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Background 1

Problem Statement 1

Purpose of the Study 2

Significance of the Study 3

Nature of the Study 3

Hypothesis/Research Questions 4

Hypotheses 4

Conceptual Framework 5

Definition of Terms 6

Assumptions 6

Scope, Limitations and Delimitations 7

Summary 8


Documentation 9

Literature Review 9

First Subtopic 11

Second Subtopic 11

Subheading A 11

Subheading B 11

Conclusion 11

Summary 12


Research Method and Design Appropriateness 13

Population, Sampling, Data Collection Procedures and Rationale 13

Internal and External Validity 14

Data Analysis 14

Summary 15


Data Collection and Screening 16

Data Analysis 16

Summary 17


Discussion of Findings 18

Conclusions 18

Recommendations 19

Summary 19


Table 1 Title of table, each listed in order of appearance in the manuscript 25

The introduction is clearly identifiable due to its location as the first element of your chapter, so it does not need a separate title heading. The introduction should (a) introduce the dissertation topic and (b) include a discussion of what is contained in the chapter. Chapter 1 is typically 15-40 pages long.

The Background section should include discussion of why the research problem is of important social concern or theoretical interest.

Problem Statement
The problem statement should be written in the form of a simple question that will appear under the heading “Research Question” later in this chapter. The information presented in this section should also parallel the purpose statement. The problem statement should include (a) the general problem or observation identifying the need for the study, (b) the specific problem proposed for research, clearly and concisely stated in a way that reflects the purpose statement, (c) a brief introduction of the method and research design, including an explanation of how they are appropriate to the problem., and (d) a paragraph identifying the general population group of the proposed study.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose statement details the reason why the study is being conducted. The purpose statement is distilled to one or two declarative sentences from which the entire study will emanate. Purpose statements can be supplemented with additional information for clarification, but a single, succinct sentence that captures the essence of the study should identify the (a) research method, (b) dependent and (c) independent variables, (d) the audience to which the problem is significant, and (e) the setting.

A sample purpose statement that includes the above elements might read: “The purpose of this (a) quantitative descriptive research study is to determine the degree to which (b) personal value patterns/profiles affect (c) leadership behavior patterns/profiles among (d) first-level supervisors at a (e) manufacturing facility in the Pacific Northwest.”

In the purpose section you should, (a) identify the research method as qualitative, quantitative, or mixed, (b) explain how the research method is appropriate to the study, (c) clearly state the research design, (d) explain how the research design is appropriate to the research method, (e) briefly identify the research variables: independent, dependent, relationships and comparisons, (f) identify the specific population group of the proposed study, and (g) identify the geographic location of the study.

Significance of the Study
This section defines the study’s original contribution to the academic field, to society, to a profession, to the community, and/or to a particular population. The significance section establishes a global reason for doing a worthwhile study. This section explains why the study is unique and who will benefit from its completion. The significance should be appropriate to the field of study.

The significance of the study section should address the following questions, (a) why is this study important and what is the contribution this research may make to current and future studies and thought? and (b) In what way could the result of this research add to leadership knowledge and literature?

Nature of the Study
The nature of the study section is a synopsis of the research design. This section is a forum for distinguishing the design used to investigate a problem from other research designs that have been used in previous studies, or could have been used in this study. The appropriateness of the design is justified by how it accomplishes the goals of the study.

This section should include (a) an overview and brief discussion of the research method (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed) and its appropriateness reflecting how the research method will accomplish the researcher’s goals in comparison to other methods, and (b) a brief discussion of how the proposed design will accomplish the researchers goals for the study.

Hypothesis/Research Questions
There is no set number of research questions, though typical dissertations may have 3 –5. The research questions tend to be open and probative in nature and state the intent of the study. Research questions need to be manageable and contain appropriate restriction, qualification, and delineation. The formulation of research questions guides the selection of the research method and design.

This section averages 1 to 5 pages and should include description of the relationship or comparison questions posed about the research focus. For qualitative methods, the proposed research questions must be included in the discussion. For quantitative methods, the research questions must be included in the discussion, and depending on the kind of research design, these questions may include a proposed hypothesis or hypotheses, and the rational for the hypothesis or hypotheses.

Type research question one here.

