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I am writing the foundations chapter of my thesis. I think I came up with an original conceptualization of the matter that I haven't read anywhere before. Since a foundations chapter is usually more a survey, I'd like to highlight that fact. How can I phrase this?

A came up with two options:

The following conceptualization represents the author's individual perspective on the topic.

Isn't that somehow the case for every part of a thesis? Also sounds like a disclaimer.

In this section, a novel conceptualization of the topic is introduced.

Maybe better. Or should I simply put it somewhere else, where the fact that I consider it to be a contribution becomes more apparent from the context (location in the thesis)?

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Perhaps the best place to announce this would be in the introduction itself. If this novel conceptualization is part of the aims of the thesis -or can be linked to them in some way-, then the aims section would be a good place to say in which chapter the conceptualization is formally presented (perhaps Chapter 3, after the foundations chapter?)

At the end of the Introduction, it is customary in many fields to announce the thesis structure: in Chapter 2 we will be doing this and that, in Chapter 3... etc. I feel a novel conceptualization would also need to be indicated here.

Disclaimer: I have not yet defended my PhD (on the way to it, almost there), so I would appreciate any guidance other, more seasoned, academics could give both of us!

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  • I've been thinking about it and I, too, tend to put in an extra chapter now. The problem is that I try to introduce all the foundations and related work and then give my contributions. But I need the conceptualization to explain why the problems solved in the related work are different from mine. – cw' Jul 25 '15 at 12:41

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