Writing Dissertation
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Writing Dissertation

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Writing Dissertation Writing Dissertation Presentation Transcript

  • Writing adissertation 1
  • Characteristics ofacademic writingAcademic writing means that you are constrainedin terms of purpose content style language 2
  • Characteristics ofacademic writingPurpose: Content: describe  theories analyse  concepts evaluate  facts define  opinions clarify  etc. interpret etc. Academic reader’s expectations that the writing will be:  well focused on the topic  based on wide and critical reading  a reasoned argument  competently presented 3 View slide
  • Draftingand redraftingYour first draft: finding out what you think: the primary focus is inwards selecting and rejecting planning, ordering and rearranging trying out alternative styles how to get from one idea to another 4 View slide
  • Draftingand redraftingYour first draft: finding out what you think. KEEP YOUR FIRST DRAFT WELL HIDDEN FROM READERS 5
  • Some stumbling-blocksInability to get started.Do not try to polish, just get on with it. 6
  • Some stumbling-blocksGetting stuck part-way through.Find a critical friend. 7
  • Some stumbling-blocks Finding out part-way through that your reading and note-taking have been inadequate. Go back and organise your material more efficiently. (better still: try to avoid this by good planning) 8
  • Some stumbling-blocks Your research question is going the wrong way. Rethink the question and refine it. (actually, this happens quite frequently in Action Research / Practitioner Research) 9
  • Some stumbling-blocks You run out of stamina. Nothing for it: you’ll have to learn to live with this. 10
  • Checklistfor redraftingQuestion 1: is my text intellectually convincing?scope and focus: is my draft too short or too long? have I answered the question?  have I answered the whole question?  have I answered questions other than the one asked? have I covered all the important areas noted in my reading? 11
  • Checklistfor redraftingQuestion 1: is my text intellectually convincing?logic and structure: is there a clear thread of argument?  do the separate chapters/parts relate logically to one another? does the text have an effective introduction and conclusion? 12
  • Checklistfor redraftingQuestion 1: does my text sound convincing? is my phrasing precise and accurate? are the voice and style I have adopted  appropriate?  consistent? 13
  • Sample introductions:1. an anthropology topic The distinction between magic and religion is one that has been debated amongst anthropologists for many years. Most anthropologists have been prepared to accept Frazer’s (1976) proposals as an explanation of the difference. In more recent times it seems that the approach is to study magic and religion as a unity. The statement that both magic and religion should be treated together as ‘magico-religion’ seems to encapsulate the present approach (Titiev, 1979). The problem of validating the distinction between magic and religion presents many difficulties. 14
  • Sample introductions:2. a prehistory topic If observations of living groups are to be of use in helping us to reconstruct prehistoric ways of life, great care must be taken when interpreting the ethnographic evidence. It is a risky business to assume that because certain socio-cultural patterns are apparent in modern groups, that these must have parallels in their prehistoric equivalents. 15
  • Sample conclusions:1. a sociology topic Having shown the importance of the external system and interaction upon sub-group development, I now finish with another allusion to the negative effect of an absence of interaction. The researchers were able to perceive that the group studied, the isolated group, were being treated with increasing antagonism by the rest of the department and, true to form, they perceived themselves as an isolated unit within which they must seek identification. 16
  • Sample conclusions:2. an anthropology topic Other traditional structures persist, as noted by Nakani (1991, p.172): Many particular aspects … are disappearing from rural life today, owing to expansion of industrialisation. However, the distinctive characteristics of Japanese social structure … in their rural milieu are, in my view, persisting in various modern communities such as factories, business firms, schools, intellectual groups, political parties, etc. 17
  • Masteringan academic style when reading, pay attention to both content and form (i.e. the way in which things are said) develop an eye for detail reserve a separate section of your notes for the use of language 18
  • The Roehampton MA SENdissertation Title Page Student’s statement Abstract – including key words at the end Acknowledgements Contents listChapter One IntroductionChapter Two Review of the literatureChapter Three Research Methodology, including ethical discussionChapter Four AnalysisChapter Five EvaluationChapter Six Conclusion Bibliography Appendices 19
  • The Roehampton MA SENdissertation Chapter One Introduction The first chapter is the initial clarification of the topic and can be quite personal in style. It should say how the topic is arrived at and why you think it should be tackled now. It sets the scene for the study. Some students find it easier to write the final draft of this chapter last. 20