the literature materials, if done well, can save you an enOIll10US amount of time, and
conversely, if done badly, can waste an enormous amount of time.
When you have decided that a reference is to be included in the database, have a physical copy of it.
Then the selected articles are to be filed in alphabetical order.
3.3.7 The scope of literature collections
Typical thesis (whatever it is) contains a fair list of reference citations. A Masters and PhD theses
might contain over 100 citations. Your article library may contain references that you do not end up
citing in your thesis. Your literature collection needs to be focused and selective. It is a means to an
end, but not an end in itself. The examiners will never hear of the huge amount of time and money
you wasted in collecting hundreds of extra references that you did not use in your thesis!
How to
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19
3.3.8 Bibliographic software
There is a range of excellent products that are available to assist with the maintenance of literature
citations and reference lists in a computer database. Probably the most popular within the health and
medical sciences settings are End-Note, Pro-Cite and Reference Manager.
Bibliographic tools, like the use of the internet, can save you a lot of time and deliver a higher quality
outcome than manual methods. You need to invest time to be trained in their use and application.
Attend any course you can and get out there and play.
3,4 Key points in writing literature review in the Thesis
In fact, you are entering a scholarly conversation already in progress. The literature review shows
that you've been listening and that you have something valuable to say. After assessing the literature
in your field, you should be able to answer the following questions:
•
Where did the problem come from?
•
What is already known about this problem?
•
What other methods have been tried to solve it?
•
Make sure that you do not omit relevant papers
See an example:
Other studies also support the conclusion that traditional teaching methods hinder learning
calculus. Selden, Selden, and Mason, conclude that isolated, trivial problems, the norm in
many classrooms, inhibit students from acquiring the ability t o generalize calculus
problem-solving skills (Selden, Selden, and Mason 1994). Similar results are reported by
Norman and Prichard (1994). They demonstrate that many learners can not interpret the
structure of a problem beyond surface-level symbols. They show that novices have inaccurate
intuitions about problems which lead them to attempt incorrect solution strategies (Norman
and Prichard 1994). Because they cannot see beyond high-level features, they can not
develop correct intuitions. On the other hand, successful problem solvers categorize math
problems based upon underlying structural similarities and fundamental principles (Silver
1979), (Shoenfeld and Herrman 1982). These categories are often grouped based upon
solution modes, which the experts use to generate a forward working strategy (Owen and
Sweller 1989).
Source: www.psu.edu/dept/cewfWritingProposals.ppt accessed 16/0912007
3.5 Concluding comment
By the end of your Literature Review, your reader should be able to find that:
•
The scope of your review is appropriate for your degree
•
You have reviewed the sources relevant to your research topic
•
There has been full critical engagement with the literature
•
It is clear how your research objectives/questions/hypotheses fit in with previous scholarly
work.
Chapter 4
Writing the Thesis Materials and Methods
4.1
Introduction
This chapter is intended to assist the student with the reporting of the thesis methodology.
Methodology is an important aspect of knowledge generation. In the literature review it is important
to narrate the methodological stances taken by previous researchers and that their respective strengths
and weaknesses are discussed when evaluating the presented work. The methodological themes
raised in the introduction should connect with those discussed in the thesis methodology section.
The structure of the individual thesis determines where the method section(s) are to be placed. In
a
single study research program, the methodology would normally precede the (first) results chapter
and would normally be a separate chapter or section, albeit one that is much shorter than, for example,
the introductory chapter(s).
It should be noted that the method section in journal article is quite different in scope from a
methodology section in a health sciences thesis. In a journal article, because of space constraints,
there is usually no defense of the methodology, except perhaps in some oblique references to the
strengths and limitations of the work. The method section in a journal article contains almost no
explanation or rationale for the methodological choices made. This is not an adequate strategy for
the health sciences thesis. The methodological decisions taken need to be discussed and defended in
a systematic and robust manner. The researcher advocates the use of a standard method section
structure and a methodological defense irrespective of whether the research has a quantitative or
qualitative focus. Both approaches involve knowledge gathering and generation based on procedures
and assumptions that need to be explicated. The examiners need to be convinced that the student has
an expert understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the techniques chosen and their theoretical
underpinnings. The specific methodological approach chosen, in no way exempts the student from
this obligation.
Further, in most health sciences theses irrespective of methodological orientation, there are human
participants who need to be described, tools that were used in the research and protocols in the data
gathering and analysis that were followed. It is also advocated the addition of a section entitled
'Methodology defense and rationale' in which the student defends and provides a rationale for the
protocols and procedures employed in his or her work. Let us examine the content of each component
of the method section in a health sciences thesis.
4.2
Research participants/subjects
This is typically a very brief section, perhaps a half-spaced page to a page. It should describe the
number of participants in the research and their basic attributes including age, sex and diagnostic
groupings, if appropriate. Describe the inclusion (and exclusion) criteria for their participation in the
research. It is sometimes useful to include a table summarizing the participants' demographic
attributes at this point in the thesis. An example of the sort of detail required is as follows:
42 volunteers participated in the preselll research. There were 22 men and 20 women with a mean age of
53.2 years. The participants' demographic characteristics are summarized ill Table J (not shown).
Participants were all current rheumatoid arthritis patiell1s at the Rheumatology Institute who attended in the
mOl/th of FebrLIar),. 1999. Of the 60 people approached for recruitment into the study, 42 agreed yieldil/g a
respol/se rate of 70%.
22
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Thesis
[t is compulsory that age and sex characteristics of the research participants are described. It is also
essential that the response rate i.e., the percentage of people who were approached to participate in
the study, and who actually participated, is disclosed. This is an essential piece of information. It
requires that good records are kept concerning who was approached and who finally participated. If
this information is not provided then the reader has no indication of how representative the participants
might be of those who could have participated in the study.
4.3 Research tools
This section should describe the use of any research instrument or tool employed by the researcher in
the conduction of his or her research. In laboratory research, this section is labeled' Apparatus'. As
these research tools are introduced, they should be reviewed and defended. That is. not only should
the tools used be described, but also the reasons for their selection. This section could run for several
pages in a higher degree thesis.
Where the tools are not standardized andlor well known, then they need to be described in detail so
that the reader understands exactly what has occurred.
It is important that the reader has a clear idea of exactly what was done. In the case of questionnaires. it
is not usual to include the full text of the questionnaire in the main body of the thesis in the methods
section. Normally, the questionnaire is included as an appendix. When presenting frequency tables of
responses to questions from a questionnaire, it is helpful to include the exact wording of the question,
in some instances, as part of the results table.
In a qualitative research project involving interviews, it is highly appropriate to describe the interview
schedule in the case of a structured interview or focus group and/or the themes covered in an
unstructured interview. An example follows:
Each of the focus groups was presented with the same set of discussion questions by the researcher.
These include:
What would you say is the main thing you feel about being HIV positive?
How have your friends reacted to your HIV-positive status?
How has your family reacted to your HIV-positive status?
How do you explain that you have survived your illness for the time that you have?
Why do you think other people have not survived as long?
The examiner should be in no doubt about how the information was collected and why this method
was chosen.
4.4 Protocols and procedures
[n this section, the researcher describes exactly how the research was conducted. In a higher degree
thesis, this section could run to a couple of pages. It is usual to commence with a brief description of
your ethics approval procedures followed by nuts and bolts of the participant recruitment procedure.
How were people contacted? How did you know where to find them? How was access obtained?
For example, ethical clearance to conduct the research was sought and obtained from Ethical Review
Committee (ERC) and followed the national ethical guideline.
How to
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Thesis
23
The patients who attended the Rheumatology Institute during the month of February. 1999, were approached by the
Institute's reception staff when they presented for their appointment at the institute's clinic reception. The patients were
handed a lener from the researcher that contained an invitation to participate in the research. The patients who wished to
participate, the researcher telephoned the university to indicate their interest in participation in the research program. The
researcher then arranged to meet at a mutually convenient time with the research participants. At this meeting, following
signature of the informed consent form. the participant was then interviewed using the interview schedule.
While it is a commendable wish to spare the reader the gruesome details, it is important that the
work is described to the level that it would be reproducible by someone else. Unlike in a journal
article, there is plenty of space available in a thesis. Do not stint on the detail of how the study was
conducted. The examiners will expect a full account of how the research was carried out.
4.5 Methodological defense
This section contains
a
detailed defense of the methodological approaches employed by the student
in his or her research. It is a vital component of the fact and appearance of a high-quality research
program and thesis. This has proven to be a difficult section of this guideline to write because it can
not presume to predict the fine detail of the methodology of every thesis. Nevertheless, there are
routine issues associated with various types of methodological approaches and problems.
The first area that needs consideration in the defense revolves around the generalization of the results
obtained by the procedures, tools and participants involved in the research.
4.6 Defense of sample size
Out of all the people who could have participated in the research, the researcher has generally selected
a small number. This number has to be justified. One justification is the logistic defense. This runs
along the lines of 'I would like to have more, but, hey, we all have to stop at some point'. In academic
sense this could translate into some phrases like the following:
The recruitment of participants into the present research proved to be difficult as is often the case with clinical populations.
To increase the sample size was not possible within the resources available.
This is marginally better than no defense at all. A much better defense in a quantitative study is a
statistical one, based on the statistical power of the analysis and the required sample size. If you are
reporting an intervention study, or one in which group means are compared, for example, involving
analysis of variance, then in higher degree thesis some attention to power is required. If you do not
know what statistical power is, then you need to read the following section and some associated
references because it is very important that you understand what it is about. If you are performing
a qualitative study, then skip this section.
4.7 Statistical power
In a study where there are tests of group mean differences, (this includes most intervention and
experimental studies), it is essential that the issue of statistical power is canvassed in the write-up.
Readers will recall from their basic statistical training that when a researcher applies a statistical test,
in .addition to correct rejection of the null hypothesis and correct acceptance of the null hypothesis,
there are two types of errors that can be made. These are the incorrect acceptance of the null hypothesis,
(Type II error or miss) and an incorrect rejection of the null hypothesis (Type I error or false alarm)
24
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The power in a study is the probability of (correctly) rejecting the null hypothesis when the alternative
hypothesis is correct. It is 1
-
� (Type II error).
Cohen has argued that an acceptable value for power
is 0.80 in any study. That is, when the null hypothesis should be rejected (there is real effect) it is
rejected on 80% occasions. Or on the other hand, on 20% of occasions when there is a real effect. it
is missed.
The concept of power is quite different from
a.
level (usually set at 0.05) in which the researcher can
adjust the acceptance rate of false alarm, i.e., incorrect rejection of the null hypothesis (0.05 represents
a 5% rate of false alarm, 0.0 I represents a I % rate). The reader will recall that reducing the false
alarms, i.e., making the a. level more rigorous by adjusting it, for example from 0.05
10
0.0 I. simply
means that more Type II errors (misses) will be made. Now-a-days many grant applications require a
discussion of statistical power in the application.
Keppel (1991) has noted, the power of a design is determined by three factors: the significance level
(a.) chosen by the researcher (almost always 0.05); the effect size (this is not controllable by the
researcher; and the sample size. It is really only the sample size that is amenable to adjustment by
the researcher. So if you chose an inappropriately low sample size and hence low-powered study.
you may be punished by an examiner if you do not discuss this issue in your analyses and their
interpretation, particularly if you haVe> null results. Indeed, if you have null results, i.e., no difference
detected or group effects detected. then not discussing the statistical power of the analysis is a risky
business.
4.8 Defense of participant selection method
While the sample size defense is more a feature of the quantitative than the qualitative research
project, the selection of study participants is important in both. Most health sciences studies
employ incidental rather than random sampling procedures. It has already been noted that a key
feature of the reporting of participants i s the response rate, i.e., the proportion of people
approached to participate in the research who actually did so. If it is very low, say 10%. ;hen the
findings will and ought to be interpreted very differently from when the response rate was, say,
80%.
The key issue in participant selection is the representativeness of the participants with respect to the
population from which they were drawn. One way of demonstrating this is to collect information
about the participants and then compare this information with known characteristics of the wider
population. If, for example, you are studying athletes but your group is older than the general population
of athletes, this might have important implications for interpretation of your results. Recovery times
from injury might be an important facet of your study. You need to demonstrate to the examiner that
you have considered these issues.
4.9 Defense of the research design
In a qualitative study, the interpretive methods chosen and the theoretical stance of the researcher
need to be defended. Incidentally, defense does not mean a personal attack on the proponents of the
other methods! The reader needs to know the stance that you have chosen and why you have chosen
it. The defense of qualitative epistemology and methodology is more taxing than in a quantitative
context because there is far less agreement about what approaches should be taken. At least the
quantitative researcher has a more stable base on which to build an agreement. Let us examine some
of the more common research designs and how they might be approached.
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25
4.10 Experimental designs
•
An experiment is a study where a sample of participants is randomly assigned to groups and then the
groups receive different treatments. The goal of the experiment is to attribute the differences in the
groups following the interventions, to the interventions themselves. If this can be done, then the
experiment is considered to be normally valid (Polar & Thomas, 1995).
There are many reasons why an experiment may not achieve internal validity. As outlined in Polar &
Thomas, Cook and Campbell (1979) defined a number of such threats including:
a.
History. This refers to unplanned events that occur at the same time as the intervention. For example. in an exercise
study, some of the participants may become ill with influenza, thus affecting their results.
b.
Maturation. This refers to the phenomenon of natural changes in the participants over time. In a study of injured people.
the injuries may spontaneously lessen owing to natural recuperation.
c.
Testing. This refers t o the phenomenon where the test procedure might alter the participants. For example, a series of
exercise tests may have their own fitness benefit quite apart from the interventions.
d.
Instrumentation. The measurement tools or apparatus may change during the course of the study, giving misleading
results.
e.
Regression to the mean. In this phenomenon, people who are chosen for selection into the study on the basis of
extreme scores might 'spontaneously' improve or decline because of a measurement artefact.
1".
Selection of assignment errors. In this phenomenon the groups, owing to faulty assignment to groups, may be different
at the outset, thus giving rise to the artefactual appearance of post-intervention differences.
g.
Mortality. If you have a large dropout rate in your study, this may introduce group in-equivalence similar to assignment
errors.
