dissertation skills

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April 27, Staff Writers. With all the things you have going on as a student, writing a paper can seem like a daunting task. This image and list-based, step-by-step best dissertation service is the closest thing to writing a plug and chug paper you can get. So, are you ready to ace this paper of yours? The answer to this question is easy: look at the materials the prof gives you. The first important step in writing a paper is taking some time to understand what the professor is looking for. If you know that, you can write to the rubric and pick up easy points along the way.

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Dissertation skills

A dissertation or thesis is likely to be the longest and most difficult piece of work a student has ever completed. It can, however, also be a very rewarding piece of work since, unlike essays and other assignments, the student is able to pick a topic of special interest and work on their own initiative. Writing a dissertation requires a range of planning and research skills that will be of great value in your future career and within organisations.

The dissertation topic and question should be sufficiently focused that you can collect all the necessary data within a relatively short time-frame, usually about six weeks for undergraduate programmes. You should also choose a topic that you already know something about so that you already have a frame of reference for your literature search and some understanding and interest in the theory behind your topic.

Most universities and colleges provide very specific guidance to their students about their preferred approach. This page, and those that follow, are designed to give you some ideas about how you might carry out your literature review , and then write each of the various sections of your dissertation in the absence of, or in addition to, any specific guidance from your university.

However organised you are, writing your dissertation is likely to be one of the most challenging tasks you have ever undertaken. Like an academic paper for journal publication, dissertations generally follow a fairly standard structure. The following pages discuss each of these in turn, and give more detailed advice about how to prepare and write each one:.

Particularly for master's programmes, your university may ask for your thesis to be submitted in separate sections, rather than as a single document. One breakdown that is often seen is three-fold:. You will probably have an overall word count for the total dissertation or thesis. If you are required to submit in sections, ensure that you have left yourself enough words for the Results and Discussion.

It is easy to get carried away with the literature review. As a general guide, use the marking scheme to show you the approximate split for the word count. It is often easier to start with the literature review and then write the methodology. One of the best ways to write a dissertation is as you go along, especially the literature review. As you read each reference, summarise it and group it by themes. You should be used to referencing by the time you write your dissertation but if you need a refresher then see our page: Academic Referencing.

Check with your university about their requirements before you start to write. Make sure that the voice and person are consistent throughout. Whatever style is preferred, aim to keep your language simple and jargon-free. Use shorter, simpler words and phrases wherever possible. Short sentences are good as they are easier to follow. Any sentence that runs to more than three lines needs to be cut down or split.

The role of your supervisor is to supervise your work. It is not to do it for you, nor to tell you how to do it. However, their academic reputation is bound up in the results of the students that they supervise so they have a vested interest in helping you to get the best possible marks. You should therefore not feel shy or embarrassed about asking them for help if you get into difficulties, or if you need some advice.

Academics tend to take a highly personal approach to supervision. Some will be prepared to spend a lot of time with you, talking about what you are planning to do by way of research and your emerging findings. Others will have very little contact with you, apart from being prepared to read a draft of your dissertation. But do so as early as possible.

If your university has a required format for a dissertation, and particularly if they supply a template, then use it! As a guide, the University and Colleges have agreed jointly that all undergraduates should graduate with intellectual skills, communication skills, organisational skills and interpersonal skills.

Further skills, such as foreign language skills, research skills, computer literacy and numeracy will also be useful to varying degrees for particular career paths. The following are examples of how skills might be developed by an undergraduate or graduate student in History and Philosophy of Science in each of these categories.

The list of possible activities is not exhaustive. If you would like more advice about acquiring these kinds of skills, contact your Director of Studies or Course Manager. To find out more about transferable skills see the University's Skills Portal. With thanks to the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic for providing a framework for this document. PhD placement record. Search site. International students Continuing education Executive and professional education Courses in education.

