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.

Research Design: Projects and Their Needs

Research design: Projects and their needs


Research design: approach with confidence!

The litmus test: will the reader be persuaded?

Validity; reliability; representativeness and generalisability

Research design: common pitfalls

Time is a major problem

Triangulation: what it is and why it is a good idea to do it

Design research as a working whole

Approaches to research: different kinds of projects

Refreshing qualitative and quantitative methods

Snapshot of their strengths and weaknesses

Qualitative and quantitative: combination or separation?

Approaches to mixing methods

In this chapter, we consider research design and how this can help you to achieve your project. Beginning with the litmus test of a research design (will your reader be persuaded?), the chapter moves through the key concepts such as validity, reliability, generalisation and triangulation which you need to grasp in ...

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