FORMAT AND ARRANGEMENT

headlines

4.0 BODY OF TEXT  

4.1General

Use the same style of font or typeface that appears in the main body of the text in all headers, page numbers, endnotes, appendixes, and all other parts of the thesis or dissertation. Exceptions are made only for tables and figures produced by different technology or by graphic artists. Whatever you do, always be consistent!

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4.2Introduction

A good introduction generally includes an overview of the problem, a statement of why the problem is important, a summary of relevant literature, and a clear statement of the research question; that is, the hypotheses and/or goals of the research. The introduction should be written in such a way as to enable even a non-specialist researcher to understand it.

Writing a good introduction is challenging until you know what the body of the thesis says. Consider writing (or re-writing) the Introduction after you have completed the rest of the paper, rather than before.

4.2.1 Content

4.2.1.1

be sure to include a sufficiently interesting statement at the beginning of the introduction to motivate your reader to read the rest of the thesis … it is generally an important/interesting scientific problem that your thesis either solves or addresses. Draw the reader in and make the reader eager to read on.

NOTE: your professors and fellow students will read what you write because that is what professors and fellow students do … they are part of your “university family”. However, the real world off campus is often different; that is, submitting research to journals for publication, preparing research presentations for symposia, and other similar scenarios. The real world reads what you write because the content seems of interest and potential value, and is written in a professional fashion.

4.2.1.2

provide a thorough review of relevant literature to enable even a non-specialist researcher to understand the problem. Cite previous research in the field chronologically; that is, cite those who had ideas first, and then cite those who have done the most recent and relevant work. You should then go on to explain why more work was necessary (your work, of course).

4.2.1.3

provide a thorough review of relevant literature to enable even a non-specialist researcher to understand the problem. Cite previous research in the field chronologically; that is, cite those who had ideas first, and then cite those who have done the most recent and relevant work. You should then go on to explain why more work was necessary (your work, of course).

4.2.1.4

explain the scope of your work: what your research includes and what your research excludes. Briefly explain the rationale for excluding any seemingly pertinent areas.

4.2.2 In-Text Citations (Cited Reference form provided for easy comparison)

When discussing extant work, the source of such information must be cited to give credit to the original source. The in-text reference should immediately follow the title, word, or phrase to which it directly relates.

Basically, two options exist:

Option 1 uses a citation in parentheses [ ( ) ] in the sentence

Option 2 uses author as part of a sentence, and put the year reference in parentheses

4.2.2.1 Single Author

in-text reference: 1 author (Option 1)

The main defining characteristics of ecotourism fall into two categories, namely environmental inputs and environmental outputs. The inputs are the natural and associated cultural features in a particular geographic place which serve as attractions for tourists. The outputs are the net costs or benefits for the natural and social environment. Ecotourism can hence be viewed as geotourism with a positive triple bottom line (Buckley, 2003).

in-text reference: 1 author (Option 2)

According to Buckley (2003), the main defining characteristics of ecotourism fall into two categories, namely environmental inputs and environmental outputs. The inputs are the natural and associated cultural features in a particular geographic place which serve as attractions for tourists. The outputs are the net costs or benefits for the natural and social environment. Ecotourism can hence be viewed as geotourism with a positive triple bottom line.

Cited Reference entry: 1 author

Buckley, R. 2003. Environmental Inputs and Outputs in Ecotourism: Geotourism with a Positive Triple Bottom Line? Journal of Ecotourism, 2 (1): 76-82.

4.2.2.2 Two Authors

Cite double-author references by the surnames of both authors (followed by date of the publication in parenthesis)

in-text reference: 2 authors (Option1)

Although ecotourism is often theorised as a hard path and ecocentric, in the last decade such travel has softened to accommodate heightened demand in a growing number of regions, and the inclusion of other more consumptive types of activities (Fennell and Nowaczek, 2010).

in-text reference: 2 authors (Option2)

According to Fennell and Nowaczek,(2010), although
ecotourism is often theorised as a hard path and ecocentric, in the last decade such travel has softened to accommodate heightened demand in a growing number of regions, and the inclusion of other more consumptive types of activities.

