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.

Drawing Conclusions and Writing Up

Drawing conclusions and writing up


Structuring your work: find out what structure you need to follow and refresh your memory as to regulations

Linking the components of a dissertation

Tips on opening and closing chapters

  • Use of quotations
  • Connecting your work to themes
  • Using and refining concepts

What should a conclusion contain?

Tackling the conclusion: a 3-step thought-process

  • Step 1 Where the project has come from including the original formulation of the research problem
  • Step 2 The findings and their limits
  • Step 3 Future lines of inquiry

Fleshing out the conclusion: the ‘Why, what, how, where, when?’ questions

Some common challenges

Good drafting

Use of anti-discriminatory language when drafting Good writing: good reading

What to do if you have too many words – or too few words

Grammar: do you know what you are looking for?

Academic writing: ...

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