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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
August 1, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Guidelines for the Multiple Manuscript Dissertation (MMD) Option

1. Introduction

The Faculty of Social Work acknowledges the individual preferences and strengths of its doctoral students.  To recognize such strengths, we offer the “Multiple Manuscript Dissertation” (MMD) option for SK899 Dissertation.  Under this option, the dissertation is a coherent body of work; however, the student writes a minimum of three articles suitable for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and these articles become components of the Findings, Methods and/or Literature Review sections of the dissertation.

Please note that when a student, prior to the dissertation defense, submits a manuscript for publication that will be included in the dissertation, he/she should be advised that acceptance of a manuscript from a journal is separate from and does not constitute acceptance or approval by the advisory committee. It is the responsibility of the examining committee to determine if the dissertation fully meets degree requirements.

2. The Dissertation Advisory Committee Must Approve This Option

Students wishing to pursue this option should discuss the feasibility and appropriateness of this option with their Advisor. All students who wish to select the MMD option require prior approval of their Advisor and Dissertation Advisory Committee (DAC). Faculty members who prefer not to work with students choosing this option should communicate this to students who inquire about it.

3. Organization of the Multiple Manuscript Dissertation

Introduction (as in traditional dissertation)
  • Issue/problem to be investigated is clearly articulated, identifies central concerns.
  • Context of the issue/problem is presented.
  • Theoretical or conceptual framework guiding the dissertation is identified as appropriate
  • A rationale for the dissertation as a whole is provided
  • An overview of the dissertation as a whole is presented.
  • Objectives for the dissertation as a whole are identified.

Review of Literature
  • Presented in a logical sequence
  • Provides a summary of the current state of knowledge on the problem
  • Identifies consistencies and contradictions in the literature
  • Notes gaps or areas with little research.
  • Lays a foundation for the dissertation study.
  • A manuscript that reviews all or parts of relevant literature and is a self-contained article prepared for, submitted to, or already published in a peer-reviewed journal may form a part of this section.

  • Research questions and/or hypotheses are clearly stated.
  • Research design, sampling, data collection and analysis
  • Rationale for these choices is provided.
  • A manuscript that describes all or part of the Methodology employed and is a self-contained article prepared for, submitted to, or already published in a peer-reviewed journal may form a part of this section.

  • Findings are presented in the form of one or more manuscripts that are self-contained articles prepared for, submitted to, or already published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Findings from the research that are not reported in the manuscripts should be reported in a separate chapter in this section.

  • Provides a synthesis of the main findings of the full dissertation including the findings reported in the manuscripts.
  • Strengths and limitations of the dissertation are provided.
  • General conclusions and implications for practice and future research are provided.


4. Style Requirements

Articles are submitted to journals following the style requirements of those particular journals.  
The dissertation will be formatted and bound consistent with Wilfrid Laurier University guidelines (see A Handbook for Theses and Dissertations.

5.  Dissertation Proposal and Defense Procedures

Dissertations prepared under the MMD option are subject to dissertation defense procedures as specified by the policies and procedures set out by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies of Wilfrid Laurier University.

6. Authorship of a manuscript included in the Multiple Manuscript Dissertation

Normally all manuscripts that are included in the MMD Dissertation are authored by the doctoral student only. Any exceptions to this practice must be approved by the PhD Admissions, Curriculum and Student Affairs Committee.