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.

Writing the Research Proposal

Writing the research proposal


What is a research proposal?

The components of the research proposal

Research Proposal Checklist: WHITTLE

  • What
  • How
  • Importance
  • Timely
  • Title
  • Literature
  • End result

Giving and receiving feedback about your own and others’ research

Ethical considerations in close-up

Risks to the researcher

The researched at risk

Guidelines from professional associations

Equalities for all

This chapter is all about writing the research proposal. You should draft a proposal, however roughly, as part of reading this chapter. It is suggested that designing, proposing and writing the research project is a process of whittling away at the design, approach and concepts, returning to each part of the proposal a few times in order to get it right. Time must be spent on developing the proposal.

Each section of the proposal is discussed. Firstly, you are asked to work at ...

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