How to Write your Undergraduate Dissertation
by Bryan Greetham
Published by Palgrave Macmillan.
(2009) ISBN: 978-0-230-21875-8
As most of us know, not until we’ve done all this can we really be confident that we’ve got to the heart of our ideas.
A dissertation is the largest and most demanding piece of writing and thinking that you will have to do as an undergraduate. They are set to give tutors a window into the minds of their students, so they can see not just what they think but how they think. They can see you as you work through your ideas and evidence, assembling and evaluating them. They can see you construct your arguments and use language to develop them consistently. To get the highest mark, therefore, you must learn to think.
Most books ignore the challenges that dissertations present for our thinking and writing. They deal with the mechanics of research, but not with the really difficult problems. This book teaches you how to generate your own ideas and develop them into an original research project. It shows you how to construct arguments and use evidence and language consistently. You will learn how to put your ideas and evidence together to form the most persuasive arguments; and how to write using your own voice to express your ideas in a clear, concise, economical style. You will also learn how to revise your work to make sure the quality of your achievements really shine through.
Of course you will also learn everything you need to know about the mechanics of producing a dissertation. It shows you what examiners are looking for and how to get the highest mark. It takes you step by step through the whole process of planning and conducting your research, using the right quantitative and qualitative techniques and instruments for your project. You will be shown how to do literature searches and reviews, how to manage your time, how to create a retrieval system to catch your very best ideas and how to read and take notes. You will learn how to plan your dissertation as a whole and chapter by chapter; how to cite references and create reference lists and bibliographies.
But above all, you will learn how to become a genuine thinker, something that will stay with you through the rest of your life, helping you become more creative and fulfilled.