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.

Defining the Research Question

Defining the research question


Generating research questions

Finding a topic:

  • A course or academic area
  • Drawing on life experience
  • In the news
  • Historical importance
  • Eye-witness
  • Local issues
  • Country or region specific
  • Tutor's inspiration
  • Cyber inspiration

Turning a topic into a research question: using mind maps What makes a good research question Common pitfalls in defining research questions

In this chapter, you will go through the process of selecting a theme or topic, and working it up into a focused manageable and research question. In essence, the issue at hand is how to formulate research problems as lines of inquiry which are possible to research.

We begin by considering ways of generating possible research topics using mind maps and brainstorming, as well as thinking about some of the usual ways in which you might find a ...

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