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How to Write Your Best Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Write Your Best Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide

❶Some limitations may refer directly to the word count, explaining that there are further issues that you will not have a chance to or space to address.

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Guidelines to Writing Dissertation Proposals and How to Outline Them
Dissertation proposals & writing dissertations

Depending on the level of detail that your specific course requires, you may also want to explain why your chosen approaches to gathering data are more appropriate to your research than others. Your dissertation proposal should also include the aims and objectives of your research.

Be sure to state what your research hopes to achieve, and what outcomes you predict. You may also need to clearly state what your main research objectives are, in other words, how you plan to obtain those achievements and outcomes.

The literature review will list the books and materials that you used to do your research. This is where you can list materials that give you more background on your topic, or contain research carried out previously that you refer to in your own studies.

Lastly, you will also need to include the constraints of your research. Many topics will have broad links to numerous larger and more complex issues, so by clearly stating the constraints of your research, you are displaying your understanding and acknowledgment of these larger issues, and the role they play by focusing your research on just one section or part of the subject. The structure of your dissertation proposal will depend on your specific course requirements.

Aim to complete chapter one. Receive feedback on previous work. Easter Write up final draft of dissertation - begin drafting out conclusion. Check if your faculty has any specific requirements. References The reference list at the end of your work demonstrates the depth of your research. Find out which sections you need to include by asking your supervisor, by identifying what is standard practice in your discipline or by reading papers written by other students: Cover page All dissertations and theses submitted at Southampton Solent University must be bound and have an official cover page.

Example cover page Dissertation Template Word doc In the template above, the title page is formatted correctly. Give yourself plenty of time to get your printing and binding done. Lots of other people will be submitting around the same time, so the printers are likely to be busier than usual. Acknowledgements The acknowledgments is a paragraph which thanks everyone who has helped you whilst you have been researching and writing your dissertation. Abstract The Abstract is a summarise d version of your complete paper.

Briefly outline what your paper aims to do Briefly outline the results and the conclusions you have reached. Contents page A dissertation or a thesis is an extended piece of writing.

Example contents page Usually, the Contents page will come after the Acknowledgements and Abstract, and before the List of figures if you have one and the Introduction. List of figures or illustrations You will need to include a List of figures, a List of illustrations or even both if your dissertation has the following items: It should give the number of the page that it appears on.

You do not need to give reference details here. Check what is the normal practice in your discipline. Main body - introduction The introduction serves as an expansion of your title and is included in every dissertation. Why are you writing this dissertation? When numbering the pages, start at 1 on the introduction. Main body - literature survey The Literature Survey is also known as a Literature review.

A Literature Survey uses a descriptive writing approach is positioned after the introduction and before the methodology describes the existing and established theory and research in your report area. You are providing a context for your work. Check whether to include this seperately or not with your department or tutor. Main body - methodology The general idea is that, should someone else choose to carry out the same or a very similar type of study, they should be able to understand and copy your methods from your descriptions.

Main body - results The Results section may also be called 'Findings'. Do not include any discussion, argument or conclusions — these come later.

Main body - discussion The Discussion section: Do not draw out your conclusions here, but open up the discussion of possibilities. Main body - recommendations Check with your tutor or department whether you should be including recommendations in your dissertation or not. Including a Recommendations section depends on purpose. Always check with your tutor first. Main body - conclusion The Conclusion should reach your point.

Consider the following questions: What, in your conclusion, did your research show in relation to your aims? Did you meet your aims, go beyond them, or in fact fail to reach your aims? Did you prove your own hypothesis or disprove it? Example references page A Reference list: For details on how to write different kinds of references: Appendices An appendix normally includes research related material that does not fit easily or suitably in the body of the paper: Example appendices page Remember: You can have more than one appendix appendices.

What a dissertation should look like The following pages give you advice on: Solent Electronic Archive Weblink opens in new window. Title page As your dissertation is a larger piece of writing you should have a title page.

The award for which the project is submitted The academic year of submission The name of the author The title of the work Position the window carefully in the centre of the page. Other information that may appear on the title page but outside of the window space may include: Numbering sections and figures Good academic writing is about ease of understanding. Numbering sections in your dissertation Give all major sections a consecutive number using Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3, etc.

Conclusions Number consecutively using decimal points within these sections For example: Example of contents page PDF opens in new window Numbering figures, tables and illustrations Label and format correctly any figures or tables that you use in your dissertation: Number figures and tables separately Number them consecutively, using Arabic numbers e.

Example of writing figures Figure Example of a table Check very carefully that the numbering and page numbering are all correct in your list of tables and figures Always provide a source for any figure or table that was not created by you, and give a full citation for the source in your reference list Remember: Page numbers As far as page numbering goes, there are four sections to your dissertation: Preamble The preamble is everything between the Title page and the Introduction: Use small-case Roman numerals i.

