Skip to Main Content

Section 1


Section 1 Overview

Your goal in Section 1 is to develop and refine your evidence-based problem statement and then align that problem with the purpose, the expected contribution to practice, and your questions. You will use your ADE Proposal and Manuscript Template (school-specific templates available in the Essentials section of the Applied Doctoral Center) to draft consecutive subsections of Section 1. Section 1 is where you'll identify the conceptual or theoretical framework for the doctoral project/dissertation-in-practice.

You will also write a literature review as part of Section 1. A literature review in an applied project is not the same as a theoretical dissertation. While the functional steps for conducting the literature review are similar, the desired focus is different. In applied research, there is less emphasis on theoretical foundations and historical perspectives and more emphasis on framing the conditions of the identified problem within its context.

Section 1 Video

Video Resources

Section 1 Documents

How to Critically Analyze Sources

Learning about Synthesis Analysis

What Does Synthesis and Analysis Mean?

Synthesis: the combination of ideas to

  • form a theory, system, larger idea, point or outcomeSynthesis, Analysis, and Evaluation
  • show commonalities or patterns

Analysis: a detailed examination

  • of elements, ideas, or the structure of something
  • can be a basis for discussion or interpretation

Synthesis and Analysis: combine and examine ideas to

  • show how commonalities, patterns, and elements fit together
  • form a unified point for a theory, discussion, or interpretation
  • develop an informed evaluation of the idea by presenting several different viewpoints and/or ideas

Section 1 Resource: Synthesis Matrix

Synthesis Matrix

A synthesis matrix is an excellent tool to use to organize sources by theme and to be able to see the similarities and differences as well as any important patterns in the methodology and recommendations for future research. Using a synthesis matrix can assist you not only in synthesizing and analyzing,  but it can also aid you in finding a researchable problem and gaps in methodology and/or research.

Synthesis Matrix

Use the Synthesis Matrix Template attached below to organize your research by theme and look for patterns in your sources.Use the companion handout, "Types of Articles" to aid you in identifying the different article types for the sources you are using in your matrix. If you have any questions about how to use the synthesis matrix, sign up for the synthesis analysis group session to practice using them with Dr. Sara Northern!