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Dissertation Alignment

Explanation & How-To Instructions

A scholarly Literature Review & Research Gap Enable Successful Alignment of a Dissertation!




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Dissertation Alignment Explained

Alignment is another word for consistency!

You feel you are well on your way towards finishing your dissertation. You have already chosen a topic, formulated research questions, and decided on your research design. You have already completed your full Review of Literature, so that you can justify the ways in which your study will fill the "gap" in the scholarly literature.

Now it is time to write Chapter 1 of your dissertation, but the issue of dissertation alignment come up. What is this? Read on for a quick explanation of alignment.

Most dissertations contain standard subheadings in Chapter 1. These are:

  • Statement of the Problem
  • Purpose
  • Background of the Study (which should include mention of the gap)
  • Research Questions and/or Hypotheses; Research Design

Dissertation alignment is the logical flow of information and topic consistency between the Problem, Purpose, Study, and Research questions and/or Hypothesis/Research Design.

Alignment Benefits

Proper alignment of a dissertation provides many advantages and benefits. The two most major ones are:

  • Correct alignment enhances the focus of your dissertation on its specifically stated problem and purpose.
  • A well aligned dissertation bebefits from better logic and consistency of the study.

Dissertation Alignment How-To

Alignment simply means that the central topic of your dissertation must MATCH in all of the above subheadings of Chapter 1. This means that:

  • You must be specific and narrow in your description of the Problem which has led you to your Study.
  • Your Purpose must be to supply new and important and relevant information around your Study variables.
  • Your Research Questions must focus on the overarching concerns you have described in the Problem Statement.
  • Your Research Design must describe a population which is qualified to provide information on your Problem, and statistical or other techniques of inquiry.
The key to proper alignment is focus. There is no place for extraneous information or tangents; you cannot cite sources in support of your topic unless they are timely and relevant.

Always bear in mind that alignment equals consistency! The key questions to always ask yourself are:

  • Are the concepts discussed in the Problem, the Purpose, and the Research questions/Hypothesis the same?
  • Is the Purpose of the study logically derived from the Problem statement?
  • Do the Research questions/Hypothesis reflect the Purpose of the study?

Pay special attention, as well, to your dissertation TITLE. It should summarize ALL of your study variables, but it should be a brief as you can make it while still including all of the basic information, and aligning with your purpose.

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