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Nội dung và cấu trúc một bài Dissertation chuẩn quốc tế

Thông thường một bài luận tiếng anh chuẩn hay còn gọi là Dissertation, Thesis thường có cấu trúc cơ bản chia làm 5 Chương hay 5 Chapter như sau:


The style and structure for your MBA dissertation is intended to ensure and enhance the quality of work. The proposed structure is intended to provide a clear format from the beginning to conclusion, and should be as follows
5.1– Title page
5.2– Abstract (max 300 words)
5.3– Contents
5.4– Acknowledgements
5.5– Main body of the dissertation
5.5.1- General overview
5.5.2- Literature review
5.5.3- Research design
5.5.4- Data collection and analysis
5.5.5- Conclusion and recommendations 5.5.6- Appendices
5.5.7- References, or bibliograph

5.1- Title page

The title page is illustrated in Appendix 1 and should conform to the following pattern:
n The University of Bolton Logo (current logo)
n The full title of the dissertation
n The name of the Author
n A statement that it is “submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the award”.
n Title of the award
n Name of the University
n Date of submission

5.2- Abstract of the research

The function of the abstract is to provide a brief summary describing your research and the issue under investigation, including the aims and outcomes of the study. The abstract include the following:
n The nature and scope of the study
n Research methods
n The main conclusions
n The contribution it makes to the knowledge of the field
n Recommendations
The abstract should be bound into each copy of the dissertation, and a separate copy should also be supplied. It should be headed with the name of the author, the title of the dissertation and the year of submission. The abstract should not exceed 300 words.

5.3- Contents Page

The Contents Page should show chapters and pages, lists of tables, figures, appendices and glossary of abbreviations, terms and special symbols (if required).

5.4- Acknowledgements

It is customary to acknowledge individuals and or organisations for their assistance, support, or contribution to the work leading to the dissertation report.

