My MSc thesis is a multidisciplinary secondary data analysis project (data science-related) and its aim is to answer a specific question on the specific secondary data. However, I struggle with the structure (mainly the order of concepts) of the introduction/background/related work parts.

For my project proposal, the literature review showed that the problem I am tackling is almost exclusively addressed in a specific way [let's call these: 'methods A' that includes a variety of similar methods from field A].

One of my 'key' papers suggests that problems like that can be addressed differently ['methods B' that includes a variety of similar methods from field B].

This problem in this dataset has not been addressed with the B methods, hence there is some gap in the literature.

Furthermore, methods from a different field can be implemented 'on top' of A or B methods but there is not enough work about this on these specific data ['methods AB+' from field C. To note, that A and B methods can both answer the same specific question and can partially provide the same answer as AB+, so you could say AB+ is a better, more advanced approach.

I have reasons to suggest a specific method from the B methods ('method B1' from field B) and a specific method from the AB+ methods ('method AB+1' from 'field C'). All named fields fall under discipline G and my project title is named after fields B and C.

So overall, you could say my project is based on a lack of work in existing literature for this dataset. While method B1 has been used in other similar approaches (instead of A methods), method AB+1 is quite new and there is not much work with it in general.

So, I understand that I need to: explain all relevant concepts from field B and field C (overview and introduce relevant terms), provide an in-depth examination of method B1 and method AB+1

However, what is the most appropriate order to link all these together?

For example, do I make use of the introduction to set the context for all these topics and present fields B and C in a separate chapter (such as background work) before literature review? Then my literature review highlights the lack of work and I go in-depth about method B1 and AB+1? Or do I discuss methods B1 and AB+1 in my 'Methodology/Methods' section?

Hope this is clear enough and appreciate any answer. Thanks

  • 1
    Welcome to Academia SE! Your question is very specific, and your making it generic ("methods A, B, etc.") makes it very abstract and rather hard to follow. Could you please explain why your advisor is not able to help you with this? This is typically what a master's thesis advisor would do.
    – Tripartio
    Jul 23 '21 at 8:38
  • Hello and thank you for your response. It's primarily a scheduling issue; I have a supervisory meeting in two weeks and wanted to get a head start. I need to prepare a large portion of this in the week following this meeting. If I can decide on a structure early on, it will make writing more efficient and easy (I have all the material I need, I just need to present it in an efficient way) - as well as allowing me to get more out of the meeting. However, tbh I'm not sure if I'll be able to get any structural advice. Is there any advice you can give based on the above information? Jul 23 '21 at 10:45
  • Sorry, as I said, your question has so many particular details, yet you made it abstract and generic. So, it is hard for me to offer any advice.
    – Tripartio
    Jul 24 '21 at 7:22

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