Getting started with your dissertation:
Dissertations provide the most challenging yet rewarding module within a law degree. They provide the candidate with an opportunity to address an area of law in which they have a vested interest, or address relevant legal principles to the era/time period in which the dissertation is being written.
If there is one word you should keep in mind when selecting a dissertation topic it is originality. The main aspect of your writing that an academic committee will focus on is how your dissertation topic will add to the body of work on the subject so you need to work hard to make it clear that the dissertation topic you have chosen is original, interesting and important.
Dissertation ideas come in all shapes and sizes, and the only real restriction on what makes a good topic for a dissertation is the imagination of the author. Being creative and focusing on being original with your dissertation ideas is important, so do not be afraid to follow your own inclinations and interests.
The Master's dissertation is a study that is designed to test and challenge students who wish to achieve mastery in a specific subject, usually conducted after an undergraduate degree.
Researching your dissertation:
One of the most valuable resources available to you if you have an athens password will be journal databases. A service like infoLinX will assist you in locating journal databases that are appropriate to your subject area.
Sourcing and collating dissertation material is a crucial part of constructing your dissertation and will play a major part throughout. The sources you use will not only establish the textual validity of your dissertation but also emphasise that your dissertation is truly original, the cornerstone of all research leading to the award of a higher degree.
Writing your dissertation:
Writing a dissertation, like most things, is a combination of knowledge and experience: you have the first or you wouldn't have reached the level to be writing a dissertation in the first place but the good thing about knowledge is that it is best shared and we all gain by sharing experience.
The way you layout a dissertation is the first indication an examiner will get of how professional you are and how accurately you have adhered to your college or university's regulations. It is absolutely essential that your work exactly as specified in the way you layout a dissertation.
At the top of the title page within the advised margins, give the title and any sub-title of the dissertation, followed by the volume number, if more than one. The full name of the author should be in the centre of the page.
The table of contents must list in sequence, with page numbers: all chapters, sections and subsections; the list of references; the bibliography; list of abbreviations; and any appendices. The list of tables and illustrations must follow the table of contents, and should list, with page numbers, all the tables, photographs, coloured photocopies, diagrams, etc.
A good formula for you introduction is to put the issue in context as concisely as possible. Answer the question: why do this study? Why now? Why here? Why me? State the aims of the study.
States what you are going to do and how you plan on doing it. The methodology should be approximately 200 – 300 words. What belongs in the "methods" section of a paper? This depends on the type of dissertation but here is the general content.
The evidence referred to may comprise evidence from published texts - for example if you are exploring the literary texts of a particular writer - or it may consist of primary data gathered by your own, first-hand research - for example a sociological study of attitudes to gender roles based on research methods such as interviews and questionnaires.
The conclusion summarises the results of a dissertation and contains the final deductions you have made from your research. Your dissertation conclusion should contain a concise and clear description of the results of the conducted research.
Recommendations cover two key aspects. They may suggest action which could be taken right now in relation to a particular issue or topic. In addition, or alternatively, they may suggest that further research and work is necessary to be able to take appropriate action.
Before we talk about referencing, let's talk plagiarism. To "plagiarise", according to the dictionary, means 1. to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own 2. to use (another's production) without crediting the source 3. to commit literary theft 4. to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
What follows is a list of other common types of referencing systems and either the word “Harvard” or “Oxford” to indicate whether they are similar to the Harvard or Oxford systems respectively...
Appendices are used when the incorporation of material in the body of the work would make it poorly structured or too long and detailed. It may be desirable to include a particular appendix because it represents helpful, supporting or essential material that would otherwise clutter, break up or be distracting to the text.