Experiments can also be prone to various expectancy and social facilitation effects including
Rosenthal and Hawthorne effects if human observation is involved. The Rosenthal effect refers to
the phenomenon where researchers may inadvertently alter their results to comply with their
expectations. The Hawthorne effect refers to the phenomenon where research participants may
alter their behavior as a result of the knowledge that they are being observed. This is why single
blinding (the participants do not know the research hypothesis) and double-blinding (neither the
participants nor the person administering the protocol know the research hypotheses applying to
that particular participant) are employed in some experimental research projects.
Many of these threats to internal validity in experiments can be assessed through the use of pre-testJ
post-test design where the groups are assessed before and after the intervention(s).If these threats could
apply to your experimental design then you should specifically mention them in your methodological
defense as well as in the results, discussion and the conclusions (in its limitations and strengths of the
present study section).
It should be noted that a design involving the comparison of groups need not be an experimental
design. For example, studies investigating health differences in smokers and non-smokers, where
group membership has not been determined by the researcher, are not experimental by definition.
Such designs are natural comparison or quasi-experimental designs. The basic weakness of such
designs is group in-equivalence on variables other than the grouping variable chosen by the
researcher. This can be addressed to a certain extent by the intelligent application of multivariate
statistical techniques.
4.11 Survey research
A survey involves the collection of data about the characteristics of a single group of people. This is
How to Write
26
a
Thesis
often followed by an exploration of the associations between variables within the study. Such
associations are sensitive to the representativeness of the selected sample. That is, if the sample is
chosen in a biased fashion, the patterns of associations within that sample detected by the researcher
may be at considerable variance with those to be found in a representative sample.
It is possible to employ a survey design to compare the characteristics of populations. This is one of
the advantages of using standardized tests. A conventional approach to testing whether, for example,
carers of older people were less anxious than people with the same characteristics who were not
carers, would be to take two small groups, administer the test and compare them on the anxiety
measure. This is actually a weak design because, with the small sample size, the power will be low.
An alternative approach would be to put all the data collection resources into one basket (the carer
basket) and to use standardized measures for which population (or very large sample) characteristics
are known. It is advised on this matter concerning how to write up this issue appears below:
The present study involved the study of a single group of carers. If is useful to consider lite methodological
strengths and weaknesses of the design approach. One alternative way of conducting lhe study would have
been to include some sort of matched comparison group (not involved in care-giving) ill order
responses of the two groups. This approach, however, has some flaws in comparison
10
fa
compare the
the use of standardized
items and rests as employed in lhe present study. In the instance where two small samples of participants are
compared. high sampling variability issue is present in both samples. Thus. it is difficult to reject the /lull
hypothesis because of both the high within-group variability and also the high between-group variability
caused by small
II
sampling conditions. The use of standardized tests and items from previously performed
large-scale studies drastically reduces the sampling variatioll in one of the 'samples'. This permits much more
sali:-.[aClory lest o/the /lull hypothesis and between-group comparisons than the sometimes conventional small
comparison group design.
4.12 Defense of data collection methods
There is a rich variety of data collection methods available to the health sciences researcher including
direct physical measurement, clinical observation, the use of self-reported questionnaires and
inventories, interviews including focus groups, and secondary data collection from documents and
databases.
4.12.1 Direct physical measurement
The calibration of the tools used in the measurements needs to be carefully performed and described.
Most physical measurement tools have published data concerning their reliability and validity. This
must be included in the methodology and discussed in the defense. Below appears some discussion
of issues that could be included in the defense of some of the major data collection methods
employed in health sciences research.
4.12.2 Clinical observation
If the observation is performed solely by the researcher who also knows the research hypotheses
and objectives, then the methodologist's warning bells would be ringing loudly. There should be
some attempts to study the reliability and validity of the observations, probably by perfOiItling a
basic test-retest and inter-rater reliability study involving at least one other clinician.
How to Wrile
a
Thesis
27
In this study, the things to be observed and rated would be observed and independently rated by at
least two observers and, if practicable, the same cases should be rated twice to test reliability.
Otherwise the examiner may say that you are studying yourself and your outcome expectancies
rather than real phenomena.
4.12.3 Self-reported measures and questionnaires
One of the major problems associated with survey designs is the extensive use of home-grown'
questionnaires with unknown properties. If there is an existing published inventory that deals with
the same subject matter as the research questions with which the research project is concerned,
then it is better to employ these inventories wherever possible (provided, of course, that it has
satisfactory properties).
It should also be remembered that in self-reported inventories people can lie ferociously about
themselves. In writing up results from self-reported measures, it is useful to be careful in your use
of language. For example, 'the participants claimed to have or reported that' not merely 'had'.
4,12.4 Interviews
An interview is a conversation between the researcher and the research participant. In any interview,
there is the recurrent problem of researchers imposing their agenda and perhaps their views upon the
participants.
4.12.5 Secondary data collection from documents and databases
The main issue associated with this method of data collection is data quality. How can the researcher
be certain that the information collected is valid? This needs to be addressed in the defense.
Finally, when writing the defense it is important not to adopt an overly apologetic tone in its presentation.
The point of the exercise is to demonstrate that you are aware that your research has limitations and
that you performed a thorough scholarly job of evaluating these limitations.
28
How to Write a Thesis
4.13 Key points to remember in writing thesis methodology
Following checklist appeared to be important for writing thesis materials and methods:
Questions
Components in research methods
1.
What approaches were followed?
Write about the study and its design
2.
What tools were used for
Write about selection and development of data
research?
collection tools and techniques
How many subjects were
Write clearly about the sampling technique
included in the study and how
including sample size. subject selection procedure
3.
they were selected?
4.
When and how the data
Write about data collection plan and procedures
collection was done?
5.
What was done for collected data?
Write about data analysis plan and techniques
including type of tests perfOtlIled and software used
6.
What was done to prevent harming
Write about ethical issues you considered during
the research subjects?
research including subjects selection, interview
and medical interventions etc.
7.
Whether pre-testing was done
Write details about pre-testing about the research
before finalization of research
instruments
instruments?
8.
What duration you spent for the
research and the place where
research was conducted?
Write about the place and duration of research
Chapter 5
Writing the Thesis Results
5.1 Introduction
The results constitute the major part of the original work that is presented in the thesis. These are
very important components of the thesis. This chapter commences with a discussion of the design of
the structure of the results sections within the research thesis. The organization of the presentation of
results within the thesis requires fundamental and important design decisions to be made prior to the
commencement of
writing. A method of organization that overcomes some of the dilemmas as to
where precisely certain discussion points should be made is presented within this chapter.
5.2. The organization of the presentation of results chapters
The location of results within the thesis often presents major difficulties to the research student.
Have you ever had the experience where you have shown your work to someone, perhaps your
supervisor, and then he or she has asked you about issues that you have discussed in other parts of
the thesis? Perhaps you speculate that this reflects the likelihood of short-term memory loss resulting
from excessive imbibing of the departmental port? Or perhaps it confirms your suspicions concerning
the caliber of the person who has had the temerity not to 'get it' despite your efforts. Then again, it
may be that the structure of the presentation did not meet the reader's needs. May be things were not
located where the reader expected them to be and he or she could not find them.
A conventional results section or chapter involves the presentation of the results of the data collection
without extensive commentary or integration with other findings or work. This involves a rather
bare bones description of the outcomes of the study or studies. It attempts to weigh up the evidence
supporting the answers to the research questions posed within the thesis.
There are essentially two main ways of organizing the results sections or chapters in a thesis; either
by data collection or by research question. The decision as to how to best organize this material is
influenced by the number of studies that are to be reported in the thesis. If there is only one study,
then matters are simplified. The presentation of the results section or chapter would then normally be
followed by a discussion of the results.
It is conventional practice to present the research study results under the headings of the various data
collections. Thus, for example, if you had conducted a survey it would be typical to report the results
of that study as a whole in one location (normally a separate chapter) within the thesis. Thus the
organizing principle for this type of presentation is the activities performed by the research student.
Each data collection activity or study is reported separately, perhaps in a separate chapter. However.
while it makes sense to present discrete activities in this fashion, there is also the objective of directly
answering the research questions that you have posed earlier in your thesis. It might be that various
data collections or evidence that you have assembled for the thesis impact on more than one of your
research questions? Should not, therefore, the results of the thesis be organized under the respective
research questions? But would this not lead to a fragmented presentation? These are fundamental
document design issues that need to be resolved in any thesis prior to the commencement of major
writing activity in these sections.
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5.3 Presentation design principles for the results section of theses
Successful theses share a number of design attributes. These include:
a. well-presented tables and figures
b. clarity of presentation of salient results
5.3.1 Well-presented tables and figures
Most theses. whether quantitative or qualitative or mixed in orientation, include tables and
figures/graphs. These need to be well presented. But what does 'well-presented mean' mean?
The first feature of 'well-presented' is that if you have a specific style guide to which the thesis
presentation is to adhere, then use it and stick to it like glue. The American Psychological
Association Style Guide is used widely throughout the health sciences (American Psychological
Association, 1994). It has hundreds of pages in which everything you may want to know (and more)
about where to put your underlines and commas is outlined in grim detail. Some examiners really
care about this stuff, so you need to show them that you care too. If you play your cards right, you
can spend days of avoiding writing by doing this sort of thing.
Another feature of 'well-presented' is 'understandable on its own'. We think that every single graph
and table in a thesis should have a title and axes labeled so that if it is removed from the thesis
and shown to an intelligent person on the street, he understands it.
Far too many tables and
graphs presented in theses are poorly labeled and obscurely presented to the extent that intelligent
examiners wonder what on earth the message behind a particular graph or figure may be. Remember
that most examiners will descend and ascend from your thesis document in a reasonably chaotic way,
generally balancing this task with many others currently on their desks. W hat may seem logical and
clear when the thesis is read linearly from beginning to end in one sitting may not seem to be when
the document is read in fits and stars. It needs to be dead obvious and clear, even when randomly
accessed. Figures and tables draw the attention of the reader and hence must be the showpieces of
your exposition and convey a message on their own.
For the presentation of responses to multiple questions in one table, perhaps something like the
format used in the following table example could be used:
A further feature of 'well-presented' is elegant simplicity. Do not try to include too much information in
one table or figure to the extent that the clarity of the message it is intended to convey is compromised.
How to Write
a
3I
Thesis
Table 1 Frequency of problem gambling service client responses to question 'please indicate the
impact the counseling has had for you in each of the following areas' (n=200)
Response
Problem area
Got worse
No change
Positive change
(%)
(%)
(%)
Gambling activity
8.0
3.0
89.0
Financial issues
4.0
16.0
82.0
Family issues
5.0
10.0
85.0
Relationship issues
12.0
4.0
84.0
Employment
1 1 .0
26.0
63.0
Physical health
3.0
11.0
86.0
Leisure use
4.0
13.0
83.0
Legal issues
10.0
0.0
90.0
The presentation of graphs is also an area that requires some design skill. It has been seen that graphs
where there are so many variables are reduced to about 1 mm in width in order to fit them all in one
page. It is suggested that in graphical presentation a maximum of two variables be presented in one
graph. If in doubt, try the alternatives and market test them on some of your research buddies. If you
need to provide an extended explanation of what they are looking at, you already have your answer
about whether it needs changing. Simplify it! The figure on next page is an example of a simple figure
that is easily understood.
Many thousands of theses and papers have been written without the need for mUlti-page tables.
MUlti-page tables are generally hard to follow.
'Well-presented' in the context of figures and tables means 'adhering to the style guide', 'labeled so
that it could be separated from the thesis and still understood' and 'simple and elegant'. Once again,
it is suggested that you look through the theses and journals in your area and imitate greatness.
How to Write
32
a
Thesis
100
90
80
70
60
%
50
40
30
20
10
o
Health sciences
Psychology
Sociology
Medical sciences
Discipline
Figure 1.
Percentage of PhD Students enrolled at Mythical University in 1981 to 1986 who had
completed within 10 years of their initial enrollment
5.3.2 Clarity of presentation of salient results
The results sections of many theses suffer from a lack of clarity. This is frequently a result of a
lack of clarity in the mind of the author as to what he or she is attempting to convey. This is why
it is strongly advocated to use writing plans in all sections of the thesis, including the results and
discussion sections. The presentation of figures and graphs in results sections in theses follow a
standard routine.
Tables and figures should be as simple as possible and the use of very complicated graphics or
obscure colour combinations avoided
the examiner will not thank youl The table or figure should
not repeat information covered in the main text, it should augment it. Every table and figure should
have a title that is a concise explanation of what is being presented; If abbreviations are used, it is
important that they are explained fully. Tables where p-values are quoted should give the actual p­
value, rather than p<O.OS; p<O.OI, p<O.OO1. With the widespread use of computerized statistical
packages, the actual p-value can be found with relative ease. Another issue is important in presenting
results in theses is that confidence interval rather than p value.
A clear concept of p value and confidence interval is required for presenting the results. Simple
statements in a study report such as p<O.OS or p>O.OS do not describe the results of a study well,
and create an artificial dichotomy between significant and insignificant results. The p value does
not relate to the clinical importance of a finding, and i t depends to a large extent on the size of the
study. Thus a large study may find a difference highly significant and a small study may fail to find
important differences. The confidence interval gives an estimate of the precision with which a
statistic estimates a population value which is useful information for the reader. This does not
mean that one should not carry out statistical tests and quote p values, rather than these results
should supplement an estimate of an effect and a confidence interval. Many medical journals now
require paper to contain confidence interval where appropriate.
How to Write
a
Thesis
33
Normally each result would be followed by several sentences or paragraphs of explanation and discussion
of the results. In a results section or chapter, the discussion of the results is typically somewhat minimalist
and descriptive.
5.3.3 Reporting of qualitative studies
In the reporting of qualitative studies. there are far fewer standards available to guide the researcher
as to how best to report and present the study outcomes. Frequently qualitative studies involve the
use of interviews and the presentation of the 'results' involves intensive quotation from this material.
Many authors provided a very useful discussion of the reporting of qualitative studies. They noted
that 'the most descriptive qualitative.reporting appears to consist simply of quotations linked together
with minimal textual commentary'. Some thesis drafts consist almost exclusively of high-volume
quotations from the participants with a bit of commentary. This will not work. The examiners will
expect to see analysis. However, they will also expect to see evidence to support the analysis in the
form of quotations from the participants.
