Dissertations: what exactly do I have to do?

  • You need to find out:

    • How it will be assessed?

      The handbook may tell you much more than how it’s assessed, and suggest a structure, or section headings.

    • Do I have a viable research question?
    • What sort of research do I need to do?

      How extensive should your reading/literature review be? Which three texts/articles should you start with? Do you need to do primary/first hand research? How (when and where?) will you do this?

    • The practicalities?

      How many words? Deadlines for the proposal, drafts and final submission? Format and layout – font, font size, heading structure, etc.

      and…

    • Your supervisor's preferences... most important :-)

      What sections do they want? Do they like a few main headings (and extended writing in each section) or a lot of sub-headings (with short written numbered sections).