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conclusion

con·clu·sion / kənˈkloōzhən/ • n. 1. the end or finish of an event or process. ∎  the summing-up of an argument or text. ∎  the settling or arrangement of a treaty or agreement: the conclusion of a free-trade accord. 2. a judgment or decision reached by reasoning. ∎  Logic a proposition that is reached from given premises. PHRASES: in conclusion lastly; to sum up. jump (or leap) to conclusions make a hasty judgment before learning or considering all the facts.

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conclusion

conclusionabrasion, Australasian, equation, Eurasian, evasion, invasion, occasion, persuasion, pervasion, suasion, Vespasianadhesion, cohesion, Friesian, lesion •circumcision, collision, concision, decision, derision, division, elision, envision, excision, imprecision, incision, misprision, precisian, precision, provision, scission, vision •subdivision • television • Eurovision •LaserVision •corrosion, eclosion, erosion, explosion, implosion •allusion, collusion, conclusion, confusion, contusion, delusion, diffusion, effusion, exclusion, extrusion, fusion, illusion, inclusion, interfusion, intrusion, obtrusion, occlusion, preclusion, profusion, prolusion, protrusion, reclusion, seclusion, suffusion, transfusion •Monaghan • Belgian •Bajan, Cajun, contagion, TrajanGlaswegian, legion, Norwegian, region •irreligion, religion •Injun • Harijan • oxygen • antigen •sojourn • donjon • Georgian •theologian, Trojan •Rügen •bludgeon, curmudgeon, dudgeon, gudgeon, trudgen •dungeon • glycogen • halogen •collagen • Imogen • carcinogen •hallucinogen • androgen •oestrogen (US estrogen) •hydrogen • nitrogen •burgeon, sturgeon, surgeon

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Conclusion

Conclusion

I hope this book has answered most of your queries surrounding the issue of what, when, where and how to do a PhD research. In particular, what a PhD is, a thesis and the concept of originality were explained. A PhD thesis is about ten times as long as an MBA research, but more importantly, it has much more depth. A PhD research examines relationships between variables as opposed to a company report that examines the unique problems faced by a company. Several journal articles can be written out of one PhD research. A PhD covers both theoretical and practical issues whereas a DBA focuses more on practical issues. UK PhDs are essentially theses-based whereas US PhDs have more coursework, assignments and examinations, with the thesis forming a relatively small portion of the course.

The choice of the topic of your research should be governed by your own interest, future aspirations, market demand and your past education and experience. Generally speaking, you should perhaps choose the institution rather than the supervisor, not change supervisors and not have more than one supervisor. However, your peculiar personal circumstances may dictate you to do otherwise. If you are a university lecturer and have received a scholarship to do a PhD, then I recommend that you do your PhD overseas. However, if you are self-sponsored, then you may prefer to do your PhD locally, for financial reasons.

At the very least, a PhD thesis should contain the following chapters: Introduction, Literature Review, Research Methodology, Results and Conclusion. An introduction should set the scene and give an overview of the topics involved. The literature review is probably one of the first chapters that you will write. It should not be a mere recitation of previous studies in your area of research but there should be critical evaluations. Also, it should identify a gap in the literature, i.e. an issue that previous researchers have failed to address. The research methodology should describe the research design, predictive and dependent variables, demographic data, questionnaires used, possible sources of errors and the development of theories and hypotheses. Survey research questionnaires (the most popular form of research) as well as other research methods were also explained. You can also describe the companies/respondents in the research methodology chapter. It may, however, be placed in a different chapter if the student wishes to elaborate on this issue at length and the research methodology chapter is already too long (Ahmad, 2001). You may have more than one results chapter if your analyses are detailed. The conclusion should summarise all the previous chapters (very much like this book). It should also reiterate what you set out as your objectives at the beginning and assess the extent of success you were in achieving them. Limitations of the study as well as proposals for future research should also be mentioned in the conclusion chapter. Students should also not neglect the bibliography—examiners are fond of picking on mistakes in the citations.

The PhD process was also described in detail. The UK PhD student spends a great deal of time alone. He usually starts off with the literature review, spending much time in libraries. Soon thereafter, he will commence with the research methodology. This will be carried out simultaneously with the literature review. At the end of the first academic year, the full-time UK PhD student should have come up with a theoretical model and a research design fit to be presented before a research committee. Data collection should be done during the second year. The writing of the thesis should be done as early as the first year, starting off with the literature review and research methodology chapters. These chapters are rewritten in the second and third years. Analyses can be conducted in the later part of the second year and the early part of the third year. Much of the third year is spent writing up the entire thesis. Students may often find that they have to rewrite much of what they had written earlier. This has to be done so that there will be a smooth flow of thoughts and ideas throughout the thesis. Students must be able to identify contradicting statements and inconsistencies and eliminate them.

Supervisors should not act as coaches. They are also not supposed to lead students every step of the way. However, supervisors have to inform their students if they think that their students are at a dead end or that the proposed research is doomed from the start. Supervisors should give suggestions occasionally but must allow (and sometimes even insist) that their students think independently. Students are expected to work independently and be excited about their work. It is not always necessary for the student to show written work to the supervisor but when he or she does, it should be written carefully. Students should be considerate and not waste their supervisors' time. Meetings once every three weeks are normal for full-time PhD students. Students should also follow the advice of their supervisors when it was given at their request.

Once the thesis has been completed to the satisfaction of the supervisor, the student can submit the thesis and wait for the viva. The student should aim to read the whole thesis in about four days and to keep reading until the viva. At the same time, play the role of a devil's advocate. Think of all the questions that the examiners might ask you and prepare your answers in advance.

There are advantages and disadvantages of presenting your findings in a conference prior to your viva or even before completing your thesis. The main advantage is that it helps to spot mistakes in your thesis and gives you some practice in answering questions and criticisms. Publication in conference proceedings also adds to your credibility. The disadvantages are that it is time consuming and might delay you in completing the thesis. Worse still, if presented to an audience who are unfamiliar with your topic, the audience might make illogical criticisms and inappropriate recommendations. I suggest you should present at least once, but not more than three times.

The outcome of the viva can be either to award (minor or no corrections), to refer (submission of revised thesis with or without further oral examinations) or to reject (award of the master's degree with or without submission or reject altogether).

By now you know what a PhD is and what is required to obtain it. My experience has been with the UK PhD done mostly by dissertation. You may or may not choose the same path. Much will depend on your peculiar needs and resources (time and money). If after having been warned of all the potential problems that you will probably face and you still wish to pursue a PhD, then I recommend that the next step you take is to seek the addresses of universities and apply to them enclosing your proposal. Best of luck!

Make sure you have the blessing of your family. Do not underestimate the value of your family's support as a lack of it can be one of the major causes of failure to complete a PhD.

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