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Guide to undergraduate dissertations in the social sciences

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❶A typical format guide would require the dissertation to be word-processed with double or one-and-a-half spacing, and a wide left margin to enable binding.

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The dissertation chair should inform Joan McCarthy about any equipment or other special needs. In lieu of printed copies, if the student prefers, an online PDF version may be made available, and the link to that document should be provided in the announcement of the dissertation defense to the faculty.

Who convenes and who attends the dissertation defense? The student and the dissertation committee will be physically present, except when expressly approved by the Program Director or Dean. Such approval for remote participation will only be granted when absolutely necessary, as in the case of a committee member who is located at a great distance from the LIU Post campus. In addition, all doctoral students and faculty are invited to attend. In addition, family, partners, and friends may attend, but not participate in the questioning.

Upon the recommendation of the dissertation committee, the Program Director or designee will convene the dissertation defense. The questioning portion of the defense is moderated by the dissertation chair. Normally, the student will be asked to make a brief presentation generally accompanied by a visual presentation e. The questioning normally proceeds with the committee members including the two outside readers and then the chair.

Other members of the faculty and then other doctoral candidates or students will then be invited to ask questions or offer comments within the time limits set by the committee chair. How long does the dissertation defense last? The public portion of the presentation and questioning session normally lasts about one hour. What is it that is special about a dissertation Use your experience and strengths Summary Key questions Further reading Web resources.

How to start your dissertation Help with finding literature and research Formulating the research question Methodologies Responsibility in the research process Research Ethics Supervision of the Dissertation Writing the Dissertation Developing Your Academic Style of Writing Plagiarism. Resources Further reading Research papers.

What is a Dissertation? So this part of site provides you with a better understanding of the following: What a dissertation is Why you are required to do a dissertation What your dissertation may look like How to set about your initial reading and writing Watch What is a dissertation?

This is because the process of producing this type of assessment enables you to: Identify your own area of interest. Explore an area in depth. Define your own question. Experience the process of producing knowledge. Manage a project from beginning to end. Consolidate your communication, information-seeking and intellectual skills. Definitions For many undergraduate degree students, a significant element of final year study is an independent learning project.

First, the learner determines the focus and direction of their work. Second, this work is carried out on an individual basis — although usually with some tutor support and direction provided. Finally, learners will have a more prolonged engagement with the chosen subject than is the case with 'standard' coursework assignments such as essays or reports, with the work consequently expected to be more 'in-depth'.

How is your dissertation module organised? The following checklist will start you on the dissertation journey, start planning and also clarify what is expected of you Checklist Question Answer How many credit points or module equivalents is the dissertation worth? What is the submission date for the final piece? Are there any lectures, seminars or workshops associated with the module?

Will you have a dissertation supervisor? How are supervisors allocated? How often are you allowed to meet with your supervisor? You become actively involved with research which could mean empirical research or a library-based project.

It is an opportunity for originality and intellectual independence. Your first course essays were usually though not always written to titles prescribed by your tutor. As you progressed through your course, you may have been given the opportunity to make up your own titles. In this way, your independence, as a reader and critic, developed. The dissertation builds on this foundation; it grows out of your own particular interest, both in terms of the material you choose to write about and the topic that provides the focus of your study.

So when you read books and papers on your chosen topic, you become aware that you are reading with a different sense of purpose - to understand and re-present the arguments - yes, but you then start to make sense of what particularly interested you in the books, journal articles or media sources and what particular critical questions you wanted to ask about them. A longer word count of the dissertation allows you to sustain your analysis and interpretation over a greater range of material and almost inevitably involves you in more careful and subtle argument.

The preparation and writing of the dissertation makes you take responsibility, with the support of a tutor, for your own learning, for the whole process of personal, independent study, time management, and the clear and methodical presentation of the results of your research.

In summary, the dissertation requires you to: Undertake an extensive programme of reading and research. Demonstrate intellectual independence and originality by choosing your own subject of study and defining its nature and scope. Engage in sustained analysis, interpretation and comparison of a substantial body of data. Present the results of your research in a clearly written, academically cogently argued, logically structured and properly referenced form.

Todd, Bannister and Clegg, , pp What does a dissertation look like? Most formats would include: Introduction Literature Review Methodology Findings either a certain number of chapters or an extended essay which has clearly identified sections Discussion Conclusions and if appropriate recommendations Bibliography a list of all the books, journal articles, web sites, newspapers and other sources that you have used in your dissertation Appendices e.

Literature Review — Similar in form and length to a longish essay entitled 'how I have set up my research topic and how it fits in with existing work in the area'. Methodology — Another essay-sized section entitled 'why I chose the methods I chose to answer my particular question, the strengths and weaknesses of that approach as a tool for generating knowledge, and how I actually did it'.

Findings — Describing and presenting your own data, evidence or case study could well take slightly less or more than the earlier sections. This will depend in part on the kind of findings you are presenting. Discussion — This is the section that brings all of the strands of your argument together. One way to think of it is as a three-way conversation between the literature you discussed, the methodology you adopted and the findings you have presented.

Conclusion and recommendations — This chapter will draw together the conclusions as well as noting any recommendations for practice. You should not include new ideas at this stage — they should have been dealt with in the discussion section. You can include a reflection on doing the research study and also identify ways in which you, or others, might take the work forward as further research as well as training and dissemination.

This chapter often runs out of steam — be warned! Use your experiences and strengths You will also be able to draw upon other experience, for example in the analysis and presentation of findings that you may have covered on methodology modules.

Case Study 1 Drawing on work experience Summary The dissertation is an independent piece of research where you take a great deal of responsibility for your own learning. It will demand the use of your communication, information-seeking and intellectual skills. The social science based dissertation should normally include a number of standard features, including an Introduction, a Literature Review, Methodology, Findings, and Conclusion and Bibliographic references.

You can, and should, value your own experiences and strengths as well as secondary resources.


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Generally in the US, a thesis is the final project for the masters degree and a dissertation leads to a doctoral degree. Those pursuing a masters degree must perform research on a specific subject that demonstrates their knowledge acquired through their program.

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Note on terminology: The term "thesis" in this section of the website is used collectively to refer to both master's theses and doctoral dissertations. Since January , final theses and dissertations must be submitted electronically to the Library's electronic repository, cIRcle, where they will be open access.

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A final dissertation shall be submitted to the members of the Committee by April 1 of the candidate's final semester. Your dissertation or thesis is a scholarly publication reflecting the results of your. FINAL DISSERTATION 1. UNIVERSITY OF RWANDA COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES SCHOOL OF LAW sportwallpaper.tk 56 BUTARE BY: Christopher SENGOGA SUPERVISOR: LLM Tom MULISA Huye, June THE SYNERGY BETWEEN THE RULE OF LAW AND THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT: CASE STUDY RWANDA AND SOUTH SUDAN This dissertation .

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The format and length of the dissertation will be determined by the dissertation committee based on the nature and topic of the dissertation. Students and dissertation chairs are encouraged to view dissertations online to determine the appropriate format based on the nature of the research. Dissertation Student Name Ja Htu Aung Degree BA (Hons) Accounting Dissertation Supervisor Wendy Mason Burdon Dissertation Title An Analysis of Changes on Segme.