In general, it is acceptable in to use the first person point of view in abstracts, introductions, discussions, and conclusions, in some journals.
The third person point of view is used for writing methods and results sections. Consistency is the key and switching from one point of view to another within sections of a manuscript can be distracting and is discouraged.
Writing your dissertation introduction, conclusion and abstract
It is best to always check your author guidelines for that particular journal. Once that is done, make sure your manuscript is free from the above-mentioned or any other grammatical error. You are the only researcher involved in your thesis project.
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What do you do and why? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. I am writing the history of an engineering company for which I worked. How do I relate a significant incident that involved me?
Peter Robinson: Writing a dissertation
Hi Roger, Thank you for your question. Did you get a chance to install our free Mobile App? Leave A Reply Cancel Reply. Subscribe for free to get unrestricted access to all our resources on research writing and academic publishing including:. We hate spam too. We promise to protect your privacy and never spam you. First vs. You need to check whether or not the appendices count within the word limit for your dissertation. Items that can usefully go in the appendices are those that a reader would want to see, but which would take up too much space and disrupt the flow if placed within the main text.
Again, make sure you reference the Appendices within the main text where necessary. If your dissertation is well-structured, easy to follow, logical, and coherent, your examiners will probably enjoy reading it, and will be able to listen to your argument without the distraction of trying to make all the links themselves.
The only way to achieve a consistent argument throughout a piece of writing is by creating some kind of plan or map of what you want to say. It can be useful to think of the research question or topic going like a strong thread throughout the dissertation: linking all the elements of the study, and giving coherence to its reporting. Moving from doing the research to writing a comprehensive account of it is not necessarily easy.
It can be helpful to break the task down into smaller, more easily accomplished elements. The process of producing your writing plan could go as follows. It can be a good idea to put the word limit to the back of your mind at this point, and concentrate on getting everything recorded in a document. You can always edit upwards or downwards later as necessary. It is likely, and advisable, that you will not wait until the end of your research before starting to write it up. You may be required to produce one or more chapters for assessment part way through your research. The process described above can be used for any individual chapter you are working on.
It is important to be prepared to critique and revise your own work several times. Even the early chapters submitted for assessment, and passing that assessment, may need to be revised later on. This is not a failure, but a positive sign of increased experience and skill.
You will refer to the work of others as you make your argument. This may involve critiquing the work of established leaders in the field. It is important that you are assertive about what you are arguing, but it is unlikely that, in a dissertation project, you will be able to be definitive in closing an established academic debate. You should be open about where the gaps are in your research, and cautious about over-stating what you have found. Aim to be modest but realistic in relating your own research to the broader context.
Once you have the dissertation in draft form it becomes easier to see where you can improve it. To make it easier to read you can use clear signposting at the beginning of chapters, and write links between sections to show how they relate to each other.
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Another technique to improve academic writing style is to ensure that each individual paragraph justifies its inclusion. More ideas will be presented in the Study Guide The art of editing. You may choose to review your draft from the standpoint of a dissertation examiner, which might involve preparing a list of questions that you want to see answered, then reading through your dissertation scribbling comments, suggestions, criticisms, and ideas in the margin.
If you have a marking guide then apply it to your dissertation and see if there are aspects that you can improve.
While you do this, be aware of whether you need to increase the number of words, or decrease it to reach your target. As you read you can then cross through material that appears unnecessary, and mark points that could be expanded. This will then form the basis for your next, improved, draft. Just as it can be difficult to begin writing, it can also be difficult to know when to stop.
You may begin to feel that your dissertation will never be good enough, and that you need to revise it again and again. It may be helpful to divert your attention for a while to the finishing off activities you need to attend to:. Coming back afresh to look critically at the main text may then enable you to complete it to your satisfaction. Remember the dissertation needs to demonstrate your ability to undertake and report research rather than to answer every question on a topic.
It is important to allow yourself enough time for the final checking and proof reading of the finished document. Barrass R. A guide to better writing for scientists, engineers and students. Some dissertators are part of a research team. If that applies to you, it makes sense to describe your research process and findings using first person plural e. I recommend using first person for clarity, not to be the center of attention. We should strive for both clarity and objectivity.
In my experience, some institutions, reviewers, and committees will not accept first person, despite APA style guidelines. My goal is to adhere to APA style without drawing unnecessary attention to it. I try to avoid anything that distracts the reader.
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The suspension of belief is lost, and the magic is gone. I want your readers to stay with your story and feel the magic. I edited a paper from a dissertator whose Chair delayed feedback for months. I did the first three chapters using first person and then as the months passed, I forgot all about the project. Oh, and no passive voice. However, she failed to note that she preferred third person. Whatever your Chair says, that is what you should do.
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