How to write a first class disseration 19th feb 2013 aston

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How to write a first class disseration 19th feb 2013 aston

  1. 1. How to Write a First-Class Dissertation Vlad Mackevic 19th February 2013 Aston University
  2. 2. www.TheLectureRoom.co.uk
  3. 3. Objectives How to come up with a dissertation topic How to write a literature review How to be critical How to structure your dissertation How to research efficiently How to become a better writer
  4. 4. Dissertation A piece of independent research Contributes to the body of knowledge Something NEW:  New methods with old theory  New data with old methods  New theory with the same dataset
  5. 5. What Earns You Points? Answering the Question (!) Structure Style and language Research and Analysis References Formatting and Presentation
  6. 6. The Topic
  7. 7. DissertationResearch-Based vs. Library-Based
  8. 8. The Question1. The Object of the Study2. The Context of the Study3. The Method of the Study
  9. 9. Keep It Simple and NarrowThe rise of the Asian Tigers(economic power in the East)
  10. 10. Taiwan Reasons Impact Singapore The rise of the Asian Tigers (economic power in the East) International relations Hong KongSouth Korea Consequences Economic performance
  11. 11. What were the reasons for theeconomic miracle of South Koreain the second half of the twentiethcentury?
  12. 12. What were the reasons for the economic miracle of South Korea in the second half of the twentieth century?• Not consequences
  13. 13. What were the reasons for the economic miracle of South Korea in the second half of the twentieth century?• Not consequences• Not Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong
  14. 14. What were the reasons for the economic miracle of South Korea in the second half of the twentieth century?• Not consequences;• Not Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong• Not any other time
  15. 15. How national cultures affectorganisational cultures and theimpact of this on the performanceof businesses in differentcountries?
  16. 16. ObjectHow national cultures affectorganisational cultures and theimpact of this on the performanceof businesses in differentcountries?
  17. 17. ContextHow national cultures affectorganisational cultures and theimpact of this on the performanceof businesses in differentcountries?
  18. 18. MethodHow national cultures affectorganisational cultures and theimpact of this on the performanceof businesses in differentcountries?
  19. 19. How national cultures affect organisational cultures and the impact of this on the performance of businesses in different countries?• Which countries do you mean?• What companies will be used as examples?
  20. 20. Walter Scott and the carving ofbrutishness: Nationalism andregionalism within his novels.
  21. 21. The role of maternal diet in early childhood obesity• Focus group = participants? Sociological profiling?• Methods? observation, survey, etc• Context = NOW!
  22. 22. StructureIntroduction (10-15%) Main Body (70-80%) Conclusion (10-15%)
  23. 23. Structure1. Say what you’re going to say;2. Say it;3. Say what you’ve just said.
  24. 24. Set Topic vs. Free Topic Introduction  Introduction Main Body  Literature Conclusion Review References  Methodology  Analysis and Discussion  Conclusion  References
  25. 25. Abstract and Introduction
  26. 26. Abstract and Introduction Summarise your research Explain what you are writing about Guide your reader Mention the Object, the Context and the Method
  27. 27. Write YourIntroduction at the End
  28. 28. Why? It’s hard You don’t have all the information yet  Theory  Applications of the theory  Arguments of the essay  Outline and structure Write about your most recent actions
  29. 29. Main Body Main arguments Evidence Reading/knowledge References
  30. 30. The Funnel and the Hourglass
  31. 31. Broad to Narrow
  32. 32. The Funnel Principle
  33. 33. Link all yourarguments back to the assignment topic!
  34. 34. Broad to Narrow and Back to Broad
  35. 35. TheHourglassPrinciple
  36. 36. Copy from one, it’s plagiarism; copy from two, it’s research. Wilson Mizner US screenwriter (1876 - 1933)
  37. 37. ResearchPrimary Secondary
  38. 38. Research Wikipedia (ONLY for general knowledge) Not to be included in the list of references References on Wikipedia
  39. 39. Research Textbooks and their chapters (theory) Research articles and conference papers (application of theory in practice)
  40. 40. http://scholar.google.com
  41. 41. Research Websites Serious journalism Email correspondence
  42. 42. Research Tips Relevant – answer the question Research ethics Make notes while you’re reading Carefully note down full references BACK IT UP!
  43. 43. Literature Review
  44. 44. Literature Review A critical summary of mainresearch you have found on the subject