In the presentation of quotations or excerpts from the transcripts, there are some ethical issues that
arise. The first of these is the extent to which transcripts should be edited to correct grammatical
problems, lapses in expression and so on. Transcripts of natural discourses show how much meaning
in speech is conveyed in the context in which the words are spoken. Divorced from this context,
natural speech in the form of transcripts is chaotic. What we hear as grammatical beautifully
parsed sentences in our heads are jumbled a n d often incoherent when i n transcript form.
Sentences commence from nowhere, cease without notice and have many grammatical mistakes.
Should we fix the language? It should not be. Consistent with the real ale movement, we think
should leave the 'flaws' in. As they say in sales pitches for leather goods, 'Certain of our products
have marks. These are not faults. They are features of a natural product'.
However, identifying information should be edited out unless the speaker has specifically agreed to
be identified. You need to be vigilant for this.
5.3.4 Good layout
A high standard of presentation should be achieved with any document, but especially a thesis. If
you are using a specific style guide, then these matters will be discussed in the guide and you should
follow the advice contained within it. Many students fall into the trap of trying to make their thesis
look like a desktop published report or magazine article, for example, by using display formats such
as multiple column text and so on. This approach will not necessarily be well regarded by examiners.
Double spacing of text is usual for the reason that it permits the academic reader to put in comments
without being squeezed for space. Also it assists readability with what is often very technically
complex and dense reading. In one or two cases, some our students tried to obscure the fact that
they had written theses that nudged the maximum word limit by manipulating the size of the typeface, for
example, from 12 point to II point, or squeezing the interline spacing. Don't do it.
5.4 A logical development of the findings
The order of presentation of the results and discussion should be carefully considered in the thesis
design. It is important that the sequence of findings is logical and progressive. For example, in
describing the outcomes of a study, it is usual to describe the participants first. In a qualitative study,
34
How to Write
a
Thesis
there might be a detailed overview and discussion of the characteristics of the participants. As in a
quantitative study, this might be provided in the form of some summary tables describing the
characteristics of the participants. In quantitative studies this may involve group analyses, e.g. the
participants were on average aged x years, y of them were women, and so on. In qualitative studies
it might be more usual to provide a list of individual participants and describe their characteristic in
an individual case-wise, rather than group-wise basis. For example, 'Doreen is a 45-year-old relinquishing
mother who moved to the USA after 20 years in the former USSR'.
The best way to check the logicality of your sequence of presentation of results is to do a draft plan
in which you outline the steps you are going to take in the presentation. This might look something
like the following. Let us imagine that the study involved a survey of health service users to determine
if there was an association between their satisfaction with various types of health services and their
utilization of these services.
5.5 Key points to remember in writing Tables and Graphs
I.
Carefully design each as a specific unit of communication.
2.
Show data meaningfully.
3.
Group items in tables logically.
4.
Construct tables in the correct format.
5.
Decide between tables and figures depending on objective.
6.
Always comma numbers 1,000 or above.
7.
Oftentimes, maps, drawings, etc. require citations concerning their origin.
8.
Decide upon the type of figure depending on objectives.
9.
Avoid extraneous background materials and lines.
10.
Do it right the first time.
II.
Use correct margins.
12.
Make sure that all numbers are to the same decimal point (this is important and should be con
sistent through the whole document).
13.
On both figures and tables avoid footnotes or subscripts whenever possible.
14.
Figure titles go below the figure and table titles go above the table.
Chapter 6
Writing the Thesis Discussion
6.1 Introduction
The goal of this section is to provide an interpretation of your results, support for your conclusions,
and a comparison of your results to relevant hypotheses. The discussion is harder to define than the
other sections. Thus, it is usually the hardest section to write. And, whether you know it or not, many
theses are questioned by reviewers because of a faulty discussion, even though the data of the thesis
might be both valid and interesting. Even or likely, the true meaning of the data may be completely
obscured by the interpretation presented in the discussion, again resulting in rejection.
6.2 Important Elements ofdiscussion writing
6.2.1:
Detailed Analysis:
Analyze your results with appropriate level of detail. If you analyze your
data in terms of particular models or phenomena, provide background and detailed mechanisms.
6.2.2
Hypothesis testing:
If your results agree or differ with particular hypotheses, provide an
explanation of the relevant hypotheses, and explain in detail why you believe your results agree or
disagree with these models
6.2.3
Sources of errors:
Discuss any experimental errors or experimental design problems that might
have influenced your ability to draw conclusions
6.2.4
Alternative models:
Be sure to offer alternative explanations for you data, if they exist (and
they always do!)
6.2.5
The future:
Discuss where the research might go next, and what questions remain after your
study
There are two schools of thought for writing this portion of the thesis. One is that these should be
two separate sections and the other that the two should be combined. There are legitimate arguments
for each format; Majority of the reviewers prefer separate portion of the thesis documents though
both have legitimate thought about writing. But most of the reviewers viewed as a separate section
for learning tools and how they express the ideas and thought about their research work.
You have your detailed outline containing the order of your results and discussion. This is usually in
sections and subsections (because usually you have more than just one item to report). Your outline
includes what results you are presenting, the tables and figures to support results, what reference
material you need, etc. Now present the facts clearly and succinctly for your first result. Provide
tables or figures, these contain your data. In the text, do not just repeat the material from the tables
or figures. Point out the important points in the tables or figures and follow this with a discussion.
The discussion is where you assess the meaning of results. It contains your interpretation (or meaning)
of the results, what caused them, implications, etc. Use the published record to support your
interpretation.
36
How to Write
a
Thesis
In the discussion, your verb tense should swing back and forth between present and past. Other
peoples' work should be described in the present tense, but your own results should be described
in the past tense.
6.3 Key Points for discussion writing
I.
Avoid too much discussion of nonessentials.
2.
Avoid symptoms of megalomania.
3.
Speculate, but be reasonable. A discussion must be firmly founded.
4.
A single hypothesis to explain results is almost mandatory, but piling one on top of another is
bad for the digestion of the reader and the reputation of the author.
5.
Keep "statistics" in the background, except where they are the main point of the thesis.
Statistics play a supporting role.
6.
Do not assume that a reader can read between the lines. Maintain in plain sight a thread of
continuity in your writing. Use paragraph structure to enhance the flow of the text.
7.
Do not refer to others works just to increase the references cited section. They must fit into your
discussion.
8.
Do not avoid controversial issues, explain rather than refute.
9.
Make sure all results are represented by techniques in the materials and methods section.
Chapter 7
Writing the Thesis Conclusions and Recommendations
7.1 Introduction
The concluding chapter of the thesis ought to perform a number of functions. It should review the
outcomes of the literature review and how they articulated with the research questions; restate the
major findings of the thesis and how they integrate with previous work; discuss the strengths and
limitations of the research presented in the thesis; and propose future avenues of research and
questions arising from the current work.
It has long been known in social psychology through the study of what has been termed the agenda
effect or the serial position effect that the first and last components in any communication are the
most influential for the judge or recipient. This principle also applies to these. The concluding
chapter, therefore, is a very important component of the whole thesis. It needs to be even more
tightly written than the other components so that all the many threads in the thesis are woven into
a
golden cloth.
Let us examine each of the above mentioned functions of the concluding chapter and how they might
be best addressed.
7.2 Summary of the outcomes of the literature review
In many theses, the literature review may be up to a third of the overall length of the thesis. It is
surprising that many students do not even mention the literature review in their concluding chapter
or section of their thesis. The literature review is supposed to be a comprehensive integration of
current knowledge that identifies the knowledge gaps to be plugged by the research described in the
thesis. That is, it should provide answers to the questions 'What do we know?' and 'What do we
not know?' It should contain the arguments that lead into the statement of the research questions,
i.e. the whole purpose of the research. If the literature review is not discussed in the concluding
chapter, then one might ask, 'How can one discuss the answers without discussing the basis for the
questions?'
A skeleton structure for this component might include statements such as the following:
In the present thesis, the xyz literature was reviewed. It was argued that certain studies in this literature
had methodological problems that rendered their findings ... The abc literature was reviewed. It was
found that ... On the basis of the overall literature review, it was concluded that ... Thus the status of
... was found to be unclear. The research questions addressed by this thesis were .. .
It is de rigueur to restate the objectives of the thesis and the research questions in the conclusion.
Do not worry about the readers being bored. If they wanted excitement they would be reading a
thriller instead of your thesis. After 200 pages plus of academic meanderings, they need to be
reminded of the plot! Tell them what it is. As previously discussed, it is folly to assume that the
examiner will read the thesis in one sitting in a linear sequence. A series of random raids is more
likely.
38
How to Write
a
Thesis
7.3 Major findings of the thesis and how they integrate with previous work
It is also not repetitious to provide a summary of the major components of the data collection and
their outcomes. Although this is also done in the abstract and the particular results chapters, it is
still a most worthwhile venture to describe the study (ies) and the outcomes. It is crucial that these
outcomes are discussed with respect to previous work and findings. How was it similar to and / or
different from the findings of previous studies? The reader has to have a strong sense of where the
new work reported in the thesis fits in with the old work, so that it forms a logical continuum.
III order to address the research questions. the
imerviewed ill a focus group. The purpose of Srudy 1 was /0 ... II was fOl/lld rhat ...
survey was pel/ormed 011
32
6 people with HIV lVere
In Study 2, (/ qlwl11irative .f(Il1lple
foLlowillg re,{earch was performed. III Study},
critical care lIurses. The nurses were asked to complele a questiollllaire including demo­
graphic items and the al1itudes 10 physicians scale.
Statements such as the following need to be included in this section of the conclusions.
The researchfilldings ill the present thesis are at odds with those presented by Bloggs (1991). bllt are consistent
,.virh those preselfted by Nurk
(1987).
The present research demonSTrates that ... The findings 0/ Sl/ldy
2
Sllp-
ported the predictions made by the application o/the Health Belie/model in rhat.. .
7.4 Strengths and limitations of the research
It is important that the student demonstrates a realistic appreciation of the strengths and limitations
of the work he or she has done through communication of these issues in the thesis. Many theses
simply present a statement about the limitations of the present work without discussion of its
strengths. This is an unbalanced view of the work. If it was so poor, then why was it done in the first
place? There are standard issues that require attention. These include:
a. A discussion of the generaiisability of the work. This is affected by the selection of the
participants and / or dala sources for the study, the conditions and context under which the information
was collected and the way in which it was collected. If the study employed volunteers as participants,
what is known about the volunteer bias in the study? How might this have affected the results? Were
there circumstances peculiar to the particular research that might impinge upon their application to
other context and settings?
b. The status of the methodologies employed in the research program. For example, if one used
self-reported questionnaires to collect the data then there are issues of validity, social desirability and
so on that need discussion. If the researcher used non-standardized measures/instruments to collect
the data then possible problems with validity need to be discussed.
C.
What was the research design? What are inherent strengths and weaknesses of such designs?
How do these strengths and weaknesses manifest themselves in the present research?
7.5 Future avenues of research
A glib 'further work is needed' is no longer an adequate conclusion to a thesis. 'Which work?'
and 'How could it be done?' are questions that need to be answered in order to bring the thesis to
a satisfactory conclusion. However, the thesis author needs to be careful that the questions proposed
are not much more interesting and sensible than the ones he or she has studied! They should form
a useful increment to the ones already answered by the thesis, not spear off at tangents or offer
bright jewels and riches not provided by the present work.
How to Write
a
Thesis
39
7.6 The process of writing the concluding chapter
The conclusion must be last chapter written in the thesis. This is because it requires all of the other
information to be available for inclusion in it. It is advocated that a process of what is termed
'deconstruction' to perform most of the actual writing process. By this, we mean taking apart the
thesis elements and then assembling them into an abbreviated structure, a kind of reverse plan.
It is believed that the first sentence of the conclusion chapter should be a brief statement of the goals
and content of the thesis. Some examples might include:
This thesis reported the results oj a sl/ldy oj carers oj IJeople wilh Alzheimer's disease. The pllrpose oj IIJe
research was 10 discover whether the carers had elevaled levels oj psychological distress and oj health services
when compared with people lIot involved ill caring.
This thej'is was concerned with the responses oj people Jrom non-English speaking backgrol/nds, specially
Greek and Chinese AI/stralians, to primary health services. The purpose of the reuarch was to discover
whether ethnic background was a more imporlant delerminaltl oj respollses than demographic characteristics
including the ages and sex oj the research parlicipams.
We consider that a reader who has not read any other part of the thesis should be able to grasp its
basic content inside several sentences of the concluding chapter. Following on from the opening
paragraph is the conclusion proper. As outlined above, we consider that the use of 'deconstruction'
can assist greatly with the production of the conclusion.
The deconstruction process commences with the literature review. The task is to identify the salient
features of what happened during the review and what was said. What was argued? Briefly what was
the evidence to support your arguments? This information needs to be presented clearly and concisely.
If you cannot identify clear and concise arguments from your literature review then this tells you
something about the quality and structure of your review.
In terms of the length of the material, up to a couple of double-spaced pages (but certainly no more)
should be adequate. There needs to be some substantive content in these pages, however. They need
to be tightly written. Suggestions as to the possible content of this material are included in an earlier
section of this chapter.
The second stage of the demonstration commences with the statement of the research aims and an
abbreviated description of the research performed to address them. This description should include
details of the methodology employed. The reader who has not read the rest of the thesis should be
able quickly to obtain the gist of what was done and why. It is imperative that the results obtained
are discussed in relation to the previous research findings and that the status of the research aims is
clearly and directly. addressed.
The quality of this integrating material, in our view, has a crucial
impact upon how the examiners will receive the thesis.
Depending upon how you have structured the thesis, there might be a section that contains a
methodological defense of the methodological choices you made in the execution of your research.
Clearly these materials need to be elaborated and expanded in the section of the conclusions chapter
that deals with issue of the strengths and limitations of the research presented in the thesis.
This is where the process of deconstruction ends. The final section of conclusions of the thesis that
proposes future avenues of research and questions arising from the current work is new material.
