These are all stepping stones that will help you to determine your dissertation focus. One word of caution: Once you start your research, you may find that you are compelled to explore topics of which you were previously unaware. Choosing a topic might take months, so make sure to make room in your timetable for flexible and thoughtful topic selection.
After you have identified your topic, it is time to choose your committee. Throughout your studies, you will undoubtedly have professors with whom you share similar ideals.
Make sure to foster relationships with these scholars because they will be the ones you should ask to serve on your committee. Your committee members should be experts in the field in which you will do your research, but they should also share different points of view.
This variance will ensure that you get quality feedback on each chapter of your dissertation. On your calendar, block out a few weeks to allow professors adequate time to respond to your request. Before you can start your dissertation, you have to justify to your committee the need for research on your topic.
This means that you have to prove to them that there is a hole in existing research that your dissertation will fill. In order to defend your topic, you must write a prospectus and "defend" it to your committee.
These papers consist of extensive literature reviews and are often composed of the first two to three chapters of the dissertation. For some programs, however, the prospectus is a shorter paper that argues the need for research on the topic. Make sure you know what kind of prospectus your committee expects. In order to create a realistic timetable in which to complete your prospectus, you must consider what your department requires, how much you have already researched and written on your topic and how much time you can devote each day toward writing it.
As always, leave wiggle room in your timetable -- you never know when life is going to get in the way of your dissertation. Once you have your prospectus written, it is time to defend it to your committee. This stage of the dissertation often gets overlooked in the initial timetable; however, you must get through it in order to proceed. The timetable for the defense will be determined by your ability to organize your thoughts and create a presentation.
One way to save time is to make sure that you are clear about expectations before you begin working on your defense. Make time to rehearse answers to questions that your committee may ask you about your plan. The time required for your dissertation will be determined by several factors: Different disciplines require different kinds of research: The time it might take to complete a scientific dissertation may vary depending on experimental results, whereas conducting library-based research is usually a bit easier to schedule since there are no unknown experimental factors.
Collaborate with its members to create your writing schedule and be sure to make plenty of time for research, writing, editing and professor feedback. Having a calendar in plain view will not only help make you accountable to yourself, but also serve as a reminder for everyday goals. However, one key area will require a number of visits to the British Library as some materials are not available on inter-library loan. This section will be researched over the summer break as time permits.
Whilst it is hoped to conduct some primary research in the USA during the summer of , current restrictions on visa applications is causing some concern. Should the USA research prove impossible to achieve, secondary research will be extended in order to provide an alternative means of analysis.
Whilst every endeavour will be made to present a global perspective, many original documents are written in languages other than English. Obtaining technical translation of these documents may prove difficult due to financial constraints. Electronic translation software is not sufficiently advanced as to guarantee reliable results with this type of material and will not be employed. List resources that you will need to complete your study in the Resources section. This will not affect publication of the results, however, as this service is provided locally by a commercial printing facility.
Below is a proposed timetable for your dissertation. It should also be sufficiently detailed for your supervisor to identify any areas of weakness in order to provide you with appropriate guidance:. Give an outline of the structure of your dissertation in this section. This is usually restricted to the main body as the overall structure is often prescribed.
The main discussion will require a more detailed breakdown than other sections. You should give suggested chapters headings and one or two paragraphs about the proposed content. Is art really a good investment? The reference list at the end of your work demonstrates the depth of your research.
This is where you list all of your research reading if you have included a literature survey. If you presented your literature survey separately, you would have referred to some aspects of that reading in your introduction your statement of the problem. You must cite and reference those aspects in this section. Below is a list of the sections a dissertation may contain. However, not every dissertation includes all these sections.
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:. This is a formatted Word document that you can overwrite with your report content. In the template above, simply delete sections which you are not required to write or move sections within the document by cutting and pasting.
When submitting any written work via turnitin you need to add an electronic cover sheet to your assignment. You can get a copy of this from your Unit page, or visit Successful Online Submission.
To see examples of past dissertations from Solent University students, please visit the archive below. All dissertations and theses submitted at Southampton Solent University must be bound and have an official cover page.
Make sure that your title page has the required information positioned correctly so that it shows through the hole. In the template above, the title page is formatted correctly.
Notice that the template title page shows through the picture of the cover. The acknowledgments is a paragraph which thanks everyone who has helped you whilst you have been researching and writing your dissertation.
Example Acknowledgements page from Solent Electronic Archive. Acknowledgements usually come on the first page after the title page although some people put it after the abstract. Check for the normal practice in your subject. The Abstract is a summarise d version of your complete paper. A reader could get the main ideas from just the abstract, or use the abstract to decide whether to read the rest of the paper. Example abstract page from Solent Electronic Archive. The abstract will always come at the beginning of your paper, before the contents page.
A dissertation or a thesis is an extended piece of writing. To help your reader find information easily, you must include a 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. Notice that everything leading up to the Introduction does not have to be numbered here. If you do number the pages, the numbering would be in Roman numerals. Be very careful when making your final draft that all of the page numbers given in the Contents are correct.
You will need to include a List of figures, a List of illustrations or even both if your dissertation has the following items:. Include these in a citation next to the figure itself and in your Reference List or Bibliography. If you are doing a design or fine arts subject, it is likely that you will include photographs, drawings, paintings or illustrations in your dissertations. These would normally be included in your List of illustrations.
In other subjects, it is common to include all tables, charts, graphs, photographs, drawings, etc. When labelling, number these separately Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. The List of illustrations is positioned after the Contents page on a separate page and before the Introduction.
The introduction serves as an expansion of your title and is included in every dissertation. The introduction comes at the beginning of the paper, after the abstract, acknowledgements and contents lists. The Literature Survey is also known as a Literature review. The Literature Survey is not in every dissertation. Sometimes the literature survey can be embedded in the main body of your writing.
