I am using a research handbook written by Creswell to guide me in writing my Bachelor's Thesis.

Specifically, I followed his research design model.

Should I justify why I structured my Methods Chapter the way I did by saying that such structure was recommended by Creswell?

For example, I may say that Creswell suggested that this section should be included in the research design.

I live in a developing country. My institution has no specific style guide. They underestimate undergraduate research, but I cannot wait for my supervisor to tell me what to do as long as my sources are authoritative.

Here is a link of a summary of the book.

I cannot consult my supervisor at the moment nor wait or state why here.

Thank you

  • 1
    What do the instructions say that you were given? What are your institutions style guide's on the subject? What did your supervisor say when you asked?
    – 410 gone
    Mar 16 '14 at 20:43
  • How you may improve your post perhaps: YOu may want to include a link to "Cresswell". That may provide further perspective to readers on this website. Do you have an adviser and has (s)he suggested this book/resource? Do you have examples of theses that have used "Cresswell" to organize their content?
    – dearN
    Mar 16 '14 at 20:51

If I take your question correctly, it sounds as if you don't know whether to refer to the styleguide that informed you to structure your thesis in a certain way. So, in your introduction, you have a section such as:

The next chapter of this thesis describes the background literature. Chapter 3 outlines the methodology and so on. Chapter 4 presents the experimental design, whatever … Finally, chapter 7 concludes and provides further possibilities for research. This structure is suggested by Cresswell (19xx)

If that's what you're thinking, then I would say no; don't reference the styleguide that you based your thesis structure on. Just like you wouldn't cite, for instance, the AP styleguide for your spelling conventions.


A style guide isn't really an authority for this, even if you're following its advice. Structure should be designed help the reader understand your overall argument, the paths you took through the literature etc. So your explanation of why the work is structured in a particular way should be aimed at that set of decisions (constructing clarity to serve their reading) being made explicit to the reader.

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