7th June 2017
A dissertation proposal is considered as the first step towards writing your final dissertation on a taught or research master's course, or a PhD-level course and will guide you through the writing process. It helps you make a clear plan for your final project and sets the stage. When writing the proposal makes sure that you outline a strong methodology. It will help you to be consistent during the data collection and analysis phase. Also, do not forget to include ethical considerations, justifications, and perceived limitations as it will immune your work from criticism. Moreover, check your course requirements as the word count and format may vary between universities.
A good proposal helps you to communicate the aims and objectives of your research and the methods you wish to employ to accomplish this to your supervisor. Your supervisor might then critically evaluate your proposal highlighting the problem areas and may suggest alterations. Don’t be disheartened if your supervisor suggests alterations as it is his or her job to criticise you constructively and help you produce top quality work.
Start by reading around your subject area and choose a topic that you are interested in and comfortable with. It is imperative that you find a topic that is of interest to you as only then you will be able to remain motivated throughout the process. Also, make sure that you note down all the publications that you are referencing, be it a book or a journal or an online article as you would need these while doing your bibliography.
Now let us look at the structure of a research proposal
Choose a title that is short and accurate.
You introduce your topic here along with a synopsis of your research background.
Aims and Objectives
Here you talk about what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it by highlighting the main issues that you are exploring.
In this section, you discuss the variables in your research using existing literature. In addition, you can include any flaws that you have identified within the existing work.
In the methodology section, you outline the methods that you will use for data collection and analysis. Also, you will have to justify the methods you have adopted.
Here you explain the limitations that are imposed on your capability to study and present your findings. Including this section is important as it shows how familiar you are with the wider concepts of your subject area.
In this section, you list any ethical concerns related your research. For example try answering questions like, have you taken permission from all the participants in your research?
Include a Gantt chart or some kind of concept map outlining the plan of your research. Make sure you make a realistic one.
It is necessary to include a conclusion citing the reasons for selecting the particular topic, the kind of research you are planning to do and any potential outcomes.
Provide a list of references that you have made while writing your proposal in this section.
Concentrate on what you will achieve by this research, its significance and its contribution to your field of study.
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2nd June 2017
As far as a student is concerned, Dissertation is the crowning achievement in his/her graduate/post graduate education that will influence the direction of his/her career in the years to come. Students are often stuck with the daunting prospect of choosing a good dissertation topic. They can find it quite overwhelming as they lack experience in writing such academic documents.
Here are a few tips that would help you choose a good dissertation topic!!
Select a topic that is relevant to your degree.
Even before beginning to conduct research you are supposed to choose a suitable proposal title. For instance, an MBA student should select a topic related to management and business practices. This will help you to come up with an interesting and apt title.
Select a topic that is interesting, familiar, manageable, current and original.
You should be passionate about the subject you are choosing. In that case, you will find it much easier to write your dissertation within the allotted time and will remain motivated throughout the process of writing. In other words, your dissertation topic should reflect a level of difficulty that is matching your skill set and experience. Also, make sure that your topic is not outdated and is original as the academic world is constantly on the search for new information. Having said all these, your dissertation topic should not be too simple either.
Seek advice from your tutors.
Make sure that you choose your topic in collaboration with your tutor as you need your tutor’s support and guidance throughout the process. If your topic is closer to the area of expertise of your tutor, then you will get more direction on the same.
Decide on your chosen research method.
Once you have selected a dissertation topic, you must decide on the research methodology that you are going to adopt. This will help you make a plan regarding the manner in which you are going to explore the topic. You can either conduct a primary or secondary research on your topic, the latter being an inexpensive method of collecting relevant information.
Primary and secondary research
Primary research is more time-consuming than secondary research and demands more planning. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have enough time to perform the necessary tasks if you are going for primary research. Some of the methods that can be used for collecting primary data are action research, focus groups, questionnaires and one-on-one interviews. Although, primary data is considered to be more accurate than secondary data. Data obtained from secondary sources such as newspaper articles, book reviews, or articles found in scholarly journals that discuss or evaluate someone else's original research can also be used for the research.
In short, if you are more comfortable and well informed regarding your chosen dissertation topic, there is a good chance of you obtaining a high final grade.
Where to search for Potential dissertation topics?
