There are alternatives to writing a dissertation. One of these is a project study, or an applied study. Most students in advanced studies have a general idea of what a dissertation is, but fewer people know what a project study is. It is good to know the difference between a dissertation and a project study before you make the choice to pursue one or the other. If you have already chosen a project study, however, and are still not sure what it entails, this blog may help you.
Aligning theoretical framework, gathering articles, synthesizing gaps, articulating a clear methodology and data plan, and writing about the theoretical and practical implications of your research are part of our comprehensive dissertation editing services.
Most of us know that a dissertation is an extended piece of research. A typical structure for a dissertation in the social sciences is five chapters: introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and discussion. A central feature of the dissertation is the research problem. The research problem is the impetus for conducting a study: there is inconclusiveness about a topic in the literature or a gap in our understanding of a phenomenon. This inconclusiveness or gap serves as a rationale for conducting the study and drives the research questions, which are designed to collect information to add to our understanding of the topic.
The key difference between a project study and a dissertation is that a project study does not proceed from a research problem. The purpose of a project study is not to add to our understanding of research on a topic. The purpose of a project study is to help solve an existing local real-world problem, which is why project studies are also called applied studies. The purpose of a project study is to collect information to help address an identifiable problem in a specific setting.
Let’s say, for example, graduation rates at a particular high school are lower than state and national averages. Low graduation rates, likely the result of dropout, would be the specific local problem. A project study would be appropriate to collect information on how to address the problem of low graduation rates at that school. Information collected from the study culminates in an applied document, such as policy recommendations, curricular design, or a program evaluation. The applied document is a key feature of the project study and offers evidenced-based ways to address the local problem.