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Who's done a dissertation?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Im in the middle of writing up my dissertation proposal.

Ive covered;
*Introducation and research questions, hypothesis, purpose of study etc
*Data collection procedure
*Data interpretation methods and data analysis (statistical tests to use etc)

Im stuck on;

*Timetabling, not sure what i have to timetable? I have put approximate dates that i will collect data, and write off to places requesting information.

*Literature review- i have looked at a few journal abstracts that relate to my study and written about how my study will expand on current knowledge, why my study will be of importance etc. But i seemed to have missed something, not sure what else i am supposed to put in the literature review.

Any help greatly appreciated!

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    somebody on here must of done a dissertation before :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've just submitted mine. My proposal was fairly short and part of an entirely different module, to the dissertation module. Your timetable sounds about right, though i didn't have to do one, i think it should just say when you plan to have parts done, eg when will your lit review be finished, when will you start collecting primary data and analyse it etc.. How is your module set out? Does the proposal count towards the grade?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A "few abstracts" will not give you enough information to write a literature review. I literally read every article I could find on the online-journal system relating to my area of study, and several general books. I cite around 20 works in my literature review. A literature review is supposed to summarise the work has been done on the area you're studying previously, and the findings, and then how your research will expand on this, and differ from it (i.e. it's originality). I actually called mine a "supporting statement" and this is a part of mine:

    Paragraph from the start
    Aggregate stability is a measure of the structural stability of soils (Mbagwu, 2003). It is a widely recognized fact that mineralogy, along with other factors including the size, morphology and porosity of soil aggregates, affect aggregate stability, which has a closely intertwined relationship with soil erosion (Figueinedo et al, 1999; Foster, 1988).

    Final Paragraph
    The relationship between aggregate stability and soil erosion is an important field of study, as has been highlighted in work such as that by Brazier (2004). This project will improve knowledge on the effect of iron as a micronutrient in aggregate stability, and allow insight as to whether the addition or removal of iron from a soil could be used to reduce soil erosion, which is an ever increasing problem, both in the UK and globally.

    Further, I added a paragraph in my methodology as so:
    The originality of this project is ensured by a range of areas which have previously not been investigated with respect to the iron content of soils. The techniques, however, are not original, rather tried and tested methods which have been shown to be the most appropriate methods for an investigation of this size. The addition of iron to a soil and its effect as a fertiliser has been studied previously – however, there is little work on the impact of the iron content as a method of reducing the impact of soil erosion.

    A timetable...well, this was mine:
    Collection of the soil is to take place in between late June and early September, following the requests for access to sites. A wide time-slot has been allocated for this time as it may take some time to arrange access to sites.

    Laboratory work will take place from mid-September onwards, with data analysis beginning in late November, continuing over the Christmas vacation.

    It is anticipated that the write up will begin in mid-January 2006, with any finalising to be completed during the Easter vacation.

    And then I had a table with 3 columns: task - scheduled time slot - duration in weeks
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kath2003 wrote:
    A "few abstracts" will not give you enough information to write a literature review. I literally read every article I could find on the online-journal system relating to my area of study, and several general books. I cite around 20 works in my literature review. A literature review is supposed to summarise the work has been done on the area you're studying previously, and the findings, and then how your research will expand on this, and differ from it (i.e. it's originality). I actually called mine a "supporting statement" and this is a part of mine:

    Paragraph from the start



    Final Paragraph



    Further, I added a paragraph in my methodology as so:



    A timetable...well, this was mine:



    And then I had a table with 3 columns: task - scheduled time slot - duration in weeks

    thanks, that is helpful, however is this from your actual dissertation or just the dissertation proposal? Im not doing the actual dissertation just the proposal, it has a word limit of 2000 for the whole proposal so would i still need to do this massive full literature review??
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That was my dissertation proposal. My word limit was also 2000 words. My literature review was only 1200 words of that. Of course, if you mention any methodology in it that you then choose to use, you don't need to go over it again.

    I had the following parts with the following word counts (just as an idea, I've no clue as to whether my proposal was any good!)

    Aim - 50 words

    Research Questions - 53 words

    Objectives (going through exactly what I intended to do, step by step - 6 steps in total, e.g. 1.Identify five areas with different soil types (A-F), in an areas which are sensitive to soil erosion.) - 124 words

    Supporting Statement - 1,201 words

    Methodology - 641 words

    Schedule - 130 words

    And then obviously my reference list at the end which doesn't count in the word count.

    That brings my total to 2199, just within the 10% boundary! :yippe: :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    well thanks for the help kath and satehen, i rushed it in the end. Dont know if its any good or not but it always makes me feel so much better knowing that its posted and out of the way, and out of my control; so no point in worrying about it!

    i did 1,555 words excludung references.

    In the end i just got so stuck on the literature review that i babbled on about a load of bollocks. In the assignment brief it said that the literature review has to be set out in the correct format, but i had no luck actually finding out what the correct format is!

    1 piece of work down, 2 more and 3 exams to go :hyper: (sarcasm intended)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I thought it had to be 2000 words?

    At Exeter we get marked down by 10% by being more than 10% over or above the work limit. Seems dumb to waste 10% by not writing enough words - I'd have padded it. Maybe your Uni doesn't do this?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kath2003 wrote:
    I thought it had to be 2000 words?

    At Exeter we get marked down by 10% by being more than 10% over or above the work limit. Seems dumb to waste 10% by not writing enough words - I'd have padded it. Maybe your Uni doesn't do this?

    it just said the limit is 2000 words

    hmm

    scared now!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah its like that at my uni, 10% over or under, though tbh who's going to count the words? If i go over i just make up a word count lol.
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