This article will provide an overview of the undergraduate dissertation and its standard requirements at UK universities.
Case Study 12 Making sure your dissertation doesn't get on top of you Producing a 'working title' Insofar as the preparation of the dissertation is a process of investigation and discovery, the precise scope of your study may well only emerge as you become closely involved in a detailed review of the literature.
At this early stage, your title may be a provisional one that you will revise later. Your dissertation supervisor may advise on the title in order to help you find and define the focus of the dissertation. You should examine articles in scholarly journals for examples of appropriate titles for a study of this length.
Starting to write the dissertation Supervisors have different ways of working and you will, to some degree, need to negotiate your approach to supervision style.
For example, your supervisor may advise you to write a short proposal or abstract, say of about words, in which you set out as clearly as possible what you intend to do in the dissertation. The value of this exercise is that it requires you to focus and articulate your thinking. It may be that you will be able to summarise the exact nature and scope of your study, in which case the proposal can serve as guide to refer to as you write the main chapters of the work.
Alternatively, it may make you aware of gaps in your knowledge and understanding, and show you the areas that need further thought and research. It is useful, therefore, to write the proposal and to retain it for reference and revision.
It helps to attempt such an abstract even if your supervisor has not suggested that you write one. However, practice varies, and your supervisor will advise you on how to proceed. As you continue to write the main chapters of the work, you may find that your initial plan has changed.
This means that when you have completed the chapters that form the main body of your dissertation you can return to the proposal and revise it as much as you need, to form the introduction.
It is highly advisable to draft a plan of the dissertation. There is a lot in common between different dissertations regarding the structure and although you do not need to stick slavishly to a standard plan, such a plan is very helpful as a template to impose some order on what may seem an unmanageable task.
Here is an indicative structure that might help you with your initial plan. Dissertation Structure Section Information Introduction The field of study, the research question, the hypothesis if any or, more generally, the research question that is to be investigated.
It should also include a summary of the contents and main arguments in the dissertation. The Literature Review Usually, this comes immediately after the introductory chapter.
This may be more than one chapter, but should certainly be written in sections. This should include previous work done on the field of study and anything that you consider to be relevant to the hypothesis or research question and to its investigation. It will include a large number of references to the literature in your chosen area.
You should consider the benefits of your chosen method as well as identifying any disadvantages and how you overcame them. Ethical issues and the ways in which you dealt with them should be noted. This section should also discuss any variations from the original fieldwork plan, and should conclude with a reflection on the experience of doing fieldwork.
You may also wish to include an evaluation of any difficulties you encountered in collecting and analysing data, together with an assessment of how this affected your plan of research. You should NOT introduce any new literature at this stage. Conclusions and recommendations An overall assessment of what you found out, how successful you were and suggestions for future research.
Beginning work on the main body of the dissertation Once you have produced the proposal and discussed it with your supervisor, you may want to write the first draft of a chapter of the dissertation.
When you hand in this draft, you should arrange a tutorial to receive your supervisor's verbal or written comments and suggestions on how it may be improved. You may, for example, produce a draft introduction setting out the issue, together with a literature review which covers what, if any, treatment of the topic has gone beforehand.
You may also wish to draft those sections of the methodology chapter that cover the methods that you wish to use, together with a justification for why you think those methods are best. Revising sections after receiving the supervisor's comments When you have received your supervisor's comments on the draft of any chapter, you should revise that particular chapter immediately.
Prompt revision is easier than letting things drift, and you should do it while the advice of your supervisor is fresh in your mind. This will also avoid building up a backlog of work that needs to be revised, which can be discouraging. Having the material on a computer disk will enable you to do revisions efficiently and with a minimum of fuss.
Be sure to back up all your work on a floppy disk, CD, or memory stick.Making Inferences From a Short Story for ESL Students.
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How to Write Your Best Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide.
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Affordable prices and written from scratch by highly qualified academic writers. How to Write a Good Undergraduate Dissertation At first, let us figure out what Undergraduate dissertation is and why students prepare this paper. Writing an Undergraduate dissertation students carry out the requirements of their undergraduate programs.