Cited Reference entry: 2 authors

Fennell, D., and Nowaczek, A. 2010. Moral and empirical dimensions of human-animal interactions in eco-tourism: Deepening an otherwise shallow pool of debate. Journal of Ecotourism, 9 (3): 239-255.

4.2.2.3 Three or more Authors

If three or more authors are involved, use only the first (or lead) author’s name followed by et al. Notice that there is no comma after the author’s name, no comma after “et” a period [ . ] after “al.”, and a comma [ , ] or parentheses [ ( ) ] depending on the type of reference to separate the author information from the data of publication.

in-text reference: 3 or more authors (Option 1)

Growth in the marine wildlife tourism industry has been accompanied by concerns regarding its sustainability. A new generic framework for assessing the sustainability of such ventures has proven to have at least three applications: improving existing marine wildlife tourism operations through reviewing their sustainability; developing an auditing mechanism as part of the licensing provisions for such tourism; and helping to determine the likely sustainability of proposed ventures. (Rodger et al., 2010).

in-text reference: 3 or more authors (Option 2)

According to Rodger et al. (2010), growth in the marine wildlife tourism industry has been accompanied by concerns regarding its sustainability. A new generic framework for assessing the sustainability of such ventures has proven to have at least three applications: improving existing marine wildlife tourism operations through reviewing their sustainability; developing an auditing mechanism as part of the licensing provisions for such tourism; and helping to determine the likely sustainability of proposed ventures.

Cited Reference entry: 3 or more authors

Rodger, K., Smith, A., Newsome, D., and Moore, S.A. 2011. Developing and testing an assessment framework to guide the sustainability of the marine wildlife tourism industry. Journal of Ecotourism, 10 (2): 149-164.

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4.3Methods

This section describes the data you will use to test your hypotheses, the sources of the data, the variables that you plan to extract from the data, and the operational definitions of the variables.

If you are planning a secondary analysis of someone else’s data, you must describe their study in enough detail so that the readers need not return and look it up to understand the data you present.

If you are planning an original collection of data, you must describe how you are going to go about it and must establish that doing what you plan to do is feasible. Specific techniques such as surveys, interviews, or observations should be described in some detail. If you are using someone else’s measurements, including specific questions used in that person’s study is helpful.

If you are planning to construct new items (for example, an original survey), you must include enough items so that you can use them to construct valid scales and give an indication of how these items will be formatted into an instrument.

A clear description of the variables is essential. The variables should have been introduced in the Introduction, so more conceptual definition is unnecessary in the Methodology section. Rather, what you need to do here is provide a clear operational definition—that is, the specific measures in your data that will represent each concept in your analysis. Presenting such information in the form of a table generally makes it easier for the readers to digest:

Concept Variable How measured

volunteer affection (VA)

volunteer
turnover
number of volunteers joining an NPO
in a given year as a percentage of total volunteers
volunteer disaffection (VD) volunteer
turnover
number of volunteers leaving an NPO
in a given year as a percentage of total volunteers
volunteer disparity volunteer
turnover
VA-VD

The readers need to understand just what specific data items you are planning to put into your analysis.

The explanation of the research should be presented in a manner suitable for the field of study.

4.3.1 Coherence

Have a coherent structure that flows logically and smoothly,  and include sufficient information to allow the reader to assess the believability of your results

4.3.2 Description

Provide a description of methods used in sufficient detail to enable the reader to understand how the data were gathered and how to apply similar methods in another study

4.3.3 Overview

Provide a complete account of the research presented in a systematic manner typical of the field of study.

*Do not include descriptions of results. That is for the Results section.