How to Write
40
a
Thesis
Students who have followed our deconstruction recommendations have produced near final draft
conclusions sections in 2 working days. Most of the materials in the conclusions should have been
discussed in earlier parts of the thesis in various forms and hence the production of this material
involves judicious editing in the main. If this material is not represented in earlier parts of the thesis,
then this may present some difficulties for the difficulty in detecting the logical progression of the
conclusions from the earlier material. Thus, the thesis will appear to be somewhat disjoined to the
reader.
7.7 Key points to remember in writing thesis conclusions and recommendations
Conclusions
•
What is the strongest and most important statement that you can make from your observations?
•
If you met the reader at a meeting six months from now, what do you want them to remember
.
about your thesis?
•
Refer back to problem posed, and describe the conclusions that you reached from carrying
out this investigation, summarize new observations, new interpretations, and new insights
that have resulted from the present work.
•
Include the broader implications of your results.
•
Do not repeat word for word the abstract, introduction or discussion.
Recommendations
•
Remedial action to solve the problem.
•
Further research to fill in gaps in our understanding.
•
Directions for future investigations on this or related topics.
Chapter 8
Writing the Thesis Reference or Bibliography
8.1 What is thesis reference or bibliography?
A list of references contains details only of those works cited in the text whereas a bibliography
also includes sources which have not been cited in the text but was relevant to the subject and
found useful in the formulation of conceptual framework of the thesis under report.
Referencing or citing your sources is the important process of acknowledging any other person's
ideas you may have used in constructing your own essays or assignments, whether you have quoted
them directly or otherwise. The main purpose of doing this is to allow the reader of your work the
opportunity to locate and check the source, if required.
8.2 Referencing and bibliographic citation
There have been numerous adaptations of the original system, but essentially it remains the author· date
system of referencing, and the bibliographic citations are in alphabetical order. Before you write your
list of references/bibliography, check with your supervisor(s) for the bibliographic style preferred by
the Academic Departments. Some Departments prefer to use variations on the Harvard system or
American Psychological Association (APA) Style. Another most commonly used for citing reference is
"Vancouver style". It is commonly used in writing scientific articles. In this handbook three referencing
styles are discussed.
8.3 The Harvard System (Author date Method)
All statements, opinions, conclusions etc. taken from another writer's work should be cited, whether
the work is directly quoted, paraphrased or summarized. In the Harvard System cited publications
are referred to in the text by giving the author's surname and the year of publication and are listed in
a bibliography at the end of the text.
8.3.1 Citation in the text
•
Quotations - as a general rule in the University, if the quote is less than a line it may be included
in the body of the text in quotation marks. Longer quotations are indented and single-spaced.
quotation marks are not required. For citations of particular parts of the document the page
numbers etc. should be given after the year in parentheses.
•
Summaries or paraphrases - give the citation where it occurs naturally or at the end of the
relevant piece of writing.
•
Diagrams, illustrations - should be referenced as though they were a quotation if they have
been taken from a published work. For anything else refer to BS 1629: 1989.
•
If details of particular parts of a document are required, e.g. page numbers, they should be
given after the year within the parentheses.
•
Rules for citation in text for printed documents also apply to electronic documents except where
pagination is absent. If an electronic document does not include pagination or an equivalent
internal referencing system, the extent of the item may be indicated in terms such as the total
number of lines, screens, etc., e.g. "[35 lines]" or "[approx. 12 screens]".
How to Write a Thesis
42
Examples,
i)
If the author's name occurs naturally in the sentence the year is given in paremheses:e.g. [n a popular study Harvey (1992) argued that we have to teach good practices ...
e.g. As Harvey (1992, p.21) said, "good practices must be taught" and so we ...
ii)
If the name does not occur naturally in the sentence. both name and year are gIven In
•
•
parentheses:e.g. A more recent study (Stevens 1998) has shown the way theory and practical work interacl.
e.g. Theory rises out of practice. and once validated, returns to direct or explain the practice (Stevens
1998).
iii)
When an author has published more than one cited document in the same year. these are distinguished
by adding lower case letters (a,b,c, etc.) after the year and within the parentheses:e.g. Johnson (1994a) discussed the subject. ..
iv)
If there are two authors the surnames of both should be given:­
e.g. Matthews and Jones (1997) have proposed that. ..
v)
If there are more than two authors the surname of the first author only should be given, followed
by et al.:e.g. Office costs amount to 20% of total costs in most business (Wilson et al. 1997) (A full listing of
names should appear in the bibliography.)
vi)
If the work is anonymous then "Anon" should be used:­
e.g. [n a recent article (Anon 1998) it was stated Ihat. ..
vii)
If it is a reference to a newspaper article with no author the name of the paper can be used in
place of "Anon":e.g. More people than ever seem to be using retail home delivery (The Times 1996) (You should use
the same style in the bibliography.)
viii) If you refer to a source quoted in another source you cite both in the text:e.g. A study by Smith (1960 cited Jones 1994) showed that. .. (You should lisl only the work you have
read. i.e. Jones, in the bibliography.)
ix)
If you refer to a contributor in a source* you cite just the contributor:e.g. Software development has been given as the cornerstone in this industry (Bantz 1995),
See Section 2 below for an explanation of how to list contributions (chapters in books, articles in
journals, papers in conference proceeding) in the bibliography.
x)
If you refer to a person who has not produced a work, or contributed to one, but who is quoted
in someone else's work it is suggested that you should mention the person's name and you
must cite the source author:e.g. Richard Hammond stressed the part psychology plays in advertising in an interview with Marshall
( 1999).
e.g. "Advertising will always play on peoples' desires", Richard Hammond said in a recent article (Marshall
1999, p.67).
(You should list the work that has been published, i.e. Marshall, in the
bibliography.)
How to Write a Thesis
xi)
43
Personal communications:•
Taken from: APA, 1983. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 3rd
ed. Washington: APA.
They do not provide recoverable data and so are not included in the reference I st. Cite personal com­
munications in the text only. Give initials as well as the surname of the communicator and provide as
exact a date as possible.
e.g. Many designers do not understand the needs of disabled people according to J.
O. Reiss (personal communication. April 18, 1997).
8.3.2 References at the end of work
In Harvard system, the reference list is arranged alphabetically by author. Where an item has no
author it is cited by its title, and ordered in the reference list or bibliography alphabetically by the
first significant word of the title. The Harvard style requires the second and subsequent lines of the
reference to be indented, as shown in the examples below, to highlight the alphabetical order.
Examples of referencing,
i)
Books, edited books, report, brochure etc
Single author
Comfort, A 1997, A good age, Mitchell Beazley, London.
2 or 3 authors
Madden, R & Hogan, T 1997, The definition of disability in Australia: moving towards national
consistency, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra.
4 or more authors
Leeder, SR, Dobson, AJ, Gibbers, RW, Patel, NK, Mathews, PS, Williams, D W & Mariot, DL
1996, The Australian film industry, Dominion Press,Adelaide.
No author
Advertising in the Western Cape 1990, ABC Publishers, Cape Town.
Multiple works by same author
Brown, P 1982, Corals in the Capricorn group, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton.
Brown, P 1988, The effects of anchor on corals, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton.
(Order chronologically in the reference list)
Multiple works published in the same year by the same author
Napier, A 1993a, Fatal storm, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.
Napier, A 1993b, Survival at sea, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.
Order alphabetically by title in the reference list.
Editor
Kastenbaum, R (ed.) 1993, Encyclopedia of adult development, Oryx Press, Phoenix.
How Lo Write
44
a
Thesis
Different Editions
•
Renton, N 2004, Compendium of good writing, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.
An edition number is placed after the title of the work - this is not necessary for a
first edition.
Encvclovedia
or Dictionarv
.
Sadie, S (ed.) 1980, The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians.
Article or chamer
in a book
,
Blaxter, M 1976, 'Social class and health inequalities'.in C Carter & J Peel (eds), qualities and
inequalities in health, Academic Press, London, pp. 120-135.
Article or chamer
in a book - no author
,
'Solving the Y 2K problem' 1997, in D Bowd (ed.), Technology today and tomorrow, Van
Nostrand Reinhold, New York, p. 27.
Brochure
Research and Training Centre on Independent Living 1993, Guidelines for reporting and
writing about people with disabilities [Brochure], 4th edn, Research and Training Centre,
Lawrence, KS.
The publisher's name may be abbreviated if it is
also the author.
E·book
Pettinger, R 2002, Global organizations, Capstone Publishing, Oxford. Retrieved September 28,
2004, from NetLibrary database.
Thesis
Jones, F 1998, 'The mechanism of Bayer residue flocculation', PhD Thesis, Curtin University
of Technology. Retrieved December 21, 2005, from Curtin University of Technology Digital
Theses.
Conference Proceeding
Debono, C 2000, 'The National Trust into the new millennium', Proceedings of the ninth meet
ing of the International National Trust, Australian Council of National Trusts, Alice Springs,
NT, pp. 44-6. Retrieved January 20, 2006, from Informit Online database.
Annual report oian organization
Department of Transport and Regional Services 200 I ,Annual report 2001-2002, Canberra.
OR
Billabong International Ltd. 2005, Annual report 2005 -brands. Retrieved January 27, 2006,
from Connect4 database.
Image in a book
Cowie, C & Walker, D 2005, The art of apple branding, Apples from Oz, Hobart.
How to Wrile
ii)
a
Thesis
45
Print Journals
Article
Wharton, N 1996, 'Health and safety in outdoor activity centres', Journal of Adventure
Education and Outdoor Leadership, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 8-9.
Article - no author
' Anorexia nervosa' 1969,
Newspaper/Magazine article
Towers. K 2000, 'Doctor not at fault: coroner',Australian,18 January, p. 3.
Newspaper article -no author
Provide all the details in the in-text citation - no
need for an entry in the reference list.
Press release
Watersmith,C 2000, BHP enters new era,media release, BHP Limited, Melbourne, I March.
iii)
Electronic Journals
Full text from an electronic database
Madden, G 2002, 'Internet economics and policy: an Australian perspective', Economic
Record, vol. 78, no. 242, pp. 343-58. Retrieved October 16, 2002, from ABIIINFORM Global
database.
Full text from an electronic database -no author
Internet economics and policy: an Australian perspective' 2002, Economic Record. vol. 78. no.
242, pp. 343-58. Retrieved October 16,2002, from ABIIINFORM Global database.
Full text newspaper, newswire or magazinefrom an electronic database - no author
'W A packed with overseas appeal' 2004, West Australian, 12 November, p. 47. Retrieved
November 13,2004,from Factiva database.
Full text from the internet
Byrne, A 2004, 'The end of history: censorship and libraries',The Australian Library
Journal. vol. 53, no. 2. Retrieved November 16,2004,from
http://www.alia.org.au/publishing/alj/53.2/full.text/byrne.htmI
Article from Curtin E-Reserve
Davidhizar, R & Dowd, SB 1997, 'The art of giving an effective presentation', Health Care
Supervisor, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 25-31. Retrieved October 16, 2002, from Curtin University
Library & Information Service E-Reserve.
Article from database on CD-ROM (BPO)
•
La Rosa, SM 1992, 'Marketing slays the downsizing dragon', Information Today, vol. 9, no. 3,
pp. 58-9. Retrieved October 16,2002,from UMI Business Periodicals Ondisc database.
46
iv)
How to Write
a
Thesis
Secondary Sources
Book
Thibodeau, GA & Patton, KT (eds.) 2002. The human body in health and disease, Mosby, St.
Louis, Mo.
Record the book that you actually sourced,
Journal Article
Patton, KT 2002, 'Neuralgia and headaches', Science,vol. 4, pp, 2153-55.
Record the journal that you actually sourced,
v)
World Wide Web
Document on WWW
Dawson, J, Smith, L, Deubert, K & Grey-Smith, S 2002, 's' Trek 6: referencing, not
plagiarism. Retrieved October 31,2002, from http://studytrekk.lis.curtin.edu.au/
Document on WWW -No author
Leafy seadragons and weedy seadragons 2 0 0 1 .Retrieved N o v e m b er 13, 2002, from
http://www.windspeed.net.au/-jennyIseadragonsl
Document on WWW -No date
Royal Institute of British Architects n.d., Shaping the future: careers in architecture. Retrieved
May 31,2005, from http://www.careersinarchitecture.neti
Image on the web
.
Coral bleaching and mass bleaching events [Image] 2002. Retrieved September 2, 2005 from
hup:/Iwww.gbrmpa.gov.au/corp_si teli nfo_servicesl sciencel bleachi ng
vi)
Government Publications
Act ofParliament
,
Legislation is included in a list of references only if it is important to an understanding of the
work. Set the list apart from the main body of the reference under the subheading 'Legislation'.
Essential elements: Short title Date (Jurisdiction)
ego Copyright Act 1968 (Cwlth).
If legislation is obtained from an electronic database, add a retrieved statement as for electronic
journal articles.
Cases
Legal authorities are included in a list of references only if they are important to an understanding
of the work. Set the list apart from the main body of the reference under the subheading 'Legal
Authorities' .
How to Write
a
Thesis
47
Australian Bureau ofStatistics Bulletin
Australian Bureau of Statistics 1999, Disability, ageing and carers: summary of findings, cat.
no.
4430.0, ABS, Canberra.
SIClIistics.from AusStals
AUSlralian Bureau of
.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 1999, Disability, ageing and carers: summary of findings, cat. no.
4430.0. ABS. Canberra. Retrieved October 14, 2002, from AusStats database.
Census Information
•
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2001, Census of population and housing: BOI selected
characteristics (First release processing) postal area 6050. Retrieved November 20, 2002.
from AusStats database.
Government RetJort
,
Resource Assessment Commission 1991, Forest and timber inquiry: draft report, vol. I,
Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
PClIenl
Cookson, AH 1985, Particle trap for compressed gas insulated transmission systems, U.S.
Patent 4554399.
Slandard
Standards Australia 1997, Size coding scheme for infants' and children's clothing - underwear
and outerwear, AS 1182-1997. Retrieved January 10, 2006, from Standards Australia Online
database.
vi)
Other Sources
Personal communication, e-mail and discussion lisls with no web archive.
Not included in reference list as they cannot be
traced by the reader.
