How To Do A Dissertation

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You should also choose a topic that you already know something about so that you already have a frame of reference for your literature search and some understanding and interest in the theory behind your topic.

There are many ways to write a dissertation or thesis.

A dissertation or thesis is likely to be the longest and most difficult piece of work a student has ever completed.

It can, however, also be a very rewarding piece of work since, unlike essays and other assignments, the student is able to pick a topic of special interest and work on their own initiative.

Dissertations and academic articles used always to be written in the third person, and in the passive voice; as an example, you might write ‘An experiment was carried out to test…’ However, many journals have now moved away from that convention and request first person and active voice, which would require you to write ‘I carried out an experiment to test…’ Check with your university about their requirements before you start to write.

If you cannot find any guidelines, then ask your supervisor and/or the person who will be marking your thesis about their preferences.

It is not to do it for you, nor to tell you how to do it.

However, their academic reputation is bound up in the results of the students that they supervise so they have a vested interest in helping you to get the best possible marks.

Most universities and colleges provide very specific guidance to their students about their preferred approach.

This page, and those that follow, are designed to give you some ideas about how you might carry out your literature review, and then write each of the various sections of your dissertation in the absence of, or in addition to, any specific guidance from your university.

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