  45. 45. Why? Done your reading Know your topicAware of the weaknesses
  46. 46. ‘Passable’ Literature Review Main theories How they were applied Research methods used by others Research design used by others
  47. 47. First-Class Literature Review Why did you choose these theories? How did others obtain their results? Similarities/differences in study design Predict your results An original contribution
  48. 48. Analysis and Discussion What has been found? Why such results? Differences between your research and that of the others Different methods; different participants
  49. 49. LimitationsIn the beginners mind there aremany possibilities, in the expertsthere are few. Shunryu Suzuki
  50. 50. Acknowledge Your Limitations Your lecturer will like it All researchers do it No theory is perfect No dataset is perfect No research method is perfect
  51. 51. Conclusion Mention the topic again Describe methods, data analysed etc. Summarise the findings How your findings correspond to the previous research Only write about your data and your research.
  52. 52. Speak confidently about your own results. Do not make generalisationsabout the world based on your limited data sample.
  53. 53. Referencing
  54. 54. Why Reference? To avoid failing the module Because it’s fair To back up your claims Evidence of extensive reading
  55. 55. Referencing Who wrote it? What is the book/article called? Who published it? Where was it published? When was it published?
  56. 56. The Writing Process
  57. 57. No Perfect First Draft
  58. 58. Never Leave Your Sheet Blank
  59. 59. Good Writers Read
  60. 60. Always Carry a Notebook
  61. 61. Linking Words
  62. 62. Do Not Complicate Things
  63. 63. Paragraph
  64. 64. Speak to Your Lecturers!
  65. 65. Graduate Employment 1930 2009
  66. 66. 2007
  67. 67. Unfilled vacancies?Students lack skills that employers are looking for http://lifehacker.com/infographic/
  68. 68. Job Skills1. Communication (Written and Spoken)2. Analytical and Research3. Teamwork4. Self-motivation5. Organisational Skills6. IT Skills7. Leadership
  69. 69. Communication SkillsWritten Spoken Sources: http://www.sytelco.com and www.nightingale.norfolk.sch.uk
  70. 70. Communication Skills Written Spoken Writing essays, research reports and dissertations Email communication
  71. 71. Communication Skills Written Spoken Writing  Giving essays, research presentations reports and  Participating in dissertations discussions in Email lectures and communication seminars  Being a good listener
  72. 72. Analytical and Research Skills Source: www.actbucks.org.uk
  73. 73. Analytical and Research SkillsAcademic writing is all about researchand analysis:  Looking for information online and in the library  Determining which information is relevant to your assignment question  Collecting and analysing data  Acknowledging its limitations
  74. 74. Teamwork Skills Group assignments Establish a study group – or join one Group work in lectures and seminars Participations in group discussions Source: www.destructoid.com
  75. 75. Self-motivation• Most of academic work is made of independent learning tasks• Always deliver more: take initiative to make presentations, speak in group discussions
  76. 76. Motivation
  77. 77. Organisational SkillsAcademic work requirestop-class organisationalskills:– Managing multiple coursework deadlines– Planning your time to write your essays– Planning your time in exams– Outlining and organising your writing
  78. 78. IT SkillsIT skills at university:– Word Processing– Spreadsheets– PowerPoint presentations– Internet-based research– Professional social media (Facebook and LinkedIn)
  79. 79. Facebook Fails
  80. 80. Bank intern? Family emergency?http://www.complex.com/tech/2012/05/25-facebook-posts-that-have-gotten-people-fired/bank-intern-busted
  81. 81. Teacher Fired for Drinking on Vacationhttp://www.complex.com/tech/2012/05/25-facebook-posts-that-have-gotten-people-fired/paynestaking
  82. 82. “LBGs new CEO gets £4,000 an hour. I get £7. Thats fair.”http://www.complex.com/tech/2012/05/25-facebook-posts-that-have-gotten-people-fired/salary-leak
  83. 83. This Guy Worked for Apple! Fail! Fail! Fail!http://www.complex.com/tech/2012/05/25-facebook-posts-that-have-gotten-people-fired/apple-employee
  84. 84. What about this Tweet?
  85. 85. Leadership
  86. 86. LeadershipWho is a leader?– A good communicator– A team player– A good researcher– Able to analyse situations– Motivated and ready to motivate others– Organised, with a respect for deadlines
  87. 87. Facebook.com/thelectureroom1
  88. 88. Facebook.com/First.year.counts
  89. 89. Amazon Kindle Applications
  90. 90. first.year.counts@gmail.com
  91. 91. If you liked the event... Feel free to talk about it Write me a review
  92. 92. Thank you!

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