Type research question two here.

Write a hypothesis for question one.

Write a hypothesis for question two.

Conceptual Framework
Nearly every discipline has a number of competing concepts and theories. These concepts and theories shape research studies. A conceptual framework helps to place a study in perspective among other studies and describes the important issues, perspectives and controversies in the field under investigation. A conceptual framework is used to set limits or boundaries to the study.

New ideas can be generated from the conceptual framework. Previous research studies using the same conceptual framework suggest the need for further study in specific areas. Suggest options (both obvious and subtle) for approaching the problem; suggest risks, ramifications, and possible consequences of alternative courses of action; deal with cognitive and affective aspects of the problem.

Your discussion of the theoretical frame work should (a) reflect an overview of the broad theoretical area under which the research falls, (b) reflect an overview of how your research fits within other research in the field, (c) specifically include important issues, perspectives and controversies in the field, (d) reflect knowledge and familiarity with the historical, germinal, and current literature it he field.

Definition of Terms
Words used in an unusual way within the study or have more than one definition need to be defined. The researcher should define all terms unique to his or her study, region, profession, or other qualifier. You may use a simple, bulleted format, or, for more descriptive definitions, paragraph form is appropriate. Your definitions should be supported with citations.

All research – both quantitative and qualitative – has a foundation of assumptions: those elements of a study that are often taken for granted. For example, “For purposes of this study, it is assumed that subjects will respond honestly in the interview.” In some cases, your assumptions may also be limitations – if you assume the subjects will respond honestly, your study is limited by the truthfulness of your subjects. Learners may propose that a study will be the most useful for a unique population, assuming that this population is similar to others in which previous studies have been conducted.

This section should (a) identify the assumptions and (b) give the rationale for each assumption, incorporating multiple perspectives when appropriate.

Scope, Limitations and Delimitations
The scope of the study is a clear statement of what is within the boundaries of your study and what is not. The scope is the parameters of your study or what falls within the domain of your research. For example, in a market analysis of the growing market for organically grown agricultural products, the scope of the study might be fresh, certified organic produce of a particular area. The limitations and delimitations are closely tied to the scope.

The limitations of the study are those aspects the researcher cannot control. If the study has limitations based on the reliability and validity of the instruments, be sure to discuss them in chapter three in the Validity section. Examples of limitations might include that the study is limited to subjects who agree to participate voluntarily, the study is limited to the number of subjects surveyed and the amount of time available to conduct the study, or the validity of the study is limited to the reliability of the instruments used.

The delimitations of the study are the variables the researcher can control (or limit). Examples of delimitations might include the sample selection the study will be limited to, the key variables that are the focus of the study, or potential subjects that will be eliminated or included in the study.

The Scope, Limitations, and Delimitations section of your paper should include a discussion of the generalizability of the study findings.

The chapter should conclude with a brief summary of key points, accompanied by supporting citations, in chapter 1, and an introduction to chapter 2.

As in chapter 2, the introduction for chapter 2 is clearly identifiable due to its location as the first element of your chapter, so it does not need a separate title heading. In the introduction, begin with the dissertation topic and then introduce the main points that will be covered in the following chapter. Typically, this chapter is 30-50 pages long.

Not all literature reviews have a documentation heading, however this section will be useful if you have difficulty finding research on your topic or on a key variable. In this case, it is important to document that you completed a thorough search, including databases and indexes searched and search terms.

Literature Review
The literature review functions as a means of conceptualizing, justifying, implementing, and interpreting the problem to be investigated. The historical and philosophical development of the field will be described to reflect an adequate knowledge of other research related to the problem. Unsolved problems and unresolved issues are identified, and gaps in the literature are explained. The literature review explicates the study’s theoretical framework and variables. Use quotations and citations appropriately following APA, 6th edition format (use the citations/parentheses and citations/text toolbars for help in formatting). Also cover related and generic fields, creating a comprehensive review of the major points of view drawn from primary, peer-reviewed, refereed scholarly/professional journal-based articles from the last 5 years (with the exception of historical or other, older professionally significant articles). Germinal literature is included as appropriate.

