How to Write a Good Audiology Dissertation. Debi Vickers UCL Ear Institute

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1 How to Write a Good Audiology Dissertation Debi Vickers UCL Ear Institute

2 Overview of presentation What is the goal of a research dissertation? What sort of research are you conducting? Some general tips for writing up research How should you define your hypotheses or aims? What are the main sections and their contents?

3 What is the goal of a research dissertation? It is a coherent, well-structured document designed to communicate to others: Why you chose to conduct your specific piece of research The question that you were asking Step-by-step procedures for your research What you found How this relates to current knowledge What you concluded with respect to your original question

4 What sort of research are you doing? Deductive Collecting data to test a theory Quantitative Research What will happen to one variable if we alter another one? Falsifying or accepting a theory. Inductive Collecting data to develop a theory Qualitative Research Why will one variable change if we alter another one? Understanding what is happening. Top-Down Bottom-Up The same format for write up applies to both research methodologies

5 Some general tips for writing up research

6 General Writing Style Quantitative and qualitative can be slightly different For quantitative never use I or We, for qualitative methodologies the researcher is often part of the process and it is more acceptable Use past tense Keep sentences clear and succinct Ensure paragraphs flow, no longer than half a page Sometimes easier to use sub-headings

7 General Writing Style Quantitative and qualitative can be slightly different For quantitative never use I or We, for qualitative methodologies the researcher is often part of the process and it is more acceptable Use past tense Numbers as words if starting a sentence, or < 13 Keep sentences clear and succinct Ensure paragraphs flow, no longer than half a page Sometimes easier to use sub-headings

8 General Tables and Figures Style Follow an example of a good journal in your field Make tables clear containing relevant information Numbers typically should be 2 decimal places Use large font size (12 point), ensure all acronyms are defined and consistent Select figures and tables to answer questions Never put titles on figures Use clear, well-written figure legends

9 PercCorr Figures example of badly drawn graph Severe Loss Moderate Loss Mild Loss

10 Percent Key Words Correct Figures example of clear, well-labelled graph Severe Loss Moderate Loss Mild Loss Presentation Level (dba)

11 General reporting statistical results Never put outputs from statistical analysis in results Follow format of good scientific paper in your field Always report: Test statistic (using t test as an example) Degrees of freedom (or N) p value, either actual value (e.g. p=0.02) or with respect to significance level (e.g. < p=0.05) e.g, t(8)=2.89,p=0.02 OR t=2.89, df=8, p<0.05

12 General reporting statistical results Never put outputs from statistical analysis in results Follow format of good scientific paper in your field Always report: For ANOVA always report degrees of freedom F (1,30) =5.08, p=0.03 Check with supervisor what should be reported

13 Defining the hypotheses

14 Defining a hypothesis Null Hypothesis (H 0) assumes no difference or relationship between experimental conditions Statistics look at whether to accept or reject H 0 Experimental Hypothesis (H 1 ) is a potential outcome It should be precise and based on theory It is the conceptual association between the independent and dependent variables

15 Structuring the write up

16 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

17 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

18 Title Short self-explanatory title either indicating outcome or hypothesis tested e.g.1 The impact of ototoxic drugs on hearing thresholds e.g.2 Auditory training can lead to improved educational outcomes for hearing-impaired children Avoid general titles such as Parkinson s disease Acoustic Reflexes

19 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

20 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

21 Abstract Stand-alone text, shouldn t contain: Undefined abbreviations Figures Should be succinct, between words Essentially it should include: Background: Why you conducted your research Method: What you did and how you went about doing it Results: What you found Discussion and Conclusion: What does it all mean More people will read your abstract than your paper

22 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

23 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

24 Introduction Set the scene for the reader Plan well to ensure strong structure Describe what other authors have found Be precise and accurate when describing the work of others Cover only aspects of the work related to your study Give the aim of your work and hypotheses to be tested Remember to reference all claims!!

25 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

26 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

27 Method Give a detailed description of: the participants and the inclusion criteria tests conducted and equipment used, include instructions to participants where appropriate Describe whether you provided training, gave feedback, had any rules for making further measurements, or removing measurements. As you conduct your research keep a detailed logbook Someone else should be able to replicate your experiment by reading your dissertation

28 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

29 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

30 Results Describe the findings in a logical order Make main and sub-hypotheses as headings Use tables and figures to clearly show findings Label all figures and graphs with legends don t waste words e.g. table showing, graph of.. Make sure axes are appropriate, use keys Ensure that you have considered confounds Do not discuss impact of results

31 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

32 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

33 Discussion Describe the findings in the context of other work and current theories Critically evaluate findings How does your data add to current knowledge? What novel information do you provide? How does it affect or influence clinical practice? If certain results are inexplicable, then say so Indicate limitations and future directions Avoid just re-stating results

34 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

35 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

36 Conclusions Should be succinct and relate to the hypotheses Do not over interpret the results Ensure that discussion leads into the conclusion

37 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

38 Layout of Dissertation Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Conclusions Acknowledgements References

39 Acknowledgements Ensure that you acknowledge the people that helped you, don t forget the people at the beginning If funding was given thank the source of the grant References References must in the appropriate style Carefully check and ensure that each reference is cited in text and vice versa

40 Final Comments Remember that the dissertation is a means to communicate your work Check the mark distribution per section Ensure that you are aware of the guidance for your course and stick to it

41 Thank you

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