A Guide to Research and Thesis Writing: A Structured Approach for Master’s and Doctorate Students

Thesis Writing should identify 3 aspects of the thesis: the {topic}, the {issue} and the {scope}. Once these aspects are determined, the researcher should synthesize {Type}{Topic}{Modifier}{Issue}{Scope} to generate the thesis title. Note that {Type} and {Modifier} are readily available and not specific to any particular research. Following this, the title can be contextually modified to appreciate the thesis statement. E.g. {An application} of {Six Sigma} to {Improve} {Blood Bag Wastage} in {Local Hospital}. Note the generality of the thesis title. Not difficult at all.

Next, the researcher should record the references. The reference itself can be saved to a cloud based storage that is easily read by the researchers device (desktop, tablet, phone, etc.). The researcher then reads the references and mark excerpts that are tagged to codes. The codes are arranged in a mind map and new codes are added to the mind map as the review progresses. The report then follows the code hierarchy in the mind map. On selecting a code on the report, the selection should invoke the excerpts relevant to that code. The researcher can then read the excerpts specifically and add the appropriate review most conveniently. Excerpts can be re-assigned to codes and codes can be re-tagged excerpts so that ideas can be changed easily. Yes, consider supervisor changes!

As the excerpts are gathered, and the mind map developed, the researcher must manage the references and their interrelations to generate a conceptual design. The conceptual design allows the generation of a literature map. The literature map shows the flow of information from the references and how the body of the review is generated.

Tagging codes with Independent or Dependent Variable status allows the researcher to collate Dependent Variables (DV) with their associated Independent Variables (IV) in the theoretical framework. A DV-IV pair can then be used to fit a research question with a suitable modifier, e.g. increases, decreases, correlated, etc. The researcher then decides the type of statistical test from a test list and the appropriate statistical test is prompted. Visual aides help the researcher to appreciate the type of experiment that is to be undertaken. The required statistical test is again presented on a flow chart.

That leaves data collection and data analysis. The researcher must collect data pertinent to the research. Once collected data is entered, the test is fired. The test is highly customized to conduct the proposed statistical test with options of confidence levels, etc. The test result, e.g. statistical significance at the given alpha level is highlighted. If there is a list of research questions, as is usually the case, the researcher must collate all the findings and displays them conveniently. Findings are then compared with the aims of the research question. If the findings support the aims of the research question then the conclusions hold the thesis statement.

When all the research questions hold the respective claims, then the thesis statement is supported by research and the research can be declared completed.