Cite appropriate literature to provide a rationale for the study’s research design, instruments, and methods of data collection and analysis. In this chapter, the relationship of the proposed study to past and current research is revealed, and an elaboration of the distinctiveness of the proposed research is compared with previous research to demonstrate the originality of the current study. When appropriate, reference is made to the research questions or the substantive hypotheses driving the research. This section is the body of the paper and is divided into sections based on the topic. Include the theoretical framework and relevant sources. Move from general to specific.

Section headings in the literature review might include: Title Searches, Articles, Research Documents, Journals Researched, Historical Overview, or Current Findings. This list is not exhaustive and you must adjust the title beadings to fit your topic and research. In your literature review be sure information is clearly and logically organized and presented, that historical and germinal literature is included as appropriate, that current findings and research are discussed, and that each research variable is discussed. In addition, be sure to include analysis of the literature, alternative viewpoints, and citations as appropriate.

First Subtopic
Use headings to separate your literature review into two or more sections. Subdivide with two or more lower level headings as necessary. (See examples below).

Second Subtopic
Continue your discussion and analysis of the literature.

Subheading A
Continue your discussion and analysis of the literature.

Subheading B
Remember that topics work like an outline: any section that is divided must have at least two divisions. Continue to use further sub-subheadings as necessary according to APA format. Note that for sub-subheadings and below, you should use Normal format is MS word so these headings will not appear in your Table of Contents.

The discussion in this section should reflect a conclusion derived from the analysis of the literature review. Key points should have supporting citations.

As in other chapters, a summary is included that indicates the key points made and provides a smooth transition to the next chapter. The conclusion to chapter 2 describes how the review of the literature contributes to the study. This is a good place to reiterate the research questions. The chapter should conclude with a transition to chapter 3.

As in chapters 1 and 2, the introduction for chapter 3 is clearly identifiable due to its location as the first element of your chapter, so it does not need a separate title heading. In the introduction, begin with a restatement of the purpose statement to introduce the need for your study. Then, turn to a brief overview of the chapter. This chapter is typically 10-25 pages long.

Research Method and Design Appropriateness
In this section, you should elaborate on the following points from your discussion in Chapter 1: (a) the rationale for your proposed research method (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed), (b) rational for your proposed research design and appropriateness to your study, (c) why the proposed design will accomplish your study goals, and (d) why the proposed design is the best choice for your specific research.

Population, Sampling, Data Collection Procedures and Rationale
In this section, you should discuss each of the items in the section head in turn. Specifically, you should elaborate on the population, making sure that your discussion matches the overview you gave in chapter 1. In addition, you should give more details about sampling, such as number of participants, how the sampling number was determined, and characteristics of the sample, again making sure the discussion is consistent with the overview in chapter 1. Be sure to include discussion about the study participants’ informed consent (include informed consent form in separate appendix), measures to maintain confidentiality, and geographic location information.

Your discussion of data collection should be an elaboration of the information in chapter 1, reflecting (a) the techniques used and the rationale for the techniques selected, including a comparison to other techniques that could be used, and (b) the kind of data to be collected, the rationale for collecting that kind of data, and the appropriateness of data collected to the research design and dissertation problem.

You should also discuss the instrument(s) you will use in your study. Your discussion should include information about selection appropriateness, explaining why you chose this particular instrument over all others and how the chosen instrument is appropriate to the study. In addition, you should discuss the instrument(s) reliability. If the instrument is not validated, discuss the applicable pilot study.

Internal and External Validity
In this section, discuss both the internal and external validity.

Data Analysis
Identify the data analyses that will be performed and explain how and why the chosen data analysis techniques are appropriate to your research design.

The summary should identify the key points of chapter 3, including supporting citations for each point. The chapter summary should end with a transition discussion to the next chapter.

The introduction for chapter 4 is clearly identifiable due to its location as the first element of your chapter, so it does not need a separate title heading. In the introduction, begin with a restatement of the problem. Then, turn to a brief overview of the chapter. The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the collected data and describe the statistical treatments and data analysis(es) performed.

Data Collection and Screening
Begin this section by reviewing a description of the sample. Include information such as the sample size, description of participants, exclusions and justification for exclusions from the sample, and procedure for missing data. Describe the data collection process as in chapter 3, noting any variances from the proposed process. Summarize the data collected.