Films and videorecordings,
Grumpy meets the orchestra 1992, videorecording, Australian Broadcasting Corporation,
Sydney. Featuring the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Any special information may be noted after the citation,
Television and radio programmes
What are we going to do with the money? 1997,television programme, SBS Television.
Sydney, 8 August.
Podcasts
The wings of a butterfly - children, teenagers and anxiety 2005, podcast radio programme,
ABC Radio National, Sydney, 10 September. Retrieved September 16, 2005, from (put
podcast radio programme in the Format field, ABC Radio National in Distributor, Sydney
in Country, 10 September in Date Released, September 28, 2005 in Access Date,
http://www.abc.net.au/
48
How to Write a Thesis
CD-ROMS
D r Brain thinking games 1998, CD-ROM, Knowledge Adventure Inc., Torrance,
California.
ERIC document (microfiche)
•
Davis, RK & Lombardi, TP 1996, 'The quality of life of rural high school special education
graduates', in Rural goals 2000: Building programs that work. ERIC Document No. 394765,
microfiche.
E-mail discussion list - web archive
Little, L 2002, 'Two new policy briefs', ECPOLICY discussion list, 16 April. Retrieved
November 13, 2002 from http://www.askeric.orglVirtual Listserv_Archives/ECPOLI
CY 120021Apr_2002/Msg00003. html
(put Little, L in the Reporter field, ECPOLICY in Newspaper, discussion list in Section,
November 13, 2002 in Notes, http://www.askeric.orgiVirtuaIListserv_Archives/ECPOLI
CY/2002/Apr_2002/Msg00003.html in Type ofArticle)
It is very important that you check your department's or university guide as some details, e.g. punctuation,
may vary from the guidelines on this page. You may be penalized for not conforming to your university
requirements.
8.4 American Psychological Association (APA) Style
American Psychological Association (APA) documentation is intended to do two things: I) to credit
authors' works and 2) to provide enough information for readers to retrieve the original material if
necessary. The APA has designed a documentation style most frequently used in the applied and
social sciences (psychology, sociology, anthropology, health sciences, etc.), and in education and
business. Because new papers are constantly being published in these disciplines, the APA system is
very date-sensitive. In-text citations as well as bibliographic listings include dates.
Citation style based on the 5th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Association (Washington: A.P.A., 2001). The APA Manual contains advice on editorial style, grammar
and layout. It also has sections with guidelines to reduce bias in language when writing psychology
papers (2.13-2.17) and about the ethics of scientific publication (8.05). This brief section deals
exclusively with the sections in the Manual on the treatment of sources: quotations, citations within
the text and preparing the reference list of a research paper. Examples have been selected to illustrate
the most common types of citations that students will encounter. For complete information and
additional examples, please refer to the APA Manual. You can also consult the APA website for the
citation style at http://www.apastyle.org/APA recommends that the papers be double-spaced
throughout, including the quotations, notes and reference list.
8.4.1 Citation in the text
APA style requires that sources used to write a paper be acknowledged by inserting the author(s) last
name and the year of publication, at the appropriate place in the text. When the author's name appears
as part of the sentence, the year of publication is inserted in parentheses immediately following the
name(s).
How to Write
a
49
Thesis
Citation of Sources
Byrne (1998) determined that sensitivity for the sounds in spoken words, especially at the
level of phonemes, is regarded as a prerequisite for the discovery of the alphabetic principle.
(one author)
For example, Pennington and Lefly (2001) found that phonological awareness did not
contribute to the prediction of reader group membership ... (always cite both names when
there are two authors)
Manis, Seidenberg, Doi, McBride-Chang, and Petersen (1996) used a method similar to that
of Castles and Coltheart to identify subgroups with surface and phonological profiles. (three
to five authors when cited for the first time)
Manis et al. (1996) found ... (subsequent citations for three to five authors. But omit date if
cited more than once within a paragraph)
Morris et al. (1998) believe that slow naming speed is associated with the core phonological
deficit (six or more autnors are always shortened to the first author's name followed by et al.)
When the author is not part of the sentence both the name(s) and date appear in parentheses:
Sensitivity for the sounds in spoken words, especially at the level of phonemes, is regarded
as a prerequisite for the discovery of the alphabetic principle (Byrne, 1998).
Earlier studies found that phonological awareness did not contribute to the prediction of
reader group membership ... (Pennington & Lefty, 2001).
Other authors used a method similar to that of Castles and Coltheart to identify sub
groups with surface and phonological profiles (Manis, Seidenberg, Doi, McBride-Chang,
& Petersen, 1996).
Many researchers believe that s l o w n a m i n g speed
IS
associated with t h e core
phonological deficit (Morris et aI., 1998).
If more than one source has been used, the citations are separated by semicolons:
There is evidence of some peculiarities of Italian patients with NO, such as the observation
that omission errors predominate over substitutions (Cubelli & Simoncini, 1997;
Urdavas, 1998; Vallar et aI., 1996).
When citing a work discussed in another work, name the original work and refer to the work
that cited it. (In the Reference List the entry should be for the work that you consulted,
not to the original)
Sidenberg and McClelland's study (as cited in Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, & Haller, 1993)
Some sources have an organization as an author (universities, research center, government
departments, etc.). In those cases the name of the organization needs to be spelled out the
first time it is used. If it is necessary to refer to the document again and the organization has
an abbreviation which is familiar or readily understandable, the abbreviation can be used in
subsequent citations.
50
How to Write
a
Thesis
(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 1992) (First time the document is cited)
(NIMH, 1992) (Subsequent times the document is cited)
Standard psychological reference sources are cited using their title:
The criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV:
American Psychiatric Association, 1994) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are long and complex.
(First time the document is cited) DSM-IV (Subsequent times the document is cited. Note that the
title is italicized)
Quotation of Sources
Direct quotations -sentences from a work reproduced word for word- must include also the page
number as part of the citation. The display will vary depending on the length of the quotation. Short
quotations of less than 40 words should be enclosed in double quotation marks:
As Hoyningen-Huene (1989/1993) states, the training that students receive through the reliance on
textbooks "promotes highly 'convergent' modes of thought. .. [and] discourages any comparative
evaluation of different possible ways of doing science ... " (p. 187). (Nole thal words or phrases
appearing within double quotation marks in the original text are lranscribed within single quotation
marks)
Quotations of 40 or more words are displayed as a block, indented about 5 spaces from the left
margin, and without quotation marks.
In addition, three of the published Report of the Surgeon General's Conference on Children's Mental
Health (U.S. Public Health Service, 2000) eight goals advocate for better diagnosis and treatment of
childhood disorders:
Improve the assessment and recognition of mental health needs in children, (p. 7); ... improve the
infrastructure for children's mental health services including support or scientifically-proven
interventions across professions [po 8]; ... and] train frontline providers to recognize and manage
mental health issues, and educate mental health providers in scientifically-proven prevention and
treatment services. (p. 9)
Quotations from an Internet document should indicate the chapter or section (when available) in
place of page numbers. In the Reference list, the URL should be the one that links directly to that
chapter or section.
For Hallegren (2001), an analysis of Hemingway's biography reveals "behind the macho fa9ade of
boxing, bullfighting, big-game hunting and deep-sea fishing he built up, a sensitive and vulnerable
mind that was full of contradictions." (section The Unwritten Code)
8.4.2 References at the end of work (Reference List)
Begin your list of references on a new page at the end of the paper. Center the title "References"
about one inch from the top of the page. APA style views the term "Bibliography" as a broader desig­
nation to be used if your list of references includes more than works referred to in your paper.
Double-space throughout. (See a sample list of references.) List the elements that identify the work's
author, title, publication date, and publisher. For online publications, add elements stating where and
when you retrieved the document.
How to Write
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Thesis
51
Indenting Entries: APA recommends using a hanging indent: Type the first line of an entry aligned
left and indent any additional lines one-half inch (or five to seven spaces), as shown here.
Stoessinger, J. O. (2005). Why nations go to war (7th ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press.
Alphabetizing the List: Alphabetize the reference list by the last names of the authors
(or editors); when a work has no author or editor, alphabetize by the first word of the title other than
A, An, or The.
If your list includes two or more works by the same author, arrange the entries by year, the earliest
first. If your list includes two or more works by the same author in the same year, arrange them
alphabetically by title. Add the letters "a," "b," and so on within the parentheses after the year:
(200Ia). Use the full date for articles in magazines and newspapers in the reference list: (200Ia, July
7). Use only the year in the in-text citation.
Authors: All authors' last names are inverted (last name first), and first names are abbreviated to the
authors' initials. For one to six authors, list all. For seven or more, list the first six followed by a
comma and et al.
- Corporate authors: Corporate names as authors are written out; capitalize the first letter of signifi­
cant words. A parent body precedes a subdivision within an organization.
- Editors: For an edited book without a named author, treat the editors as authors (inverted order), and
include (Ed.) or (Eds.) in parentheses after the last editor's name. Editors' names and other names not
in the author position (e.g., translators) are not inverted and are followed by an abbreviated designation
in parentheses.
- No named author or editor: Move the title to the author position before the date.
Publication date: The year of publication is enclosed in parentheses and precedes the title, generally
after the authors' names.
For works with no author or editor, put the title first and follow it by the year of publication. For
magazines, newsletters, and newspapers, provide the month, month and day, or quarter of the issue if
following the year in format (YYYY, Month dd) or (YYYY, Season). If there is no date available,
enter (n.d.).
Titles of Books and Articles: Italicize the titles and subtitles of books; capitalize only the first
word of the title and subtitle (and all proper nouns). Capitalize names of periodicals as you would
capitalize them normally. Do not italicize or underline article titles or enclose them in quotation
marks. Capitalize the same as for book titles.
Volume, issue, and page numbers: For periodicals with continuous pagination throughout a volume,
provide only the volume number (italicized), a comma, then the inclusive page numbers. If and only if
each issue begins with page I, give the issue number in parentheses immediately after the volume:
38(2), 12-17. Precede page numbers with p. or pp. only for chapters in books, newspaper articles, and
when unavoidably required for clarity. I
Publishers and place of publication: For publishers, give the city and state or country if the city
is not well known for publishing or is ambiguous. Omit superfluous terms like "Publishers,"
"Co.," or "Inc." but include "Press" or "Books." Use 2-letter abbreviations for states if needed.
Do not abbreviate "University." If two or more publisher locations are listed, give the first or the
home office location if known.
How to Write
52
a
Thesis
Reviews: The review author is listed first. Review title follows publication date in format appropriate
to the type of periodical. In brackets provide a statement identifying the article as a review, the medi­
um being reviewed and its title [Review of the book/motion picture/television program/etc. Title of
reviewed item]. Finish by providing the rest of the periodical citation. If a review is untitled andlor
lacks an author, use the material in brackets as the title; retain the brackets.
Electronic publications: For online publications, follow the rules for print insofar as possible.
- Page numbers may be irrelevant.
- After the body of the reference, provide a "Retrieved" statement telling the date retrieved and
source. The source may be the URL or the name of an indexing service or journal database where the
article was located. Do not provide the URL for well known providers of journal articles or books
such as a library database. - Omit the final period if a citation ends with a URL.
- When a URL must be divided, break it after a slash or before a period. Do not insert a hyphen.
- If an online journal is an exact reproduction of the print publication (e.g., JSTOR, NetLibrary, and
most PDF documents), and you did not consult the print version, cite as if it is a print publication
(with page numbers) and include [Electronic version] as the last element of the article title.
Punctuation: Periods are generally used to end elements in references. Commas are generally used
to separate items within an element, except for colon between location and publisher of books and
for parentheses around (year of publication), (Eds.), and (page numbers for a chapter in a book). If
two or more authors, separate them with commas. Precede the last author named with an ampersand
(&), not the word "and."
Examples of referencing,
i)
Print Publications
Books
Holmberg, D., Orbuch, T., & Veroff, J. (2005). Thrice-told tales: Married couples tell
their stories. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
No Author:
World development report. (1989). New York: Oxford UP.
One Author:
Berry, W. (1981). The gift of good land. San Francisco: NorthPoint. .
Two or More Authors:
Winston, B. L., Reinhart, M. L., Sacker, J. R., Gottlieb, w., Oscar, B., & Harris, D. P. (1987).
Nepal in crisis. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Editor:
Del Castillo, A. R. (Ed.). (1990). Between borders: Essays on MexicanaiChicana history.
Encino: Floricanto.
How to Write
a
Thesis
53
Author and Translator:
Dostoevsky, F. (1969). The idiot (c. Garnett, Trans.). London, Heinemann. (Original work
published 1913)
Chapter in a Book
Stein. A. (2005). Sex after 'sexuality': From sexology to poststructuralism. In D. Owen (Ed.),
Sociology after postmodernism (pp. 158-172). London: Sage.
Journal Articles
McCright, A. M
.•
& Dunlap, R. E. (2005). Defeating Kyoto: The conservative movement's
impact on U.S. climate change policy. Social Problems, 50,348-373.
Stein, H. F. (2003, Spring). The inner world of workplaces: Accessing this world through
poetry, narrative literature, music, and visual art. Consulting Psychology Journal:
Practice & Research, 55(2), 84-93.
Magazine articles
Kenji. M., & Tanako, K. (2006, February 13). Conflict and cognitive control. Science, 303.
969-970.
The disability gulag [Letter to the edi tor). (2005, December 14). The New York Times
Magazine, 28.
Newspapers Articles
Nagourney, E. (2005, October 28). Impatience, at your own risk. The New York times, p. F6.
Skin deep: 'Cosmetic wellness' helps people feel good about their looks. (2004, March 24).
The Modesto Bee, p. G I.
Edition:
Pinches, G. E. (1987). Essentials of financial management (2nd ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
Several Volumes [Note: cite only the volume used.):
Leach, M. (Ed.). (1950). Dictionary of folklore (Vol. 2.). New York: Funk and Wagnall.
Essay or Article in a Collection:
Gonzalez, R. (1987). Distinctions in western women's experience: Ethnicity, class, and social
change. In S. Armitage (Ed.), The women's west (pp. 237-252). Norman: University of
Oklahoma.
Review Articles
Petrakis, J. (2004. February 24). Regrets. [Review of the motion picture The fog of war}. The
Christian Century, 121, 66-67.
