Integration Issues

As you know chapter two must be an exhaustive review of recent research that is most related to your topic. The chapter should extend between 30 and 50 pages – if not more. Be sure to use peer reviewed research. Chapter 2 is NOT an annotated bibliography. This is the most common issue I find in reviewing a student’s chapter 2. I find the same, to some extent, with your chapter 2.

You must demonstrate in your writing that your research is exhaustive, summative, integrated, and provides some critique of the research.. I recommend that you begin the chapter with an introduction that reminds your reader of the purpose of your study (each chapter of your dissertation should be able to stand on its own). At that point alert your reader of how you have organized your chapter – the section headings, and then begin to provide the narrative in the same order as indicated in your outline/overview.

iting action research (research that involved work with Participants, pre and post intervention assessments, etc.): Generally, you have not provided sufficient detail related to these studies. At a mCinimum you should provide the purpose of the study; information on the Participants (selection process, numbers, etc.); research design/methodology; enumeration of the findings; the relation of this study to your own work. I would not expect that each of these studies would have this extended narrative in your actual writing. You will need to determine how much narrative to provide for each. Generally, it would be better to present too much than too little. In my experience with Quality Review one of the most often provided comment addresses what I am sharing with you in this first issue.

Other research where the researcher may be presenting his/her opinion based on other research; review of multiple research studies, etc.: You would not expect the same extended narrative on these studies as you need to provide on action research. However, the narrative should extend so that the reader “fully understands” what the researcher was intending to say. Rarely would you use a single sentence to support a citation. You will note multiple comments in which I recommend that you “elaborate.”

NOTE: I highly recommend, if you have not already done so, to review each of your cited sources and develop a record for each that addresses my previous recommendations. Specifically, the records for the action research study would look different for the research that presented ideas, opinions. This format will also allow to group similar topics and similar findings.
To summarize:
Introductions (identifying key points that will be addressed in the subsequent narrative), Closing/summary (identifying the key points addressed) and
Transitions – especially from one section to the next section are needed throughout this chapter.

These features help integrate all of this research and keeps chapter 2 from reading as an annotated bibliography.

Chapter 3
Make it a blue-print: Think of your chapter 3 as a building blue-print. In the same manner that a contractor can build a house based solely on the details provided by the architect, a qualified researcher should be able to conduct YOUR study based on the details you provide in chapter 3 without ever working with you directly.

Develop a “how-to manual: I also recommend that you think of chapter 3 as a “how-to” manual detailing how you will actually approach and complete this work. I recommend that you write the narrative in the same order in which you will complete the work. For example with data collection: Detail how you will identify and notify consented (the identification of the Participants and the consent process should be detailed in the Participant section) how you will schedule and set up the interviews (a separate section for the in-person interviews and the telephone interviews); what information will be provided before the actual interview; what you will do during the interview to capture/record the responses; what you will do with the interview responses after the actual interview, e.g., develop transcripts, member-check, etc. Contain all narrative related to data collection to that section.

I have used the Data Collection section as an example. However, you should use this same approach, begin with the research that supports your work and follow up with “details” on what you will do for all other sections in this chapter. For the most part all of the information about selecting the Participants should be included in that section. (I do recognize that you have to repeat some narrative to support your methodology, validity, etc.). However, you keep the writing as self-contained as possible. You don’t want to read something new about selection of Participants in narrative that follows several pages after the Participant section.

I recommend that you spend extra time detailing your Data Analysis processes – citing of course, best practices for qualitative data analysis. You can’t assume that your reader will know all the steps that must be taken to ensure a valid study.

Separate reporting/citing the research from what you will actually do in your study: Be sure to distinguish between the research you cite that supports what you will do (methodology) from what you will do. I recommend that you begin each section with the cited research. Continue with extensive narrative that details and makes it quite clear what you will actually do.

Chapter 3 should be written in the future tense – in terms of what you are “proposing to do.” After you complete the research and present your final dissertation you will go back and change all of the future tense verbs to the past tense – in that you have completed what you proposed to do.


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