Data Analysis
Describe the statistical treatments and data analysis(es) you performed in this section. You should describe the analysis used to address each hypothesis and discuss the results for each hypothesis. Include all relevant results, and state whether each null hypothesis was rejected.

Discuss with your advisor the level of detail necessary in this chapter for your particular dissertation. For quantitative studies, tables and charts can convey a significant amount of information efficiently. Check that your table titles and figure captions clearly convey content without having to read the accompanying text. For qualitative studies, the results may include quotes from study participants.

State the results without any interpretation. Remember the purpose of this chapter is to state the results of data collection and analysis. You will discuss the implications of the data and results in chapter 5.

The summary should identify the key points of chapter 4. The chapter summary should end with a transition discussion to the next chapter.

The introduction for chapter 5 is clearly identifiable due to its location as the first element of your chapter, so it does not need a separate title heading. Begin with a restatement of the purpose of the study. Summarize your methods and procedures. Mention your major findings in a summary of your results from chapter 4. Then, turn to a brief overview of this chapter.

Discussion of Findings
Discuss and interpret your findings. Evaluate your results referring to your hypothesis(es), objectives, and research questions. Assess your findings in light of the literature reviewed in chapter 2, including references to those sources. Ensure that your interpretations are justified and be ready to answer challenges to your speculations.

The conclusions should represent the contribution to knowledge you have made through your study. As such, they should directly relate to your research questions and objectives and significance of your study. This is the section where you can state your opinion, using the data collected through your study to support that opinion. Discuss the implications of your study for present and future research.

In this section you may recommend areas for further study, including suggesting research questions or hypotheses for future research. In addition, you may recommend practical applications of your research. Each recommendation should relate directly to one of the conclusions you make above.

Summarize the key points of chapter 5.

A sample reference page is in the Apollos Dissertation Template located in the Apollos Resources Center.

References should be formatted using the “hanging indent” format of APA style. This template is preformatted for you.

Your reference list should include all of the sources you have cited throughout all of your chapters. Verify that each citation has a corresponding reference list entry and each reference list entry also has a citation in the text.

Reference List entries must be in alphabetical order. For more than one entry by the same author(s), list by date of publication, earliest to most recent.

The reference list example entries below are the most commonly used in dissertations. They are, in order, an electronic journal article with DOI, an electronic journal article without DOI, a print version of a book, and a dissertation abstracted in Dissertation Abstracts International.

Author, A. A., Author B. B., & Author, C. C. (year) Title of Article. Title of Periodical xxI, pp-p. doi: xx.xxxxxxxx

Author, A. A., Author B. B., & Author C. C. (year). Title of Article. Title of Periodical,

xx, pp-pp. Retrieved from http://www.xxxyyyzzz

Author, A. A. (year). Title of Work. Location. Publisher.

Author, A.A. (year). Title of dissertation. Dissertation Abstracts International: xxx.

APPENDIX A: Title that identifies appendix to reader
Make the first page of each appendix (e.g., this page) a title page. Place documents and/or information AFTER the title page.

This is page 1 of Appendix A. EXAMPLES of appendices include: questionnaires consent forms, letters of information, interview protocols, and interview transcripts. Begin each appendix on a separate page.

Table 1
Title of table, each listed in order of appearance in the manuscript

Mean error rate

Standard deviation

Sample size


Group 1

Group 2

Group 1

Group 2

Group 1

Group 2






















Figure 1.

Title of figure, each listed in order of appearance in manuscript.

Utilize Library Databases, Google, Yahoo, etc. and locate articles about dissertation writings, formats, and processes. Describe the articles and the implications they have to your dissertation. For e 1

Note. Use sentence case and double space if the caption takes up more than one line; keep second and subsequent lines flush left

Figure 2.

Title of figure, each listed in order of appearance in manuscript.

Utilize Library Databases, Google, Yahoo, etc. and locate articles about dissertation writings, formats, and processes. Describe the articles and the implications they have to your dissertation. For e 2

Note. Include an Index of Figures only if there is more than one figure in your dissertation.

To add additional appendixes, copy this page, and paste the information onto a new page, changing the title to “APPENDIX D, E, F, etc. as appropriate. Page 1 of Appendix C

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