Zulu, I. M. (1997). [Review of the book The opening of the American mind: Canons, culture,
and history}. College & Research Libraries, 58, 487-488.
How lo Wrile
54
ii)
a
Thesis
Electronic Publications
Article in an Online Periodical
Fredrickson. B. L. (n. d.). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being.
P revenr i o n & Treatment, 3, Article 0001 a. R e t r i e v e d F e b ruary 9. 2004, from
http://journals.apa.org/prevention/volume3/pre003000 I a. html
Clinton. K. (2004, January). Marriage mishegas. The Progressive, 68. 38 . Retrieved February
9.2004, from the Expanded Academic ASAP database.
Hopkins. N., & Moore, C. (2001). Categorizing the neighbors: Identity, distance, and
stereotyping. Social Psychology Quarrerly, 64. 239- 252. Retrieved February 9, 2004,
from the STOR database.
Online Book
Coward, H. G.. & Maguire,D. C. (Eds.). (1999). Visions of a new earth: Religious perspectives
011
population, consLlmption, and ecology. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Retrieved February 9, 2004, from the NetLibrary database.
Goldman. E. (1914). The social significance of the modern drama. Boston: Richard G. Badger.
Retrieved February 9. 2004. from University of California Berkeley Digital Library
Sunsite website: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/GoldmanlWritings/Dramalindex.html
Websites
NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct. (n.d.). Operations plan 2001-02
and 2002-03: Strategic planning and budgeting for the 2002-03 and 2003-04 Academic
Years. Retrieved February 9.2004,from
http://wwwl .ncaa.org/membership/governance/assoc-widel
sportsmans hip ethi cslindex. html
_
Internet articles different from the print source:
VandenBos. G.. Knapp, S., & Doe. J. (200 I). Role of reference elements in the selection of
resources by psychology undergraduates. Journal of Bibliographic Research, 5, 117-123.
Retrieved October 13,200 I, from http://jbr.org/articles.html
Article in an Internet-onlyjournal:
Fredrickson. B. L . (2000, March 7). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and
wellbeing. Prevention & Treatment, 3. Article 0001a. Retrieved November 20,2000. from
http://journals.apa.org/prevention/volume3/pre003000 I a.html
Stand-alone web document. no author identified. no date:
GVU's 8th WWW user survey. (n.d.). Retrieved August 8, 2000, from
http://www.cc.gatech.edu/gvu/usersurveys/surveyI997-101
Web Site.author,no date:
Johnson, K. (n. d.). Normal brain structure. Retrieved August 23, 200 I, from
http://www.med .harvard.edu/AANLIB/cases/case.htmI
•
How to Write
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55
Document available on large Web site (e.g. university or government sites):
Chou. L., McClintock, R., Moretti,F., & Nix, D. H. (1993). Technology and education:
New wine in new bottles: Choosing pasts and imaginillg educational jim/res. Retrieved August
14,2000. from Columbia University, Institute for Learning Technologies Web site:
http://www.ilt.columbia.eduipublicationsipapersinewwine l .html
Online Abstract:
Zaidel, D.W., & Edelstyn. N. (1995). Hemispheric semantics: Effects of pictorial organization
on patients with unilateral brain damage. International Journal of Neuroscience. 8? 3-4.
215-221. Abstract obtained from PsycInfo, Item: 8-3-08719.
iii) Audio-visual Sources
A Motion Picture or Video Tape
Smith, 1.D. (Producer), & Smithee, A.F. (Director). (200 I). Really big disaster movie
[Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.
Harris, M. (Producer). & Turley. M. 1. (Director). (2002). Writing labs: A history [Motion pic
ture]. (Available from Purdue University Pictures, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette. IN
47907)
A Television Broadcast or Television Series
Important, LM. (Producer). (1990, November I). The nightly news hour. [Television broad
cast]. New York: Central Broadcasting Service.
Bellisario, D.L. (Producer). (1992). Exciting action show. [Television series]. Hollywood:
American Broadcasting Company.
A Single Episode of a Television Series
Wendy, S. W. (Writer), & Martian, I.R. (Director). (1986). The rising angel and the falling ape.
[Television series episode]. In D. Dude (Producer), Creatures and monsters. Los Angeles:
Belarus Studios.
A Music Recording
Taupin, B. (2005). Someone saved my life tonight [Recorded by Elton John]. On Captain fall
tastic and the brown dirt cowboy [CD]. London: Big Pig Music Limited.
8.5 Vancouver Style
A small group of editors of general medical journals met informally in Vancouver, British
Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals.
The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including
formats for bibliographic references developed by the National Library of Medicine, were first
published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually; gradually it has broadened its concerns.
The committee has produced five editions of the "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted
to Biomedical Journals." Over the years, issues have arisen that go beyond manuscript preparation.
56
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Some of these issues are now covered in the "Uniform Requirements"; others are addressed in
separate statements. Each statement has been published in a scientific journal. The fifth edition
(1997) is an effort to reorganize and reword the fourth edition to increase clarity and address concerns
about rights, privacy, descriptions of methods, and other matters. The total content of "Uniform
Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals" may be reproduced for educational,
not-for-profit purposes without regard for copyright; the committee encourages distribution of the
material.
Publ ications represented on the ICMJE in 1996 were: the Annals of Internal Medicine, the British
Medical Journal, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the Journal of the American Medical
Association, the Lancet, the Medical Journal of Australia, the New England Journal of Medicine, the
New Zea-land Medical Journal, the Tidsskrift for den Norske Laegeforening, the Western Journal of
Medicine, and the Index Medicus.
References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the
text. Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in parentheses. References
cited only in tables or in legends to figures should be numbered in accordance with the sequence
established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure. Use the style of the
examples below, which are based on the formats used by the U.S. National Library of Medicine
(NLM) in Index Medicus. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in
Index Medicus. Consult the List of Journals Indexed in Index Medicus, published annually as a
separate publication by the library and as a list in the January issue of Index Medicus. The list can
also be obtained through the library's web site: http://www.nlm.nih.gov. Avoid using abstracts as
references. References to papers accepted but not yet published should be designated as "in press" or
"forthcoming"; authors should obtain written permission to cite such papers as well as verification that
they have been accepted for publication. Information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted
should be cited in the text as "unpublished observations" with written permission from the source.
Avoid citing a "personal communication" unless it provides essential information not available
from a public source, in which case the name of the person and date of communication should be
cited in parentheses in the text. For scientific articles, authors should obtain written permission and
confirmation of accuracy from the source of a personal communication. The references must be
verified by the author(s) against the original documents. The "Uniform Requirements" style (the
Vancouver style) is based largely on an ANSI standard style adapted by the NLM for its data
bases. Notes have been added where Vancouver style differs from the style now used by NLM.
8,5,1 Citation in the text
In the Vancouver Style, citations within the text of your essay/paper are identified by Arabic numbers
in round brackets. This applies to references in text, tables and figures. e.g. (2) - this is the style used
by the referencing software Endnote .
•
The identification of references within the text of your essay/paper may vary according to the
preferred style of the journal or the preferred style of the department or lecturer. For example
superscript may be preferred when referencing.
•
The Vancouver System assigns a number to each reference as it is cited. A number must be used
even if the author(s) is named in the sentence/text.
How to Write
a
Thesis
57
Example: Smith (10) has argued that. ...
•
The original number assigned to the reference is reused each time the reference is cited in the text,
regardless of its previous position in the text.
When multiple references are cited at a given place in the text, use a hyphen to join the
first and last numbers that are inclusive. Use commas (without spaces) to separate
non inclusive
numbers in a multiple citation e.g. 2,3,4,5,7,10 is abbreviated to (2-5,7,10). Do not use a hyphen if
there are no citation numbers in between that support your statement e.g. 1-2 .
•
The placement of citation numbers within text should be carefully considered, for
example a
particular reference may be relevant to only part of a sentence. A s a general rule, reference numbers
should be placed outside full stops and commas, inside colons and semicolons; however, this may
vary according to the requirements of a particular journal.
Examples:
There have been efforts to replace mouse inoculation testing with invitro tests, such as enzyme
linked immunosorbent assays (57, 60) or polymerase chain reaction, (20-22) but these remain
experimental.
Moir and Jessel maintain "that the sexes are interchangeable". (I)
8,5,2 References at the end of work
i) Articles in Journals
(I) Standard journal article
List the first six authors followed by et al. (Note: NLM now lists up to 25 authors; if there
are more than 25 authors, NLM lists the first 24, then the last author, then et al.)
Vega KJ, Pina I, Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for
pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Intern Med 1996 Jun I;124(11):980-3.
As an option, if a journal carries continuous pagination throughout a volume (as many medical
journals do) the month and issue number may be omitted. (Note: For consistency, the option is
used throughout the examples in "Uniform Requirements." NLM does not use the option.)
Vega KJ, Pina L Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for
pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Intern Med 1996; 124:980-3.
More than six authors:
Parkin DM, Clayton D, Black RJ, Masuyer E, Friedl HP, Ivanov E, et al. Childhood
leukaemia in Europe after Chernobyl: 5 year follow-up. Br J Cancer 1996;73:1006-12.
(2) Organization as author
The Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. Clinical exercise stress testing. Safety and
performance guidelines. Med J Aust 1996; 164:282-4.
(3) No author given
Cancer in South Africa [editorial]. S Afr Med J 1994;84:15.
How to Write
58
a
Thesis
(4) Article not in English
(Note: NLM translates the title to English, encloses the translation in square brackets, and adds
an abbreviated language designator.)
Ryder TE, Haukeland EA, Solhaug JH. Bilateral infrapatellar seneruptur hos tidligere frisk
kvinne. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1996;116:41-2.
(5) Volume with supplement
Shen HM, Zhang QF. Risk assessment of nickel carcinogenicity and occupational lung
cancer. Environ Health Perspect 1994; I 02 Suppl 1:275-82.
(6) Issue with supplement
Payne OK, Sullivan MD, Massie MJ. Women's psychological reactions to breast cancer.
Semin Oncol 1996;23( I Suppl 2):89-97.
(7) Volume with part
Ozben T, Nacitarhan S, Tuncer N. Plasma and urine sialic acid in non-insulin dependent
diabetes mellitus. Ann Clin Biochem 1995;32(Pt 3):303-6.
(8) Issue with part
Poole GH, Mills SM. One hundred consecutive cases of flap lacerations of the leg in
ageing patients. N Z Med J 1994;107(986 Pt 1):377-8.
(9) Issue with no volume
Turan I, Wredmark T, Fellander-Tsai L. Arthroscopic ankle arthrodesis in rheumatoid
arthritis. Clin Orthop 1995; (320):110-4.
(10) No issue or volume
Browell DA, Lennard TW. Immunologic status of the cancer patient and the effects of
blood transfusion on antitumor responses. Curr Opin Gen Surg 1993:325-33.
(II) Pagination in Roman numerals
Fisher GA, Sikic B1. Drug resistance in clinical oncology and hematology. Introduction.
Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 1995 Apr;9(2):xi-xii.
(12) Type of article indicated as needed
Enzensberger W, Fischer PA. Metronome in Parkinson's disease [letter). Lancet
1996;347: 1337.
Clement J, De Bock R. Hematological complications of hantavirus nephropathy (HVN)
[abstract). Kidney Int 1992;42: 1285.
(13) Article containing retraction
Garey CE, Schwarzman AL, Rise ML, Seyfried TN. Ceruloplasmin gene defect associated
with epilepsy in EL mice [retraction of Garey CE, Schwarzman AL, Rise ML, Seyfried
TN. In: Nat Genet 1994;6:426-31]. Nat Genet 1995; II : 104.
(14) Article retracted
Liou GI, Wang M, Matragoon S. Precocious IRBP gene expression during mouse development
[retracted in Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1994;35: 3127). Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci
1994;35:1083-8.
How to Write
a
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59
(15) Article with published erratum
Hamlin JA, Kahn AM. Herniography in symptomatic patients following inguinal hernia
repair [published erratum appears in West J Med 1995;162:278]. West J Med 1995;162:28-31.
ii) Books and Other Monographs
.
(Note: P revious Vancouver style incorrectly had a comma rather than a semicolon between the
publisher and the date.)
(/6) Personal author(s)
Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd ed. Albany
(NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.
(/7) Editor(s), compi/er(s) as author
Norman 11, Redfern SJ, editors. Mental health care for elderly people. New York:
Churchill Livingstone; 1996.
(/8) Organization as author and publisher
Institute of Medicine (US). Looking at the future of the Medicaid program. Washington
(DC): The Institute; 1992.
(/9) Chapter in a book
(Note: Previous Vancouver style had a colon rather than a p before pagination.)
Phillips SJ, W hisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In:Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors.
Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd ed. New York: Raven
Press; 1995. p. 465-78.
(20) Conference proceedings
Kimura J, Shibasaki H, editors. Recent advances in clinical neurophysiology. Proceedings
of the 10th International Congress of EMG and Clinical Neurophysiology; 1995 Oct
15-19; Kyoto, Japan. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1996.
•
(2/) Conference paper
Bengtsson S, Solheim BG. Enforcement of data protection, privacy and security in medical
informatics. In: Lun KC. Degoulet P, P iemme TE, Rienhoff 0, editors. MEDINFO 92.
Proceedings of the 7th World Congress on Medical Informatics; 1992 Sep 6-10; Geneva,
Switzerland. Amsterdam: North-Holland; 1992. p. 1561-5.
(22) Scientific or technical report
Issued by funding/sponsoring agency:
Smith P, Golladay K. Payment for durable medical equipment billed during skilled nursing
facility stays. Final report. Dallas (TX): Dept. of Health and Human Services (US), Office
of Evaluation and Inspections; 1994 Oct. Report No.: HHSIGOEI69200860. Issued by per
forming agency: Field MJ, Tranquada RE, Feasley lC, editors. Health services research:
work force and educational issues. Washington: National Academy Press; 1995. Contract
No.: AHCPR282942008. Sponsored by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.
(23) Dissertation
Kaplan SJ. Post-hospital home health care: the elderly's access and utilization [dissertation].
St. Louis (MO):Washington Univ.; 1995.
