DISSERTATION WRITING COURSE
The purpose of the dissertation is to show that you are able to write (AND PRESENT) in an academic way, carry out research into the relevant academic literature and write about the research in a logical and clear way.
To complete your dissertation, you have to show your marker that you can –
- Set a relevant title for your research.
- Decide on aims for your research.
- Carry out a background research relevant to your dissertation.
- Summarise and clearly explain the research.
- Discuss relevant points.
- Argue relevant points related to your dissertation title.
- Follow the correct format for the dissertation.
- Write within the appropriate word limits.
- Use academic language.
- Write references.
- Remember that this is an academic piece of writing. You may choose to study something practical eg. The Development of a Cottage Garden. That is a suitable title, but you must write academically about what is a cottage garden, the plants that are suitable, soil composition, garden designs and so on.
- Present your Dissertation to an audience
There are 9 lessons in this course:
Developing a Research Proposal
Preparation of First Draft
Preparation of Second Draft
Submission of Final Documentation
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
A dissertation is an academic work, it is vital therefore that the writing style and syntax is pitched at this level. Preparation of the first draft will allow the student and their tutor to assess the shape of the dissertation and where energy needs to be focused.
It is advised that students will:
- Read other dissertations available in college libraries
- Not to expect that the first draft will produce a finished work
- Allow plenty of time for writing
- Include references, diagrams, tables etc even if they are not finalized in themselves
- Allow extra spacing within the draft for comments
- Use a dictionary and a thesaurus
- Ensure that the writing style is academic, i.e. written in the third person (do not use I), please refer to a style guide if you are still unsure about how to do this
- Request someone with experience to proof read your writing
By this stage you will have completed some fairly significant sections towards the thesis including the literature review, research methodology and the results/data analysis. These essentially provide the backbone of the dissertation. You will need to review these and apply any corrections that may have been suggested by your tutor. Following this you can start working on the other sections such as the conclusion, introduction and abstract as outline in this lesson. Don’t forget to start thinking about information that may need to be included in the appendix. You should also by now have an extensive reference list. You may need to double check that all references referred to in the main body are listed in the reference list. It is extremely important that attention is paid to correct and consistent referencing throughout the thesis so as not to expose yourself to accusations of plagiarism.
Due to the wide variety of terminology surrounding dissertations and thesis from country to country we will define the term dissertation as not a singular research project that satisfies requirements for a higher degree, but to a very substantial project that is submitted in part to satisfy a coursework higher degree. The aim of a dissertation for a higher level qualification is to provide evidence of an understanding of the field, and which may also contribute to the knowledge in that field.
As such this module allows the student to engage in research on a topic that is of particular interest to them as well as demonstrating not only their research, analytical and investigative skills, but also their ability to work independently with self determination.
This module will require a substantial commitment from the student. Not only will the student be engaged in independent research and will be required to submit substantial assignments they will also have to verbally defend their research once it is completed.
This module is not a workshop or a research project, it represents a very large commitment of time and effort and will result in a piece of original work by the student.
- Being prepared to capitalize on future opportunities in your field of study.
- Awareness of the subject and the industry
- Understanding of how to use what is learnt in real life situations
- Ability to communicate with greater confidence and accuracy
- Capacity to solve problems related to this subject