Inventory of Dissertation Skills, Rules and Purposes

The dissertation is the final stage of the Masters degree. With it comes the opportunity to demonstrate that you have gained the necessary knowledge and skills in organising and conducting a research project.

Skills to Demonstrate

Specifically, your dissertation should show that you have the skills in:

  • identifying an area, or areas, suitable for research

  • setting research objectives

  • locating, organising and critically analysing the relevant secondary data and authoritative literature

  • devising an appropriate research methodology

  • analysing the primary data selected and drawing on the literature in the field

  • drawing conclusions

  • if appropriate, making relevant recommendations and indications of areas for further research

General Rules

The dissertation is a formal document and you should follow rules on how to present it.

  • it must have chapters that provide an introduction, literature review, justification of the data selected for analysis and research methodology, analysis of the data, conclusions and recommendations

  • recommendations are required for dissertations where the subject is based around a business or an applied situation

  • you will need to provide to your programme director or course dissertation co-ordinator your advice on the range suitable topics which relate to the subject area of your Masters degree and get their approval

Purposes

The difference of the Masters level dissertation from other forms of writing is its attempt to analyse situations in a broader view. The Masters dissertation:

  • seeks answers and explanations

  • makes comparisons

  • arrives at generalisations which can be used to extend theory

  • explains what can be done

  • addresses the underlying question of ‘why’

Specificity

To be successful, your dissertation should be as specific and as narrowly focused as possible. In the process of aiming for this, you are required to read the recommended texts and journal papers on research techniques appropriate to the research methods of your subject discipline.

Check the Inventory

Carry out the tasks and write the parts to show your skills; comply with the rules and requirements; achieve the purposes of dissertation writing; and earn your Masters degree.

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