5.5- Main body of the dissertation

The main body of your dissertation should contain the following structure:
5.5.1- General Overview; introduction, background, rationale and aims
Based on the introduction and background to the problem, the central argument and objectives should be made clear so that the reader is able to understand the problem or issue that is going to be investigated. This chapter should provide a summary of the central points of the research including; the research context, the structure of the dissertation, research question and objectives and references to research ethics, and the contribution of the study to knowledge and professional practice.
5.5.2- Literature Review
One of the most important early steps in a research project is the conducting of the literature review. This is also one of the most humbling experiences you’re likely to have. Because you’re likely to find out that just about any worthwhile idea you will have has been thought of before, at least to some degree. According to Trochim (2002), students frequently complain that they cannot find anything in the literature that is related to their topic, because:
“They only look for articles that are exactly the same as their research topic. A literature review is designed to identify related research, to set the current research project within a conceptual and theoretical context. When looked at that way, there is almost no topic that is so new or unique that we can’t locate relevant and informative related research”. (Trochim, 2002)
Here are some tips about conducting the literature review. First, concentrate your efforts on the scientific literature. Try to determine what the most credible research journals are in your topical area and start with those. Put the greatest emphasis on research journals that use a blind or juried review system. In a blind or juried review, authors submit potential articles to a journal editor who solicits several reviewers who agree to give a critical review of the paper. The paper is sent to these reviewers with no identification of the author so that there will be no personal bias (either for or against the author). Based on the reviewers’ recommendations, the editor can accept the article, reject it, or recommend that the author revise and resubmit it. Articles in journals with blind review processes are likely to have a fairly high level of credibility. Second, do the review early in the research process. You are likely to learn a lot in the literature review that will help you determine what the necessary tradeoffs are. After all, previous researchers also had to face trade-off decisions.
What should you look for in the literature review? First, you might be able to find a study that is quite similar to the one you are thinking of doing. Since all credible research studies have to review the literature themselves, you can check their literature review to get a quick start on your own. Second, prior research will help ensure that you include all of the major relevant constructs in your study. You may find that other similar studies routinely look at an outcome that you might not have included. Your study would not be judged credible if it ignored a major construct. Third, the literature review will help you to find and select appropriate measurement instruments. You will readily see what measurement instruments researchers used themselves in contexts similar to yours. Finally, the literature review will help you to anticipate common problems in your research context. You can use the prior experiences of others to avoid common traps and pitfalls.
As well as academic journals, conference proceedings are often useful sources of data. Textbooks are clearly important, but it should be remembered that they are not always based on evidence and research, and therefore may be considered less substantive than academic journals. Further, they may also be less up to date in a rapidly changing discipline. Weekly and monthly magazines in the discipline must be located and regularly reviewed. The articles in such papers are often merely gossip, items of news and the like. They may therefore be considered to be lightweight and subjective. However, they often contain leads to important research documents and reports.
The expectations of a literature review can be said to have increased in recent years, because the process is assisted by electronic searching techniques. The student must clearly endeavour to make best use of the Internet, commercial CD Roms, library search catalogues etc. Students may become aware that their subject area is one for which a particular university may have specialised staff. It follows that there may be several dissertations or theses stored on that university’s shelves, and which are not listed on commercial CD Roms or the like. The Internet can be useful in obtaining direct access to a university library search catalogue and thereby access to this specialised work. Equally as important as the electronic search is the ‘browse’ search. Libraries often contain paper documents that list publications relevant to particular disciplines. Bolton Institute library has a booklet called ‘Index to Journals’. If the discipline relevant to the research project is ICT it is useful to look for titles beginning with ‘i’. At the end of the literature review process the student should clearly know:
n What the leading academic journals are?
n What the lead industry magazines are?
n What the leading conferences are?
n Where the centres of knowledge/excellence in the field are?
n Which are the relevant professional institutions?
n Which is the lead government department in the field?
n Which are the relevant government bodies?
n Which other countries in the world have an interest in this field?
n Who the national and international leading figures in the field are?
n What are the leading web sites in the field?
The literature review is an important component of your dissertation and it is often feasible to assess the quality of the dissertation by the literature review contained in it. Within the literature review it would be useful to examine important contributions of researchers and scholars in the context of the problem or argument that is central to the dissertation.
A characteristic that could add value to the quality of the work would involve a relative judgement of the contribution that these different experts, proponents have made. Rejecting some of these contributions as being inappropriate to support the central argument is as much a part of a good literature review as adding new and relevant material that has existed within the domain. Therefore it would be helpful to agree or disagree with existing and/or traditional viewpoints.
5.5.3- Research Design, Methodology
Different terminologies are use to describe the components of the research. It is important that your chapter on the Methodology make clear references to various research philosophies (positivism, interpretivism, and realism), research process (induction and deduction), research approaches (Qualitative and quantitative), and research methodologies, triangulation, and justification for the proposed methodology. A number of methodologies are listed below, and their combination (triangulation) often leads to a better understanding of the research problem:
n Survey
n Statistical/data analysis
n Semi-structured Interview
n Social media
n Observation
n Case Study
n Ethnographic study
n In-depth Interview
n Focus group
n Content analysis
n Action research
n Personal reflection
n Participant Observation
n Telephone Survey
n Online Focus Groups
n Ephone survey
n Internet survey
n Mystery shopper
5.5.4- Data Collection and Analysis
This chapter should address the development of the research in terms of data collection and analysis, pointing out; variations, similarities, and trends. An important component of this chapter is detailed analysis and synsethis of the results leading to a detailed understanding of the problem under investigation. Self-constructed diagrams, tables and figures could facilitate and should be used to support the findings, and arguments. Further, discussions that enable pattern recognition including the evolution of a “story” would certainly demonstrate quality and would add value to the research. This chapter should conclude with the principal emergent points of the analysis with references to the questions put forward in the early chapters of the dissertation, and the research objective/s.
5.5.5- Conclusion and Recommendations
The purpose of the concluding chapter is to satisfy a number of objectives. It needs to connect the research questions raised in the early part of the dissertation through to the literature search and then reiterate from a comparative perspective what was found within the dissertation. Reiterating the findings within a discussion will facilitate appreciation of the quality of work undertaken. This chapter should also point out the central characteristics, the limitations of the study, and the areas for further research that might be necessary to extend
5.5.6- Appendices
The aim of appendices is to provide a repository for supporting information relevant to the research. They are excluded from the word count of the dissertation. Typical appendices may include; blank questionnaires, interview schedule, observational notes, list of participating companies, etc.
5.5.7- References, or bibliography
A list of references after the appendices should include all sources and texts (Harvard Style) referred to within the body of your dissertation (Rudd, 2001). Some examples of the general format for such references are listed below.
Name, Initials (Year of publication) Title in Italics. Place of publication: Publisher –e-g McKellar (1957).
Name, Initials (Year of publication) “Article Title in inverted commas” Journal Title in Italics,
Vol. Number, no. of part, pp. [i.e. pages – e.g. pp. 23-34] – e.g. Hepburn (1991).
Newspapers and Magazines (any publication which appears more frequently than once a month)
Name, Initials (Year of publication) “Article Title in inverted commas” Newspaper Title in Italics Date [i.e. day and months], pp. [i.e. pages – e.g. pp. 23-34] – e.g. Anon (1980).
Internet/WWW site, page, document etc
Name [or indicative name] (year) “Item title [or indicative title]”. Medium [i.e. Online]. Host – if there is one. Available: [specify – URL, etc]. [date of access].
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