Dissertations can be the most rewarding, and for some the most stressful, part of any undergraduate degree course, providing the opportunity for students to pursue a chosen subject in some depth, developing their expertise. The dissertation offers many challenges to those seeking to do it well and this guide is the perfect book for those seeking to succeed with their dissertation.

Judith Burnett helps students to rise to this challenge, making the most of the opportunities which a dissertation offers and overcoming the obstacles to successful completion. This book takes students through the process of doing a dissertation from turning the raw ideas into a research question, designing the research project, choosing appropriate methods, developing a research proposal, planning and executing the project, working with data, writing up, and preparing the work for presentation.

Doing A Dissertation in the Social Sciences is an invaluable guide to avoiding the pitfalls and making the most of the opportunities offered by the dissertation. It ought to be compulsory reading for undergraduate students in any social science discipline.

Carrying Out the Research

Carrying out the research


The nuts and bolts of doing research

Accessing different groups

  • The snowball method
  • Accessing elites

Developing relationships: tips

Hazards: health and safety – clipboard versus reality

Research instruments: using logs, cards and other means of recording

Looking after your data – staying on top of the data collection

Real problems: making adjustments to your research strategy as you go along

This chapter considers the nuts and bolts of doing research, dealing with the various stages of finding hard to reach populations such as the disadvantaged and elites. Following this, how to manage the research relationship is examined with tips on maintaining relationships, dealing with money and other gifts, and what to do about finding yourself cast in the role of expert adviser.

The next section looks at safety ...

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