Dissertation topics do not emerge out of the blue and you must proactively search for them. Here are a few pointers
1. Your interests.
2. Professional journals in your field.
3. Dissertations. Review previously written dissertations.
4. Current theories.
5. The Internet
6. Your current job setting.
7. References in your field.
30th May 2017
- First and foremost you must have a clear picture as to how your article review will be set up. This is even before you start reading the article you will review. This helps in understanding the way to actually read your article to write your review in an effective manner.
- An article review must summarize as well as evaluate the concerned article.
- An article review must only respond to the author’s research and must not present any new research.
- An article review is beyond merely an opinion. You must have an engagement with the text for creating a response to the expert writer’s ideas.
- You must summarize the article by focussing on the important themes, information and claims.
- You must discuss the article’s positive facets and at the same time identify the gaps and contradictions in the text, and look for any unanswered questions in the article.
- You must be able to make a connection between the article you are reading and your existing knowledge on the topic. You must be able to assess whether the article aligns or contradicts with your existing knowledge on the topic.
- Following points will help you in engaging with the article:
- Purpose of the article
- Article’s assumptions or theoretical framework
- Whether the central concepts are appropriately defined
- Appropriateness of the evidence
- Alignment of the article with the literature and field
- Whether the article aids in advancing the subject knowledge
- Clarity of the expert’s writing
30th May 2017
How to structure an excellent introductory section for dissertation?
Dissertations are the most significant part of Master’s Degree program and hence it provides you the best platform to showcase your skills and proficiencies in research project. As introduction is the foremost part of a dissertation, quality and distinction of this section determines the excellence of work. Following tips will assist you to develop an efficient and good-quality introduction for your dissertation.
♣ In this introductory chapter, you must exemplify the fundamental reasons for selecting research topic and the significance of this investigation in current context. This is not the section to explain the research variables you selected, however you must be able to elucidate the motive for choosing them.
♣ A clear and distinct research background and rationale must explain your specific focus in this investigation. An introduction to organization background and the most significant facts and figures about the firm selected for investigation is also to be outlined in this section. A brief outline about the method by which you will accomplish this work can also be included in this preface section.
♣ Explicit and well-defined aims and objectives adds worth to your work. Rather than elongated and extensive statements, short and precise aims and objectives must be developed to clearly represent your research goals.
♣ An important mistake that students encounter is in the formation of research questions. Most of the students believes that objectives and research questions must be similar. However for an excellent dissertation it must not be identical. Research questions must provide a clear path to accomplish the objectives and hence must be formulated in such a way that a distinct and efficient literature studies can be attained. Thus formulation of objectives and questions illustrates your efficiency in accomplishing this research work.
♣ Explaining the significance of this work in organizational, your academic and personal perspectives and benefits that will be achieved by completing this dissertation will add value to work. A clear-cut description about the structure of entire dissertation must also be included. Most importantly authentic and trustworthy referencing must be an inevitable part of your work.
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30th May 2017
What must be exemplified in a good-quality literature review?
Literature review represents your learning skills in an investigation. Providing a theoretical foundation, an efficient literature study enhances your analytical and assessment skills required for aresearch work. Comparing, contrasting and critically appraising numerous literature works, you must be able to define the significance and necessity of your working title in current context and its association with theoretical perspectives. Some of the key points to be considered during the development of good-quality literature review are discussed below:
♣ Most of the students misinterpret this section as a portion to simply explain the theories and models associated with the work. However in a good literature review this is not exact format of presentation and must have clear and well-structured flow of ideas with adequate theoretical support.
♣ With the help of theoretical models and paradigms, you must clearly outline the variables involved in your investigation and the association between them. A clear description on the relation of your investigation with prior works and identification of gaps in previous literatures adds worth to your dissertation. Both positive and negative appraisal on literature studies helps you identify the necessity of your work and thus indicates its importance.
♣ Including inferences from prior literatures helps you to interpret the relation of your work with prior studies. Determination of conflicts and dilemmas in these works, helps to clearly define the issues associated with your investigation topic. Thus using a detailed critical evaluation of published works you must be able to explain your research problem in a historical and theoretical perspective.
♣ A clear and distinct conceptual framework developed on the basis of literature studies adds value to your dissertation.
♣ Therefore a good-quality literature review must clearly represent what you aim to investigate in your work, identifying the controversies and judgments associated with your research area. Proper citations and referencing styles must also be strictly followed throughout your dissertation work.
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