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shortthesisguide2.gif November 2007

Chapter 3: Quantitative Master's Thesis

Section 3.3: Quantitative thesis chapters

Subsection 3.3.1 Model I: Sequential Chapter Structure
Preliminary Pages
Examples of items:
Table of Contents
List of tables/List of figures
Title Page
Signature Approval Form
Chapter One Introduction
Purpose of the Study
The first part of the introduction should clearly state the purpose of the study. There should be a concise statement of purpose provided in this section.
Statement of the Hypothesis or Research Question
A clear statement(s) that identifies the precise research question should be included. Each specific measurement to be conducted should be identified.
Significance of the Study
As part of the purpose of the study, there should be justification for conducting the project. This section should exhibit a clear understanding of what makes your study significant and why it should be conducted.
A simple list of definitions of terms that directly pertain to this study should be provided. The list should include definitions of terms that might be unclear to the reader.
Delimitations, Limitations, and Assumptions
A brief statement identifying the delimitations, limitations, and assumptions associated with your study should be provided.
Delimitations - factors that were controlled by the researcher
Limitations - factors that were not under the control of the researcher
Assumptions - factors that the researcher assumes were taken into consideration.
Chapter Two Literature Review
The author should provide a breakdown of sub-topics influencing the processes of the research project. Each sub-topic should contain a thorough examination of the literature that influences or is representative of current research on that sub-topic. The literature review should collectively support the process and purpose of the study. A theoretical framework as applicable to the field of study may be included here.
Chapter Three Methods
The methods section is the section that should clearly present each aspect of the process by which the study will be completed. Every attempt should be made to leave no question as to the procedures used to complete the study. Proper scientific methods should be used for this aspect of the study.
This section should identify the process for selection, recruitment, and delineation of the subject pool used for your study. The subject pool should be reflective of the population selected for the study.
The instrumentation section should identify the tool(s) used for collection of data. How the instrument was acquired or created as well as reliability and validity of the instrument should be presented in this section.
All aspects pertaining to the entire process conducted should be described. Careful consideration should be paid to approval of methods and treatment of human or animal subjects. All treatments should be carefully described as well as notification of risks for participation.
Statistical Analysis
Provide a clear description of the statistical process used for analysis of data. The type of statistical tests should be reflective of the research hypothesis or question(s).
Chapter Four Results
Order of Presentation
Offer your results in an order that is similar to the order you presented your hypothesis or research questions.
Descriptive Data
Provide all the descriptive data such as demographic results.
Results of Statistical Testing
Give the results of the statistical processes conducted for your study. Provide only the results and avoid offering conclusions or interpretations of the results.
Interpretations of Statistical Results
Offer a brief summary of the results with foundational interpretations of what the statistics provide.
Chapter Five Conclusions/Discussion
Summary of Findings
Provide inferences and implications that the results of the study provide you and the reader or others who may have interest in the results. This is a time to expound on your results and offer insight into what your study does or does not contribute to the body of information on your topic.
Conclusions Drawn by Results
Identify specific conclusions resulting from you study. Offer specific insight to what your findings reveal. This section should synthesize your findings with the current knowledge in your area of study.
Recommendations for Further Research
Provide recommendations to further research on this topic or how parts of your study could be improved upon. If you found as a result of your study that another topic should be looked at in order to offer more insight into this topic, then suggest that at this time. It is important that this part of your conclusion chapter incorporate the implications of your findings in terms of other research in your area of study.
Literature Cited
Provide a list of references used for this paper. Provide them in the style agreed upon by your committee.
Examples of items:
Letters written to subjects
Large data files or sheets not appropriate for main body of thesis

17 Jan 2008