7 hints for writing a solid dissertation
Once you have embarked on writing your thesis it will be part of your life for a long time so the topic has to be interesting to you.
- Unless you already have a plan you may need to have a look at a few lists to give you some inspiration.
- Your tutor/professor can be a good source but they may also be giving the same ideas to the other students.
- Have a look through your course notes to see if there is anything that you found motivating at the time.
- If you use an academic search engine to find lists of potential topics. Use key words to search websites. Find 2 or 3 topics that may be of interest to you. Make a decision based on brainstorming some ideas.
- Once you have got your topic area, you need to formulate your
Hypothesis. This sometimes takes a bit of time.
- If you have chosen a popular topic for your dissertation you may decide to focus on a slightly different slant.
- Remember that the words you use to describe your hypothesis may change during your writing but this does not mean that the focus of the work changes.
- The more you talk about your work the easier it gets to describe the focus of your work. The words that you use will become more focussed and appropriate.
- Talk to your tutor/professor about your choice of topic. They may be able to offer some further suggestions.
- Before you meet with your tutor/professor make a list of what you need to discuss with them. Better still email them with the discussion points so as they have chance to think about their response before you meet.
- If you think that you many need some help getting your writing in a logical order see if you can talk to a Learning Support Tutor.
- There are several websites that offer one-to-one support for students. Their advice may be free.
- It is always a good idea to look at a few examples before you start writing your dissertation, that way you know what you want to achieve.
- Ask your tutor/professor if they have some examples of a range of examples i.e. good, exceptional and poor.
- You can also ask at your school or college library as they may have some examples or be able to sign post you.
- Look online, there are several websites that can provide you with free examples, (some of which may be annotated).
- You will need to make sure that you have access to online school and college libraries as well as physically researching in a library. Pay attention to the abstracts.
- Look for supporting evidence from books. Also look at Journals in your subject area as many of the appropriate articles may be peer reviews.
- Make sure that you have a copy of the primary evidence that you will be targeting, as you will be referring to this continually.
- When researching, take notes. This is a must because when you start writing you will know exactly where any citation has its origins and you will be going down the path of unwitting plagiarism.
Solid Gold Planning
- Look carefully at the instructions you have been given about completion of your work.
- Adhere to the referencing format that you need to use and word count.
- Get your diary out and start to work in all the milestones that you will need.
- Don’t leave anything to the last minute.