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.
Your thesis or dissertation will involve a large body of research so it is important to explain what research methods you used to collect your information. Do not include your questionnaires, interview transcripts, etc. All of this discussion must be framed within the purpose you stated in your title and introduction. Check with your tutor or department whether you should be including recommendations in your dissertation or not.
If the dissertation provides information on an area for which future decisions will need to be made, then you should include recommendations on what decisions to make. Do not go back to a longwinded explanation of your results but instead give a brief and clear statement of what these results show.
Some dissertations have a reference list, some have a bibliography, some have both. Ask your supervisor, and look at past papers in your subject to find out which one to use.
An appendix normally includes research related material that does not fit easily or suitably in the body of the paper:. The following pages give you advice on:. The advice on this site is general. Always check the specific requirements of your School or department.
Ask if they can provide you with dissertation writing guidelines. As your dissertation is a larger piece of writing you should have a title page. Your School should provide you with a standard Solent University dissertation cover. Position the window carefully in the centre of the page. You could either create a moveable text box on the page in order to do that, or use our template which has the window positioned correctly. Plan your work carefully so you have plenty of time to get these last details right.
Work backwards from your deadline and leave yourself a few days to print and bind. Everyone else will be too! Good academic writing is about ease of understanding. Numbering the sections makes it easy to know where you are in the dissertation at any one time.
It also means that your reader can use the contents page to find any particular part of the text they are interested in. Numbering sections in your dissertation.
Continue to add sub-sub sections by increasing the number of decimal points. Avoid doing this excessively as you may make the structure too complicated. If including a figure or table, refer to it in the body of your paper at the point where it appears. As far as page numbering goes, there are four sections to your dissertation: Title page Your title page should have no number. Preamble The preamble is everything between the Title page and the Introduction:.
All these sections, with correct numbering, appear in the general dissertation template which can be accessed below. Look at the example title page above. It has the dissertation details in the correct place to appear through the cover window. If your dissertation is in any way different to the normal format as, for example, some design dissertations may be , consult your supervisor for correct presentation.
Opening hours are 8am Online orders including posters, dissertations and a wide range of printing, finishing and binding options can also be placed using this Canon Print Centre link.
Before submitting check that you have completed all required details. If in doubt check with your supervisor but as a minimum you should include: Plagiarism is taking the words, theories, creations or ideas of another person and passing them off as your own. Plagiarism can be deliberate — copying a passage from a book or journal or pasting something from the internet into an assignment without referencing the original source.
You can also commit inadvertent plagiarism which is where you unintentionally repeat some of the information you have read in the course of your research. You must ensure you do reference ALL material that comes from another source so question yourself as to whether you have read the information elsewhere and go back to your sources to locate the reference. Watch this video to find out more about avoiding plagiarism:.
Plagiarism is a serious issue that can result in failing an assignment, failing the year or even having to leave the course. All forms of plagiarism will be taken seriously - deliberate or not!
Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct. Southampton Solent University has clear guidelines on student academic conduct and procedures for dealing with academic misconduct. Make sure you are familiar with these by looking at the links on this webpage:. To avoid plagiarism , make sure you include references within your assignment to all sources you use and then include full details of all the sources in a reference list at the end of your work. To find out more, download the Avoiding plagiarism summary below.
Test your understanding of what plagiarism is by clicking on the links below. Subject specific books and ebooks http: If you have any feedback about dissertation proposals and writing dissertations. Thank you to all staff and students at Southampton Solent University who contributed to this course.
Solent Online Learning Course: Friday, 14 September , 8: What sections go into a dissertation? This book will cover: The first step is to put together your proposal. Dissertation proposals What are the essential elements to a good dissertation proposal? Dissertation Proposal Template Word doc. Title You need a working title to focus on throughout your research. Introduction Set out your reasons for undertaking this particular study in your Introduction. Outline the problem — what is the key issue?
Explain why you think this is worth investigating Describe the nature and purpose of your research Indicate what you hope to achieve. If you are unable to complete your statement then you are not yet ready to begin. Aims and objectives The primary focus of your research project is usually expressed in terms of aims and objectives. Aim An intention or aspiration; what you hope to achieve. Aims are statements of intent, written in broad terms.
Aims set out what you hope to achieve at the end of the project. Objective A goal or a step on the way to meeting the aim; how you will achieve it. Objectives use specific statements which define measurable outcomes. Objectives should be S. A less ambitious but completed objective is better than an over-ambitious one that you cannot possible achieve.
Realistic — do you have the necessary resources to achieve the objective? Time constrained — determine when each stage needs to be completed. Is there time in your schedule to allow for unexpected delays? Use strong positive statements which use strong verbs. There are no fixed number of aims or objectives. Some tutors are happy with one clear strong aim, whilst others like to see a main aim supported by at least two subsidiary aims. Data sets will be extracted from the known historical record of tectonic-plate movement Data sets will be extracted from astronomical tables detailing the various alignments of the major planets covering the same period as data from the geological record.
The data from both sets will be synthesis ed to establish if correlation points exist between major geological events and planetary alignments.
Methodology Remember to do the following when writing your Methodology: It is important to explain what research methods you used to collect your info. Discuss with your project supervisor the extent and level of detail required; original research will obviously require a more detailed description than a project based solely on secondary research.
Not every dissertation proposal contains a Literature survey. Literature survey summary PDF opens in new window. Scope and constraints Set the boundaries clearly in this section. Examples of boundary setting: Resources List resources that you will need to complete your study in the Resources section.
Timetable Below is a proposed timetable for your dissertation.
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