60
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(24) Patent
Larsen CE, Trip R, Johnson CR, inventors; Novoste Corporation, assignee. Methods for
procedures related to the electrophysiology of the heart. US patent 5,529,067. 1995 Jun 25.
iii) Other Published Material
(25) Newspaper article
Lee G. Hospitalizations tied to ozone pollution: study estimates 50,000 admissions annually.
The Washington Post 1996 Jun 21 ;Sect. A:3 (col. 5).
(26) Audiovisual material
HIV JAIDS: the facts and the future [videocassette]. St. Louis (MO): Mosby-Year Book;
1995.
(27) Legal material
Public Law:
Preventive Health Amendments of 1993, Pub. L.No.103-IS3, 107 Stat. 2226 (Dec.
14, 1993).
U nenacted bi11:
Medical Records Confidentiality Act of 1995, S. 1360, 104th Cong., 1st Sess. (1995).
Code of Federal Regulations:
Informed Consent, 42 C.P.R. Sect. 441.257 (1995).
Hearing:
Increased Drug Abuse: the Impact on the Nation's Emergency Rooms: Hearings
before the Subcomm. On Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations of
the House Comm. on Government Operations, 103rd Cong., 1st Sess. (May 26, 1993).
(2S) Map
North Carolina. Tuberculosis rates per 100,000 population, 1990 [demographic map].
Raleigh: North Carolina Dept. of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Div.
of Epidemiology; 1991.
(29) Book of the Bible
The Holy Bible. King James version. Grand Rapids (MIJ: Zondervan Publishing
House; 1995. Ruth 3:1-1S.
(30) Dictionary and similar references
Stedman's medical dictionary. 26th ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1995.
Apraxia; p. 119-20.
(31) Classical material
The Winter's Tale: act 5, scene I, lines 13-16. The complete works of William
Shakespeare. London: Rex; 1973.
How to Write
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61
iv) Unpublished Material
(32) In press
(Note: NLM prefers "forthcoming" because not all items will be printed.)
Leshner AI. Molecular mechanisms of cocaine addiction. N Engl J Med. In press 1997.
v) Electronic Material
(33) Journal article in electronic format
Morse SS. Factors in the emergence of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis [serial
online] 1995 Jan-Mar [cited 1996 Jun 5];1(1):[24 screens]. Available from: URL:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EIO/eid.htm.
(34) Monograph in electronic format
COl, clinical dermatology illustrated [monograph on CD-ROM]. Reeves JRT,
Maibach H. CMEA Multimedia Group, producers. 2nd ed. Version 2.0. San Diego:
CMEA; 1995.
(35) Computer file
Hemodynamics III: the ups and downs of hemodynamics [computer program].
Version 2.2. Orlando (FL): Computerized Educational Systems; 1993.
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Thesis
Bibliography
American Psychological Association. 2003, Electronic references. Retrieved April 11, 2006. from
APA Style.org: http://www.apastyle.org/elecsource.html
Chandrasekhar, R, 2002. How to Write a Thesis: A Working Guide. Australian Research Centre for
Medical Engineering ( ARCME), The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway,
Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
Department of Government (n.d.), Honors Program. Connecticut College, New london, ct 06320
Frith. J, Hodgkinson, A. Poulos. R. 2002. Major project guidelines for students and supervisors.
University of New South Wales, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, revised,
pp 39.
Gu.idelines for the preparation and submission of theses and written creative works, 2003. San
Francisco State University, Graduate Studies, USA
How to Write and Publish a Scientii
f c
International Committee of Medical Journals Editors, 1997, Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts
Submitted to Biomedical Journals. New Engl J Med vol. 336, no.4, pp.309-315. Retrieved
30 April 2006, from www.nejm.org.
Rahman, M, 2005, "Effect of Adolescent Marriage on Reproductive Health
" ,
PhD Thesis.
Jahangirnagar University. Savar. Dhaka.
Shane, A. Thomas. 2000, How to write health sciences papers, dissertations and theses. Churchill
Livingstone, Harcourt Publishers Limited, First published 2000, pp 140.
How to Write
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63
Appendages
Thesis Format and Submission
A.
Page Numbering. All pages of the work are to be counted. The preliminary pages (i.e. "Title
Page through "List of Appendices") preceding the texts are all counted. Numbers are to appear only
on those pages identified in these guidelines. The numbers on preliminary pages and pages of list of
appendices must be lower case Roman numerals and centered one inch from the bottom of the page.
Beginning with the first page of the text. Arabic numerals are to be entered starting with page I and
continuing consecutively through the remainder of the work including illustrations and bibliography.
The first page of each chapter or section must have the number typed (Arabic numerals) and centered
one inch from the bottom of the page.
B. Headers and Footers. Headers and footers are not allowed.
C. Margins. The left margin must be a minimum of 11/2 inches. The right, top, and bottom margins
must be a minimum of one inch. If the page number is one inch from the top or bottom, then the text
must be at least two inches. The text should not run into the numbers. Justified margins will only be
accepted if the spacing within and between words remain uniform (Le., no large gaps).
D. Spacing, Double-spacing must be used except in those places where conventional usage calls for
single-spacing: e.g., bibliography, indented quotations, tables, etc.
E. Type Styles. Theses must use standard type with 12 characters to the inch. Nonstandard typefaces
may not be used. In special cases smaller or larger type may be used in the preparation of tables,
figures, appendices, and illustrative materials. It is important to use the same typeface throughout
the thesis.
F. Computer Font. The font size must be 12 point and Times New Roman in the text. Any use of
bold face, script, or nonstandard typeface must be approved by the Department.
G. Paper. The copy of the thesis must be on white bond paper which should meet the standards of 80
gm with A4 size. The same paper must be used throughout. Include a blank cover and an end sheet.
No colored paper, image, design etc. in between two chapters be used.
H. Corrections. All copies should be clean, free of smudges, streaks, random print, and other printing
imperfections. All pages must be free from wrinkles or folds. Graphs, tables, charts, diagrams, and
figures must be produced with graphic skill.
I. Freehand Graphs, etc. Black permanent ink must be used for freehand accent marks, mathematical
formulas, maps, graphs, etc.
J. Plates, Figures, lIIustrations, Computer Print-Outs, Drawings, Etc. Materials must be prepared
in form that will permit them to be copied, microfilmed, and bound. This requires special attention to
the size of the documents, the contrast of the information presented, and the method and placement of
the material in the final work.
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How to Write a Thesis
K. Degree Title and Certification of Approval Page. The student's official degree title must appear
on the "Title" and "Ccrtifi-cation" pages. The title of the thesis work must match word for word on
the "Title," "Certification of Approval," and "Abstract" pages.
L. Abstract Page. Every thesis work must include an "Abstract" (maximum \1/2 page in length and
\1/2 spaced). The Abstract of a thesis must be non-structured with a brief statement concerning the
nature of the study, objectives, research methods and design, and the key findings with a conclusion.
M. Copyright Page (optional). If there is a possibility that all or part of the thesis work may be
published elsewhere, the student is urged to complete this page. Under present laws, a copyright is
secured automatically when the work is created and fixed in a copy form for the first time. This is
defined as the date when the written work is approved by the Department on behalf of the
University. While notice of copyright of the written work is not required to have claim to copyright,
failure to comply with the requirement can result in loss of certain additional rights otherwise available
to the copyright owner. Therefore, student who anticipates publishing the copyright page or using
the submitted written work in some way is urged to include the copyright page. Since the written
work is submitted in satisfaction of a part of the requirement for an advanced degree, the student
automatically conveys to the University a license for limited use including:
distributions to major departments or libraries, or
(I) microfilming, (2)
(3) responses to inquiries regarding research in the
subject area of the work.
N. Collation Accuracy. The student is responsible for the proper numerical sequence of pages in the
original and all copies. The department will not review page order. Collation accuracy is extremely
important.
O. Pre-Approval of Thesis. Prior to the completion of the final document, students must get clearance
of thesis work from coordinator/supervisor of the respective department and attached it to the thesis
paper.
P. Deadline Date. In order to submit the thesis i n time. the final work must be reviewed and
approved by the Department.
Q. Review and Approval of Thesis for Submission. Students must submit the master copy of the
Thesis Work to the thesis committee of the Department. The Department wi11 review the thesis
work for format, typeface, quality of paper, and related technical items and contents. If corrections
are necessary, the students are responsible for correcting the document and submitting it to the
controller of examinations for arrangement of examination of the thesis.
R. Binding and Final Submission of Thesis. All students must submit the theses in paper binding
for examination maintaining all requirements for submission of thesis as stated above. After
approval of board of examiners of the thesis(with corrections, if any) must be hard-bound before
final submission to the university. The color of the binding will be Black for (M.Phil), Green for
(MS). Blue for (MD) and Red for (Ph.D).
•
Sample Thesis
TITLE OF THE STUDY
Name
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University,
Dhaka, 2006
66
How to Write a Thesis
This thesis is submitted to Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), in partial fulfillment of the
requirements of the degree for Doctor of Medicine (Cardiology). The study was carried out in the
Department of Cardiology, BSMMU, Dhaka, during the session ................
Name of the student with signature
Date
.
How to Write
a
67
Thesis
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University,Dhaka
The undersigned certify that they have read and recommended to
Mujib
M e d i cal
U n i v e r sity,
Dhaka
for
acceptance
of
Bangabandhu Sheikh
the
t h e si s
ent itled
" ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . " submitted by Md. Hemayet Uddin, in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of "Doctor of Medicine (Cardiology).
The thesis is accepted.
BOARD OF EXAMINERS:
Signature: ...........................................
.
CHAIRMAN: .................................................
.
MEMBERS:
1. Signature:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Name: .............................................
.
2. Signature: ....................................................
Name :
. . . . . .
.
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. .
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. . . . . . . . . .
.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3. Signature: ..................................................
Narne ...........................................
.
.
.
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I wish to express my best regards and gratitude to my guide, Prof. Md. Shahidullah, B.Sc (Hons).
M.Sc (Dhaka), M.Sc (London), Professor and Head, Department of Population Dynamics. NIPSOM
for his scholarly guidance, generous support and continued assistance in preparation and completion
of my thesis. He was kind enough to help me with reference articles and editing the thesis very
minutely.
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(Write your own acknowledgements, do not copy this)
Md. Hemayet Uddin
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How to
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Thesis
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Subject:
71
SAMPLE
Page 110.
Acknowledgments
Table of contents
.
I
III
Abbreviations
v
List of tables
VI
List of Figures
VII
.
.
Abstract
CHAPTER I
.
IX
INTRODUCTION
I. I
Process of urbanization
I
1.2
Urbanization in Southeast Asia and Bangladesh
2
1.3
Urban health problem
3
1.4
Justification of the study
4
1.5
Hypotheses
6
1.6
Objectives
6
1.7
Variables
7
1.8
Operational definitions
10
CHAPTER 2
2. Literature Review
17
CHAPTER 3 M ATERIALS AND METHODS
3. I
Type of study
33
3.2
Place of study
33
3.3
Brief description of Place of study
33
3.4
Study Population
33
3.5
Sampling technique
34
3.6
Determination of sample size
34
3.7
Data collection instruments
34
3.8
Data collection procedure
35
3.9
Data management and analysis
35
3.10 Time period
36
72
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a
Thesis
LIST OF TABLES
Table
Title
no.
Table 1.1
Percentage distribution of socio-demographic characteristics of
SAMPLE
Page
no.
22
slum dwellers
Table 1.2
Percentage distribution of socio-demographic characteristics by
23
slum category
Table 2. I
Percentage distribution of infants by age and sex
Table 2.2
Percentage distribution of infants by place of death and type of
24
treatment received prior to death
Table 2.3
Percentage distribution of infant deaths by cause
26
Table 2.4
Multiple regression analysis of selected socio-demographic and
28
maternal factors with proportion of dead children
Table 2.5
Percentage distribution of infant deaths by socio-demographic
30
characteristics
Table 2.6
Percentage distribution of infant deaths by selected maternal
characteristics
32
How to Write
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Thesis
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure No.
Title
73
SAMPLE
Page no.
Figure I
Events of the cardiac cycle for the left ventricular function
II
Figure 2
Mechanism of diastolic dysfunction
15
Figure 3
Calcium (Ca2)+ movement within the myocyte
17
Figure 9
Measurement method for invasive parameters
64
74
How to Write
a
Thesis
SAMPLE
ABBREVIATIONS
ARI
Acute Respiratory Infection
AAI
Age Appropriate Immunization
ANC
Antenatal care
BRAC
Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee
BDHS
Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey
BBS
Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics
BMI
Body Mass Index
BFS
Bangladesh Fertility Survey
CPS
Contraceptive Prevalence Survey
DPT
Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus
EPI
Expanded Program on Immunization
FW V
Family Welfare Visitor
HA
Height for Age
IMR
Infant Mortality Rate
MCR
Maternal Care receptivity
MUAC Mid Upper Aim Circumference
MA
Medical Assistant
NGO
Non-government Organization
NCHS
National Center for Health Statistics
OPV
Oral Polio Vaccine
PNC
Post Natal Care
SEI
Socio-economic Index
•
TT
Tetanus Toxoid
TBA
Traditional Birth Attendant
utBA
Untrained Birth Attendant
WH
Weight for Height
WA
Weight for age
•
How to Write
a
75
Thesis
ABSTRACT
SAMPLE
Adolescent pregnancy and childbearing have significant effects on maternal and child health. There
is a widespread belief that cares during pregnancy and delivery can improve health of the mother and
the infant. Considering this view, the present cross-sectional study was designed to assess the pattern
of utilization of maternal care and the factors influencing it. A multistage cluster sampling technique
was used to select the sample. In this study, data on 1337 pregnant rural adolescent mothers were
analyzed.
The analysis revealed that 35% of the adolescent mothers were not aware about utilization of care
during pregnancy and delivery. About 58% of the adolescent mothers did not receive any maternal
care during their pregnancies. The level of education of the adolescent mothers significantly influenced
to receIve antenatal care. But even the educated mothers did not attend health facilities unless they
experienced any complication. Only 27.6% of the adolescent mothers received delivery care from
qualified professionals. Although, bi-variate analysis revealed significant association of spousal and
parental education in the utilization of delivery care, but in multivariate logistic regression analysis.
the level of education did not find significant association with utilization of adolescent's delivery
care. Complications during delivery compelled mothers to take care from qualified professionals; oth­
erwise they preferred delivery by non-qualified birth attendants.
