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DoK

In What Order Did You Write Your Dissertation

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I wonder if this even matters at all. I am definitely not writing mine in order of Intro, Literature, Methods etc. or the variants. But I wanted to hear from others. Specifically, as I'm working on the literature review/theoretical background chapter and I know that by the time I am done with the dissertation, much more newer works would have been published. So I'm curious, do you leave this chapter till the very end or do most people update as they go?

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Same here. I did not write mine in that order, but rather going to and forth between chapters. It is common to come up with new ideas and ways to organise your paragraphs as you go. I would not leave the intro till the very end, as you need a good background to justify your research. Have a framework and get the chapter done. Then when you finish other chapters, have a quick search and include newly published studies where applicable. 

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On 6/11/2019 at 11:49 AM, DoK said:

I wonder if this even matters at all. I am definitely not writing mine in order of Intro, Literature, Methods etc. or the variants. But I wanted to hear from others. Specifically, as I'm working on the literature review/theoretical background chapter and I know that by the time I am done with the dissertation, much more newer works would have been published. So I'm curious, do you leave this chapter till the very end or do most people update as they go?

Great question!

No, you NEVER write your intro first, for anything because you cannot introduce what you haven't written. 

My dissertation has five chapters, intro and epilogue. 

  • I wrote chapter 2 first, because it was the one that I was most familiar with in terms of sources and literature. While I wrote it I presented it at a conference. 
  • I wrote chapters 1, 3, and 5.
  • Finally, I wrote chapter 4. Chapter 4 was always the most difficult chapter for me. I had no idea what it was about and once I had good chapters 3 and 5, chapter 4 kind of fell into place. 
  • While the committee read the whole dissertation I wrote the intro.
  • Doing the revisions after writing the intro proved to be a huge plus. Some readers mentioned in the chapters that I should discuss X, but now X was discussed in the intro, so that made my revisions easier. 
  • And then, the epilogue. 

One of my biggest struggles was were to include the literature review. In the end, I decided to include discussions at the beginning of the chapters but then reminding the readers of what was the theoretical debate and how I was using it. 

Best of luck!

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Posted (edited)

I'm a qualitative researcher and I believe that it's often an interative process (going back and forth). A lot of people talk about the IMRaD strategy (Intro, Methods, Results and Discussion). I would add stuff to my literature review as I was going along, especially when I was doing data analysis. I rarely heard people writing their chapters in the order they are being presented though. 

Edited by Adelaide9216

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