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Help! Phd intro / conclusion

(7 Posts)
maqrollelgaviero Tue 02-Jun-09 15:33:03

Hi All,

I an nearly at the stage of finally submitting my bloody thesis and am seriously blocked!

I have my 4 main chapters written but cannot work out how or where to start writing the intro and conclusion and my supervisor is being typically Latin American and saying 'helpful' things like 'write until you have finished'. I need a plan, I need sub headings, I need someone to give me advice or point me towards a helpful book!

Title of the thesis is 'Can it be said that the Latin American novel is a valid historical resouce with particular reference to xxxxxxxxx.'

If anyone can give me advice on what needs to be in the intro and conc I would be very thrilled.


wrinklytum Tue 02-Jun-09 15:37:02

Blimey,no words of advice but good luck.

My db is in final stages of a Spanish degree and was recently writing essays on Spanish and South/Latin American lit,so I am sure he would send you sympathetic vibes

thirtysomething Wed 03-Jun-09 14:02:27

have done two dissertations but not at doctoral level, so not sure if same info applies - but basically I would think an intro would set the scene very briefly (maybe brief, wider historical context i.e. where it fits in in terms of other world literature, then quick overview of general thoughts on the subject, with an end bit to explain what your thesis is, how youare going to demonstrate it etc - if you are doing a literature review section this bit could be tied into that?)

The the conclusion would be a very brief summary of what you've demonstrated and some other interesting ideas thrown in (i.e this exploration has thrown up other possible questions to explore if i had the time)

That's how i'd do a long essay or dissertation but as I said no idea if it's relevant - i always start and end with a nice quote too!

FfloraPoste Thu 04-Jun-09 14:45:14

Thirtysomething is spot on. I was also told to use both the introduction and the conclusion to cover yourself:

in the introduction you guard against the stupid people who think your thesis is about something other than what it's really about and might complain that you haven't done what they think you should have done. eg my friend's thesis was on dress in a particular author so she would have said 'This is not a thesis about the history of dress and will not be describing changes in dress during the period when x was writing.'

In the conclusion, you try to anticipate some of the holes people will pick in what you have written, and basically say 'this remains a problem, but....' or 'y is an interesting issue which will need further research'.

Acinonyx Thu 04-Jun-09 15:56:58

I submitted my PhD in April - different field though. I was advised to begin every chapter with a mini-intro and end with a summary. That actually summary/end chapter should not just be a summary of what has gone before but should also say something new. For me, my into chapter was a classic lit review but then I had more specialist mini-lit reviews in other chapters.

It's traditional to end with suggestions for future research.

DrEvil Wed 17-Jun-09 14:50:05

OP here with a new name, thanks for the input, it's been helpful and I've certainly taken advantage of your experience in that I've added in my intro my exact aims and the things I particularly HAVEN'T done (thanks fflora).

Just the conclusion to do!

I'm looking forward to getting my stuff back from my supervisor and racing through the corrections.

sunnylabsmum Thu 18-Jun-09 07:44:51

Like Acinonyx I've recently submitted my doctoral thesis, and would underline her comments. DO remember that most examiners read the introduction and then the conclusion so sell it well in these and you will be ok. Personally I found the intro the hardest chapter to write, and it had many re-writes. Good luck and keep plodding

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