The study results suggest that emphasis should be given on behavior change communication (BCC)
activities to educate the family members including husband, mother in law and adolescent as well.
The need for regular check-up from health facility during pregnancy and safe delivery by qualified
health personnel is advised.
(Your abstract should be here)
76
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a
Thesis
CHAPTER 1
SAMPLE
INTRODUCTION
1.1. Introduction
Adolescents between 10 to 19 years, is a large proportion and growing segment of the population.
This largest proportion of about 1.2 billion strong is preparing to enter adulthood in a rapidly grow­
ing world (UNFPA, 2003). Currently, one in every five persons on the earth is an adolescent and 85
per cent of these adolescents live in the developing countries. In terms of sheer numbers, these
young people have tremendous demographic significance. Because of the population momentum,
even if there were a rapid decline in age-specific fertility rates among adolescents, stabilization of
the country's population would not occur for at least the next 10-20 years (WHO, 1998).
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1.2.1 Reproductive Health (RH)
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948-1998), in Article 16 clearly mentioned, "(1) Men and
women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to
marry and to form a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at
its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending
spouses. (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is
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(Your introduction should be here)
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How to Write
a
Thesis
77
CHAPTER 2
SAMPLE
LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction
An adolescent generally with good health has relegated adolescent health, particularly the reproduc­
tive health to a low priority for health professionals and policy makers (Friedman,
1990).
1990;
Serrano,
However, adolescence is a vulnerable period, and the onset and pace of adolescence are
changing, that often disproportionately affect them. Moreover, demographic, epidemiological and
socio-economic trends in the Asia region countries are combining to create different patterns of life
styles for adolescents, which could also create vulnerable environment for them. In addition to the
important biological gender, differences between adolescents, adolescent girl's socio-economic status
and cultural position in most of the Asian countries differ significantly from those of adolescent
males. For large number of girls, adolescence can be best defined as the period, which starts with the
premature end of education and ends with the premature start of pregnancy and childbearing or even
1998) .
death (De Silva,
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2.2.1 Marriage
Timing of first marriage for a woman is an important dimension of women's reproductive behavior.
Marriage marks the beginning of sexual encounter. In most developing countries, especially in Asia,
there has been a transition from traditional to modern pattern of marriage. A major characteristic of
this process is the trend towards later marriage and higher rates of celibacy in many Asian countries
(Minh,
1997).
During the first half of the twentieth century until
1970,
in most Asian countries, the
typical pattern was one of early and universal marriage, especially among women. Since
1970.
however, Asia has experienced a trend towards later age at marriage. In all Asian countries, except
most of those in South Asia, the current female age at marriage is over
2000).
20
The female age at marriage in India increased nearly five years after
years. Pakistan experienced an even greater jump from
24.2
years in
1981
1980
from
13.2
to
18.1
13.3 to 19.7 years during the period 1921-1981.
Sri Lanka started out with a much later female age at marriage, i,e,
age at marriage increased to
years (United Nations,
and 25.5 in
1993
18, I
years in
(De Silva,
1901;
1997).
Nonetheless,
Contrary to other
78
How to Write
a
Thesis
Asian countries, there is ample evidence to suggest that the trend towards later marriage is less
dramatic, i.e. age at marriage is the lowest among the South Asian countries. Marriage is almost
universal in Bangladesh. By the age 35 almost cent per cent of the females are married while more
than 50 per cent are married by the age 19. Like other developing agricultural societies, early marriage
for females is customary in Bangladesh. The' Government of Bangladesh has made law to increase
the age at first marriage among girls, despite the average age is still below the desired age.
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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •••• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ••••••••••••••• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •••••• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ••••• • • • • • • • • •
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(Your literature review should be here)
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79
How to Write a Thesis
CHAPTER 3
SAMPLE
MATERIALS AND METHODS
3.1
Introduction
The present research work is primarily intended to study the adolescent fertility and reproductive
health status as a consequence of early marriage and the socio-demographic parameters that are
pertinent to adolescent's health and well being both in rural and urban areas of Bangladesh. The
methodological aspects of this study are discussed in this chapter under the following headings:
Study Design. Study Population. Sampling Frame and Sample Size, Data Collection Procedures
and Data Management and Analysis.
3.2
·
Study design:
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(Your methodology should be here)
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80
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a
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CHAPTER 4
SAMPLE
RESULTS
4.1 Introduction
An examination of the background characteristics of the study population is important for any
research work to understand and interpret the results. In view of this. in this chapter, an attempt
has been made to discuss the various background characteristics of the adolescents. In this study,
'Adolescent' and 'Respondent' have been used interchangeably. The results focusing on the
socio-demographic and economic characteristics viz. education, occupation, parental level of education,
family size and type, monthly family income were discussed. For married adolescents, spousal
characteristics. duration of marriage and status were discussed in respective sections of the study.
4.2 Background Characteristics
4.2.1 Age Distribution of the Respondents
Age is the most important demographic variable. It indicates biological as well as social maturity of
the individual. Table
was recorded as
4.2 shows the age distribution of the adolescents. The lowest age of the respondent
10 years. Among the married adolescents, the mean age was 16.9 years and among
the unmarried adolescents it was
14.7 years. The adolescents who were 10-14 year olds were defined
as 'young adolescents' constituting
cents and
20.7% of the sample. It was 6.6% among the married adoles­
49.5% among unmarried adolescents. The adolescents aged between 15-19 years were
regarded as 'older adolescents' constituting
lescents and
79.3% of the sample. It was 93.4% among married ado­
50.4% among unmarried adolescents. The mean age of the married adolescents was a
little lower than the mean age observed in Bangladesh (BFS,
adolescents as
17.2 years.
(see a simple table below)
1989) which showed the average age of
How
(Q Write
a
Thesis
81
Table 4.2 Age Distributioll of the Adolescellts
Marital status
Age ill years
UlImarried
Total
Married
1106
2256
3362
10-II
5.3
0.0
1.8
12-13
23.1
1.7
8.8
14-15
40.6
15.2
23.6
16-17
23. I
42.7
36.2
18-19
7.9
40.4
29.7
10-14
49.5
6.6
20.7
15-19
50.5
93.4
79.3
14.7
16.9
16.2
N
Mean
•
(You can express your results in the following way)
8.3.6. Factors Associated with Delivery Care by Qualified Personnel
In Bangladesh, most of the deliveries are conducted by untrained traditional birth attendants (dais),
relatives or neighbours. Small percentages of deliveries are conducted by qualified persons. To
investigate the factors influencing the deliveries conducted by qualified persons, a logistic regression
analysis model was fitted with a dependent variable-conducting deliveries by qualified persons
(dichotomous variable) and the independent variables included were a number of socio-demographic
and cultural variables. The result of the analysis has been presented in Table 8.9. The dependent and
independent variables are shown in the box:
82
How to Write a Thesis
Dependent variable: Delivery care
0= Non qualified birth attendant
-'
I =Qualified birht attendant
Independent variables
Complaints during delivery
Education (Mother)
Education (Father
O=IIliterate
O=IIliterate
O=No
1 =Iiterate
1=literate
I=Yes
Years of schooling (Res)
Years of schooling (Hus)
O=no schooling
O=no schooling
1=1-5 years
1=1-5 years
2=>6 years
2=>6 years
Although the respondents, their husbands and parental education showed positive relationship with
qualified birth attendants in bi-variate analysis (p<O,OS), (Table not shown) logistic regression analysis
revealed a statistically significant positive association of delivery conducted by qualified persons
having history of complications during delivery (p<O,OOI), This indicates that adolescent mothers
did not seek delivery conducted by qualified persons unless they faced complications at the time of
labour
How to Write
a
83
Thesis
Table 8.9: Adolescent Delivery Care by Qualified Birth Attendants: Multivariate
Analysis
B
p value
Odds ratio
95%CI
1-5
-0.0470
0.7993
0.9541
0.6644-1.3702
>-6
0.2730
0.2856
1.3140
0.7960-2,1690
1-5
0.1147
0.5626
1.1215
0.7607-1.6536
>-6
0.0991
0.7014
1.1041
0.6654-1.8322
0.1076
0.4949
1.1136
0.8177-1.5166
0.3134
0.0599
1.3681
0.9871-1.8961
0.5941
0.0000
1.8114
1.3612-2.4106
Attributes
Years of schooling (Res.)
o (RC)
Years of schooling (Hus.)
o (RC)
Level of education (F)
Illiterate (RC)
Literate
Level of education (M)
IIIiterate (RC)
Literate
Complaints during delivery
No (RC)
Yes
Model chi square
df
Significance
N
Constant
RC= Reference category
(Your results should be here)
35.451
7
0.0000
1337
-1.3955
84
How to Write
a
Thesis
CHAPTERS
DISCUSSION
SAMPLE
During the last decade, the reproductive health issues have gained momentum not only in developed but also in developing countries. Reproductive health related issues are of vital importance
to young people as this stage is considered as one of the most crucial period in a person's life. The
period of adolescence encompasses the transition from childhood to adulthood during the second
decade of life. It is the time when many key social, economic, biological and psychological events
occur that pave the way to adult life. In Bangladesh, more than one fifth of the population is in
the 10-19 years age group, which would experience a rapid growth because of age structure
momentum. With increasing rural to urban migration , increased mobility and wide media exposure,
•
it is a concern, particularly for unmarried adolescents, about the consequences of irresponsible sexual
behavior resulting in early childbearing, unsafe abortion and the risks of contracting sexually
transmitted diseases (STDs), and the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency
syndrome (HIV/AIDS). The study attempted to identify the effects of adolescent marriage on
reproductive health and its associated risk factors. The influences of behavioral, social and demographic
factors that influence the reproductive health issues of adolescents have also been investigated. Data
were obtained by using representative sample selection. To supplement the results of quantitative data,
focus group discussions (FGDs) and in-depth interviews were also conducted.
The potential adverse impact of pregnancy and childbearing on the health of women in the developing
countries is a big one. About three quarters of maternal deaths are considered 'direct' that is due
to pregnancy and its complications such as hemorrhage, obstructed labor, sepsis, hypertensive disorders etc. The information also shows that utilization of health care during adolescent pregnancy
is low. Antenatal care and delivery care by qualified persons is cost effective and useful measure
for preventing maternal death. The analysis suggests that only 42% of the adolescents received
antenatal care during pregnancy. The low use of services during the adolescent pregnancy period
•
•
may be attributed to lack of friendly services, shyness to discuss the sexual reproductive health
•
with male doctor, lack of female doctor, lack of privacy, poverty, distance and inadequate service
How lo Write
a
Thesis
85
facilities in the health centres. Variety of other societal factors such as gender inequality and
intra-household power imbalance hinder them to receive delivery care. The study found a heavy
disease burden of adolescent's gynecological (64.5%), pregnancy (42%) and delivery related
complications (14%). The majority of the adolescents suffered from at least one reproductive
morbidity. This high prevalence of morbidity raises great concern about women's physical and
social well being which causes physical discomfort, personal embarrassment, marital disharmo­
ny and also problems of women's ability to achieve a sustained marital satisfaction. The teenage
pregnancy has its impact on the overall health and well-being of the mother and the child.
Women of reproductive age, under 18 years of age are considered at high risk for pregnancy
related illness and death compared to their adult counterparts. They may be mature enough to
become pregnant; some adolescents are not sufficiently physically developed to have a safe pregnancy
and delivery. The dynamic period of growth associated with poor intake of nutrients due to
improper dietary habits put adolescent girls at high risk for anemia and nutritional deficiency.
The added burden of pregnancy may not only be psychologically traumatic, but also deprives her
from nutrition. Nutritional deprivation, increased demand for her growth, excessive menstrual
losses and superadded pregnancy, all conspire to aggravate anemia, and its ill effects. Added
with poverty, adolescents usually suffer from chronic nutritional deprivation once they become
pregnant. The older adolescents with rural background of joint or extended family and non-hygienic
practice during menstruation suffer from high prevalence of reproductive morbidity.
(Your discussion should be here)
86
How to Write
a
Thesis
CHAPTER 6
SAMPLE
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In the light of the discussions, the following conclusions and recommendations are made to improve
the adolescents' reproductive health in Bangladesh. Adolescents with high self-esteem and social
skills, who are clear about their values, and access to relevant information are likely to help them for
taking positive decisions about their health and personal development. But these are not taken in a
vacuum. External factors have a tremendous impact on how adolescents think and behave; the values
and behaviors of their friends are important, but parents and other family members continue to be
more influential.
The study found a higher proportion of adolescents suffering from reproductive health problems.
So, to ameliorate their disease burden, community awareness about health care facilities and
self-concern of adolescents for their own health needs are to be emphasized. The first referral units
at the grass root level, Thana Health Complexes and Family Welfare Centers are required to be
••
equipped infra-structurally for addressing reproductive health problems of ad.olescents and to
provide appropriate referral services. Built in service component and confidentiality may improve
self-reporting of reproductive morbidity. Studies have shown that self-reporting is close to clinical
diagnosis when diagnostic criterion is clear. Whatever may be the reasons, the adolescents are
reluctant in receiving maternal care. Care providers and policy makers need to ensure not only the
resources of the health care system, but also they should acquire sufficient knowledge, attitudes
and skills in their profession, so that women are attracted and act on their advice for the care they
need.
(Your conclusions and recommendations should be here)
How to Write
a
87
Thesis
S AMPLE
Sample Bibliography
Ahmed, A.U. (1982). Socio-economic Determinants of Age at First Marriage in Bangladesh. Journal
of Biosocial Science 18:35-42.
Ahmed, M.K. (200 I). Mortality Due to Violence against Women of Reproductive age in Rural
Bangladesh. ICDDR.B, Dhaka.
Ahmed, S., Haque, 1., Khuda, B., Husain, M.B., & Alam, S. (1996). Abortion in Rural Bangladesh:
Evidence from the MCH-FP Extension Project, Dhaka: International Centre for Diarrhoeal
Disease Research, Bangladesh, 1996. (MCH-FP Extension Project (Rural) Working Paper, 121:
[CDDR,B Working Paper, 63.
(Your bibliography should be here)
Please, note that you follow uniform style such as Harvard or APA style)

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