- Choosing a Dissertation Topic in 8 Steps
- Academic Aims
- How to Write a Dissertation: The Ultimate Guide
- Module Details
- What is the Difference Between a Thesis and a Dissertation?
With a larger project it can be hard to keep all your ideas straight in your head at once, so writing them down makes you think them through fully. Keep jotting down parts of chapters, methods, ideas - they don't have to be perfect, or even go into your final dissertation, but they will give you something other than a blank screen to work with when you come to do your final draft. Plan each chapter. A common complaint from lecturers when marking dissertations is that students tend to have the correct chapter headings and basically the right information in each chapter, but the individual points in the chapter don't follow on from each other.
It is the structuring within chapters which lets many people down. To avoid having muddled points within your chapters, do a brief plan for each chapter: What are the key points you need to include? Can you group similar points together?
What point does your audience need to know first, then second, then third, and so on? Explain your ideas clearly.
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- Submission of Dissertation or Doctoral Project?
You will probably get quite close to your research and understand it in more detail than anyone else. You may be able to follow what you mean, but will an outside reader?
Make sure you explain your ideas fully, step-by-step. It can help to talk through your ideas with a friend as they can point out places where you are jumping from A to C without explaining B first! Remember your research questions. Keep your research questions in front of you as you write.
Choosing a Dissertation Topic in 8 Steps
With a longer project it is easy to lose sight of what you need to write about and start rambling off in different directions. If you are concerned you are losing focus, look back at your research question s and make sure everything you write helps you to answer these.
Also look back at your literature review when you come to write your discussion - refer to the background literature to help support your own findings. You may not have needed to do a full literature review in shorter reports but it is likely that you will need to analyse the background literature surrounding your topic for a dissertation. If I am doing my own research, why do I need to do a literature review?
To place your research in context - how does it fit with what others have researched before? How has previous research methods and findings informed the way you decided to carry out your project? To see if there are any gaps that your research might fill.
To assess the evidence that other researchers have found - what are the strengths and weaknesses in their studies? How will your research avoid these weaknesses?
To see how researchers may differ in their approaches to the topic - which approaches do you find most convincing and why? What approaches or methods are most suitable for your research and why? To find evidence to support your findings - you will need to come back to your background reading to support your interpretations of your results.
How do your results compare with what others have found? Do their findings help explain your results? Supervisors are there to guide you and advise you on whether your project is manageable. Their role is not to tell you exactly what to research or to give you a detailed reading list; it is your job to come up with these as part of demonstrating your research skills.
Take your supervisor's advice seriously, as they have a lot of previous experience in what will work as a dissertation project. However, also remember that you have to 'own' your project, so it is alright NOT to do what your supervisor says as long as you have good reasons not to. The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run.
How to Write a Dissertation: The Ultimate Guide
Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years. Browser does not support script. Module aims This module aims to develop the research and evaluation skills of the student. Learning outcomes At the end of this module, students will be able to: Devise a research topic concerning an aspect of digital culture.
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- Step 1: Check the requirements!
Complete a secondary literature in the field and its significance for the research project and relevant theories. Cite relevant primary source material to back their arguments or to develop sustained abstract theoretical arguments.
Demonstrate the ability to work independently, under guidance, on a longer piece of work. Core reading Cottrell, S. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Dolowitz, D. The main difference between a thesis and a dissertation is when they are completed. The thesis is a project that marks the end of a master's program, while the dissertation occurs during doctoral study. The two are actually quite different in their purpose, as well.
What is the Difference Between a Thesis and a Dissertation?
A thesis is a compilation of research that proves you are knowledgeable about the information learn throughout your graduate program. A dissertation is your opportunity during a doctorate program to contribute new knowledge, theories or practices to your field. The point is to come up with an entirely new concept, develop it and defend its worth.
A master's thesis is kind of like the sorts of research papers you are familiar with from undergrad. You research a topic, then analyze and comment upon the information you gleaned and how it relates to the particular subject matter at hand. The point of the thesis is to show your ability to think critically about a topic and to knowledgeably discuss the information in-depth.