Insert a section break between the pre-amble and the main body. Demo of how to add section breaks MP4 video opens in new window Main body Includes everything from the Introduction up to but not including the appendices. Use Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Demo of how to set page numbers in Word MP4 video opens in new window Appendices Use the letter name of the appendix and an Arabic numeral. A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2 to number. Create a section break for each appendix and manually add the letter name into the footer.

Demo of how to add numbers to your appendices MP4 video opens in new window Note: Line spacing Set your line spacing to 1. Indents or breaks Leave a space of one line between paragraphs, rather than indenting the first line Set your spacing at 12pt after a line.

Margins The left hand margin should be set at 3. Section headings Sections headings should be left aligned, bold and numbered.

The numbering should be the same as given in your contents page. Make sure you are consistent in your numbering of headings and sub-headings. Presentation Try and follow the presentation points below: Use white A4 paper of a reasonable thickness not too thin and not thick like card Single sided print on one side of the paper only Bind and cover your paper — plastic comb binding is the most common way use the standard Solent University front and back cover that has window in the front to show the assignment details Example title page PDF opens in new window Look at the example title page above.

Binding Professional binding For advice and guidance, email the university's Print Centre at print. The Print service Weblink opens in new window What type of binding should you use?

First of all, check the expectations of your department. How important do you view this paper you are handing in? No matter how well bound your dissertation is, the content is the most vital part. Is your title meaningful? Does your statement clearly define the problem? Is your purpose in undertaking the study clear?

Are your objectives clear and measurable? Is your methodology sufficiently clear that someone else could replicate your study? Do you have the necessary resources to complete the study? Is your timetable realistic? Are your references complete and in the required format? Have you checked the word count? Have you checked the layout?

Does your faculty have any specific requirements e. Dissertation checklist Word doc. Avoiding plagiarism Plagiarism is taking the words, theories, creations or ideas of another person and passing them off as your own. Plagiarism can also result from not referencing correctly. You must ensure you know how to reference your work using the style advised by your tutor. The following titles are available from the library: This is currently being updated.

More help If you'd like some more help with dissertation proposals and writing dissertations you can: Ask your lecturer for guidance. If you are a disabled student you can also contact Access Solent for guidance and support. View the glossary to help you understand the words used in this book. Read a book or ebook from the reading list found in Extra resources. Visit recommended websites in Extra resources for further guidance on dissertation proposals and writing dissertations.

Review literature and start work on first draft. Above all, make sure to analyze the conceptual and methodological weaknesses. Do not forget about the word count of the dissertation proposal and make sure it stays at least under twenty pages. The following outline of a dissertation proposal is in a general format, but with explanations For crafting dissertation proposals in a format directed by you and one that guarantees success, please visit dissertationtoday.

How to Write a Dissertation Proposal Guidelines to Writing Dissertation Proposals and How to Outline Them One of the most difficult tasks involved in dissertation writing is the formulation of dissertation proposals which involves creating something out of nothing at all.

Outlining the Dissertation Proposal The following outline of a dissertation proposal is in a general format, but with explanations For crafting dissertation proposals in a format directed by you and one that guarantees success, please visit dissertationtoday.

Provide an overview of the complete dissertation proposal and what you have discussed therein. Write this section keeping in mind the people or committee members who are not familiar with the field your dissertation is about. Significance of the dissertation topic , questions the dissertation will explore and the problems or research the dissertation will address. Review of previous works:

Dissertation proposal template and examples

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Most proposals are written using the future tense: ‘I will be using questionnaires and so on’. Check with your supervisor for confirmation. What does a dissertation proposal include? The essential parts of a research proposal are generally standard: Dissertation title .

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Step 1: Write a winning dissertation proposal We already explained what a dissertation paper is, but what is a dissertation proposal? As the term itself suggests, this is a proposal for the final dissertation project, which should persuade the committee members that you're going to commit to a valuable, interesting, and complex questions.

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Guidelines to Writing Dissertation Proposals and How to Outline Them. One of the most difficult tasks involved in dissertation writing is the formulation of dissertation proposals which involves creating something out of nothing at all. The whole point of a dissertation is to create and bring about something new, new ideas or new theories, and all of this is to be presented in the form of dissertation proposals. "A dissertation proposal is essential in preparing you for the writing process and will actually serve to make beginning your dissertation decidedly less frightening." Beginning to plan a dissertation is an undoubtedly daunting task.

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The dissertation proposal is an important first step towards writing your final dissertation on a taught or research masters course, or a PhD level course. Your proposal needs to be unique and it sets the stage for your research and should help you make a clear plan for your final project. Dissertation proposal is quite similar to a thesis proposal and acts like a plan before writing the dissertation itself. It aims to show the main objectives of your .