Writing a dissertation synopsis may seem like an easy task, but it requires a lot of brainstorming, thorough research and competent writing skills to draft an excellent dissertation outline. But what exactly is a synopsis? It is a summary and explanation of the research that you intend to carry out. it answers three basic questions related to your study:
- What is your research aim? What do you want to achieve?
- What aspects do you intend to explore?
- How do you plan to carry out your research?
Keeping these fundamental elements in mind when working on your research summary will help you put together a flawless synopsis.
In addition to these aspects, here are some key factors and writing guidelines that you should follow whether you’re working on your undergraduate thesis synopsis or writing a master’s thesis synopsis.
Explain your Chosen Topic
The title is the face of your dissertation. Thus, you should make sure that the title of your research is chosen wisely and explained in-depth. Your title should be precise and self-explanatory. The readers should be able to understand and get an idea as to what your study is all about. Thus, your chosen topic should be one that is under-researched, and that will add value to your subject.
Talk about your Research Aims and Objectives
Your dissertation synopsis will be incomplete if you do not talk about your research aims and objectives. Whether you are writing a master’s thesis or an undergraduate thesis, your dissertation synopsis should include your research aims and objectives and should be explained in detail. A thorough analysis should be conducted regarding your aims and objectives so that they are clear to your readers.
List your aims and objectives in a manner that your readers can comprehend them and understand how you intend to explore them. In addition to this, when writing a synopsis, make sure that the aims and objectives are in line with your topic.
Describe the Essential Aspects you Intend to Explore
The second part of your dissertation synopsis should state the factors and elements that you intend to explore. Not only you should mention these but also discuss them in great detail. All factors and aspects that you plan to include in your study should relate to your research aims and objectives. This means that whatever factors are related to the aims and objectives are included in this section.
An easy way to make sure that all relevant aspects are included is to list down the elements that you think should be a part of your study. Go through the list, review it and then decide which ones should be a part of your final dissertation synopsis and which ones should be left out. You should try and explore the various facets of each aspect. This will not only provide the readers with an in-depth understanding but will also help you learn more.
Explain Concepts and Models
Another essential element of your dissertation synopsis is the models and concepts related to the topic. This means that you should talk about models, theories and frameworks that you think should be a part of your final research. This section should be built based on the previous section, i.e. essential aspects. Based on the elements that you intend to explore, choose the concepts and models that should be part of your research.
Make it a point to explain all relevant models and frameworks in this section. But be wary of one thing. None of your frameworks and models should be outdated. All of them should be recent, i.e. none of them should be more than ten years old. However, it is recommended not to use references, models, and frameworks that are more than five years old. This is done to make sure that your research is relevant and up to date.
Discuss your Research Methodology
The last section of your dissertation synopsis is equally essential. This is where you discuss how your research will be conducted. This means that this section should include the type of research that you plan to carry out, i.e. qualitative or quantitative, and based on the methodology, the research tools and instruments you intend to utilize for your research.
A thorough and detailed methodology should be part of your synopsis. Make sure that your chosen method complements your research topic, aims, and objectives. If this is not the case, then you will be unable to achieve the desired outcomes from your research.
This depends on your university requirements. Some various colleges and universities ask students to include anticipated outcomes of their study in their synopsis, while others do not recommend doing so. Thus, depending on the requirements, you may or may not include this section. If you are required to include it, you must mention the results that you expect from your research.
Include a Reference List
When concluding your synopsis, you must make sure that a reference list is included at the end. This list should contain all the references that you have cited in your synopsis. This list should be accurate and up to date. This means that none of the cited sources should be missing in this list. Your reference list should be sorted alphabetically and formatted according to university guidelines. Make sure you have a mix of various sources, i.e. scholarly journals, books, web articles, websites, etc. This will represent your thorough research and give readers an idea as to how you have conducted your research.
Even though every university has its requirements for a dissertation synopsis, however, the elements mentioned in this article are essential. Based on the requirements, more sections may be added, but three elements remain the same: introduction, explanation of basic concepts and frameworks and methodology. Thus, when writing a synopsis, your aims and objectives should covey your research intention and be sure to include relevant, recent and up to date information. In addition to this, follow your university’s guidelines and your synopsis will not be anything short of perfect.