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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Dissertations and Project Reports

A Step by Step Guide

ISBN 9781137364265
Publication Date January 2014
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Palgrave Study Skills

Faced with your dissertation or major project and need some help getting started? Thinking about how your final project will affect your overall grades? Then read on.

Tapping into her tried and tested formula for learning, bestselling author of The Study Skills Handbook, Stella Cottrell, takes you step-by-step through the key stages of planning, developing, researching and writing up your dissertation or project report.
Whether you are an undergraduate or a postgraduate, this guide:

- Offers comprehensive coverage of the major components essential to producing strong dissertations and project reports

- Gives unique emphasis to the importance of project management skills

- Gets you involved through interactive activities, checklists and engaging student examples

Most importantly, it offers the support you need at every stage and will help ensure that the creation of your academic masterpiece is an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Stella Cottrell is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement at the University of East London, UK and was formerly the Director of Lifelong Learning at the university of Leeds, UK. She is an international bestselling author, with over a million sales worldwide. Her other titles include The Study Skills Handbook, Critical Thinking Skills, The Palgrave Student Planner, The Exam Skills Handbook, and Skills for Success.

2. What Makes a Good Dissertation or Research Project?
3. Project Managing Your Dissertation
4. Managing Yourself for the Task
5. Time and Timing
6. Working with Your Supervisor
PART II: DEVELOPING YOUR PROPOSAL 7. Understanding the Assignment Brief
8. Selecting Your Topic and Title
9. Literature Search and Review
10. Principles of Good Research
11. Methodologies: Approaches to Research
12. Ethical Considerations
13. Writing the Research Proposal
15. Working with Participants
16. Experiments
17. Observations
18. Surveys and Questionnaires
19. Interviews
20. Case Studies
21. Interpreting Your Findings
PART IV: WRITING IT UP 22. Your Writing Strategy
23. Getting the Structure Right
24. Fine Tuning your Writing
25. Viva Exams
Final Considerations


... There is so much to like about Dissertations and Project Reports that I am not sure where to begin. Organization is certainly a key variable as one prepares to write a dissertation, thesis, or a research paper. And, here it is, presented in a manner that can be individualized to meet the needs of each writer. I wish I'd been able to make use of this so long ago when preparing my own dissertation! ... The checklists provide the necessary organization to this sometimes overwhelming activity. The resulting 'visual guide' helps to make this process so much clearer.' - Dr Cora M. Dzubak, Nittany Success Center Director, Penn State - York, USA
'It was a pleasure reading through this step-by-step guide. I especially appreciate that the various academic, ethical, financial, psychological and social dimensions of dissertation-writing are covered in a friendly but firm manner. Students embarking on an extended essay or a bachelor's thesis for the first time will benefit from the sound advice about preparation and planning in particular, and more experienced or advanced postgraduates will find the guide a helpful and active reminder of the entire academic research process. The skills audit and evaluation exercise at the beginning and end, aligning with the inception and completion of a research project, readily capture the intellectual and self-development aims of independent student research.' - Dr Cissie Fu, Assistant Professor of Political Theory, Leiden University, the Netherlands
'This text is a well-structured guide for those embarking on their first dissertation or thesis. Taking candidates from 'I had a Dream' stage through to the lodgement of the final submission intertwined with examples learnt from experience ... I will be recommending to my students.' - John Cowan, Lecturer in Construction Management and Property, Construction Project Management, Property and Development, University of New South Wales, Australia>
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