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4.4Results/Findings

The results are actual statements of observations including statistics, tables, and graphs. Describe the results of experiments or surveys that provide evidence that supports your thesis. Usually experiments or surveys either emphasize proof-of-concept (demonstrating the viability of a method/technique) or efficiency (demonstrating that a method/technique provides better performance than those that exist). Mention negative results as well as positive results. Break up your results into logical segments by using subheadings.

4.4.1 Coherence

Have a coherent structure that flows logically and smoothly and include information to allow the reader to assess the believability of your results

4.4.2 Specifics

Present sufficient details so that readers can draw their own inferences and construct their own explanations.

4.4.3 Findings

Describe the nature of the findings and avoid merely telling the reader whether or not your findings are significant

4.4.4 Wording

Be specific

avoid

Vague/Ambiguous

 
USE

Specific

There is a significant
relationship between X and Y.

  X had a significant positive relationship with Y (linear regression p<0.01, r^2=0.79).

4.4.5 Data Interpretation

Do not include any statement regarding interpretation of the data; that is, only include statements regarding actual observations. Make it crystal clear to the reader which statements are observation and which are interpretation. This is often best accomplished by physically separating statements about new observations from statements about the meaning or significance of those observations.

4.4.6 Common Concern

Do not worry if the Results section seems short

*Do not interpret results. That is for the Discussion section

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4.5Discussion

4.5.1 Analysis

Provide an overall analysis and integration of your thesis research considering the current research in the field

4.5.2 Hypotheses

State the conclusions regarding goals or hypotheses of your thesis that were presented in the Introduction, and the overall significance and contribution of the thesis research

4.5.3 Strengths

Comment on strengths and limitations of your thesis research

4.5.4 Applications

Discuss any potential applications of the research findings

4.5.5 Actual Observations

Do not include any statement regarding actual observations; that is, only include statements regarding interpretation of data.

Make it crystal clear to the reader which statements are observation and which are interpretation. This is often best accomplished by physically separating statements about new observations from statements about the meaning or significance of those observations.

4.5.6 Questions to Consider

Q1: What are the relationships, trends, and generalizations did you discover among the results?
Q2: What are the likely causes underlying these patterns?
Q3: Are there any exceptions to these patterns?
Q4: Do your results agree/prove or disagree/disprove those of previous work?
Q5: What implications do the present results hold for other unanswered questions in sustainability science, earth sciences, ecology, environmental policy, etc….?
Q6: What are the things we now know or understand that we did not know or understand before your research?
Q7: Did you include the evidence or line of reasoning (a.k.a. rationale) for supporting each interpretation?
Q8: What is the significance of your results: why should readers care?

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4.6Conclusions/Implications

4.6.1 Summary

Summarize what was learned and how it can be applied (think about the practical applications in today’s and/or tomorrow’s world)

4.6.2 Analysis

Analyze possible future research directions in the field drawing on the work of the thesis

4.6.3 Questions to Consider

Q1: What is the strongest and most important statement that you can make from your observations?
Q2: Did you refer back to the initial problem that posed?
Q3: Did you describe the conclusions that you reached from carrying out this investigation?
Q4: Did you summarize new observations, new interpretations, and new insights that have resulted from your research?
Q5: Did you include the broader implications of your results; that is, how your research could have a greater, expanded impact?

4.6.4 Caveat

Avoid repeating your abstract, introduction, or discussion word-for-word

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4.7Recommendations/Future Research

4.7.1 Continue Research

If you feel that further research is required in order to fully develop the optimal solution to the problem, tell your readers. Then, briefly describe steps that you suggest and their rationale.

4.7.2 Terminate Research

If you feel that further research is not required because you believe that you have proven that your hypothesis-solution really does solve the problem, tell your readers.

4.7.3 New Issues

If you feel that even though your hypothesis solution really does solve the problem yet new problems or new questions arose that require further research, then tell your readers. Then, briefly describe the new problems and questions. Always keep in mind that you much communicate the “value” and “significance” of problems, ideas, solutions, etc

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