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Dissertations and Theses: About Dissertations

Dissertation Terminology

An ETD is an electronic or digital copy of a thesis or dissertation.

An IR, or institutional repository, is a digital space for collecting, preserving and disseminiating the intellectual output of an institution. Many universities include dissertations and theses in their institutional repositories.

Introduction to Using Dissertations & Theses

Dissertations contain recent research that may not yet be published; reviewing dissertations can be helpful when preparing for your own dissertation.

The literature review chapter of a dissertation attempts to cover all of the relevant literature on a topic. Use that and the references to discover sources.

Review the methodology chapter of a dissertation that used a methodology you're interested in using for your own research. Measurements used in the dissertation will be described in this chapter and a copy of the measurement tool should appear in the appendix.

Recommendations for future research are contained in the last chapter of a dissertation. This is where the author makes recommendations based on existing gaps in the literature. To help focus your research question review the recommendations for future research in a dissertation written on your topic.