Research at Cambridge. Home Student Information. Transferable skills. Intellectual skills Communication skills Organisational skills Interpersonal skills Research skills Foreign language skills Computer literacy Numeracy skills Intellectual skills Such as: Intellectual initiative Critical reflection The ability to gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information The ability to extract key elements from complex information, including listening in a discerning manner The ability to identify and solve problems The ability to select and apply appropriate methodologies The ability to assess the meaning and significance of information Analytical, evaluative and critical thinking Estimation of the relevance of information Discriminating between opposing theories Forming judgement on the basis of evidence The ability to engage in lateral thinking, openness to creative thinking The ability to marshal arguments coherently, lucidly and concisely.

May be developed through University and College activities such as: Preparing for and learning in lectures Preparing for and participating in supervisions Preparing for and writing essays Preparing for and participating in seminars and classes Preparing for and writing University examinations.

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It is often easier to start with the literature review and then write the methodology. One of the best ways to write a dissertation is as you go along, especially the literature review. As you read each reference, summarise it and group it by themes. You should be used to referencing by the time you write your dissertation but if you need a refresher then see our page: Academic Referencing.

Check with your university about their requirements before you start to write. Make sure that the voice and person are consistent throughout. Whatever style is preferred, aim to keep your language simple and jargon-free. Use shorter, simpler words and phrases wherever possible. Short sentences are good as they are easier to follow. Any sentence that runs to more than three lines needs to be cut down or split. The role of your supervisor is to supervise your work. It is not to do it for you, nor to tell you how to do it.

However, their academic reputation is bound up in the results of the students that they supervise so they have a vested interest in helping you to get the best possible marks. You should therefore not feel shy or embarrassed about asking them for help if you get into difficulties, or if you need some advice. Academics tend to take a highly personal approach to supervision. Some will be prepared to spend a lot of time with you, talking about what you are planning to do by way of research and your emerging findings.

Others will have very little contact with you, apart from being prepared to read a draft of your dissertation. But do so as early as possible. If your university has a required format for a dissertation, and particularly if they supply a template, then use it! Start your writing straight into the template, or format your work correctly from the start. There is very little worse than cutting and pasting your work frantically into a template 10 minutes before your submission deadline.

Templates are designed to make your life easier, not harder. It is easier to do this as you go along. This will save you typing out all the names, and can also be used, with minor tweaks, for other formats. If it looks odd, check the original source. This is likely to take longer than you think. If possible, try to find a friend or fellow-student in the same position with whom you can swap dissertations for proof-reading.

Fresh eyes are likely to spot errors much more effectively than those who already know what it should say. The international language of academic publishing is English and many universities require their students to publish their dissertations in English. If your first language is not English, this is going to be a problem because your English will almost certainly not be up to the task. You have two choices about how you approach this:. You will need to ensure that you build in sufficient time to allow someone else to read over your work.

Nobody, not even if you are paying them, is going to want to stay up all night to edit your work because you left it too late. Many will also prefer not to work at weekends. Allow at least two weeks for professional language editing. As a guide, the University and Colleges have agreed jointly that all undergraduates should graduate with intellectual skills, communication skills, organisational skills and interpersonal skills.

Further skills, such as foreign language skills, research skills, computer literacy and numeracy will also be useful to varying degrees for particular career paths. The following are examples of how skills might be developed by an undergraduate or graduate student in History and Philosophy of Science in each of these categories.

The list of possible activities is not exhaustive. If you would like more advice about acquiring these kinds of skills, contact your Director of Studies or Course Manager. To find out more about transferable skills see the University's Skills Portal. With thanks to the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic for providing a framework for this document.

PhD placement record. Search site. International students Continuing education Executive and professional education Courses in education. Research at Cambridge. Home Student Information. Transferable skills. Intellectual skills Communication skills Organisational skills Interpersonal skills Research skills Foreign language skills Computer literacy Numeracy skills Intellectual skills Such as: Intellectual initiative Critical reflection The ability to gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information The ability to extract key elements from complex information, including listening in a discerning manner The ability to identify and solve problems The ability to select and apply appropriate methodologies The ability to assess the meaning and significance of information Analytical, evaluative and critical thinking Estimation of the relevance of information Discriminating between opposing theories Forming judgement on the basis of evidence The ability to engage in lateral thinking, openness to creative thinking The ability to marshal arguments coherently, lucidly and concisely.

May be developed through University and College activities such as: Preparing for and learning in lectures Preparing for and participating in supervisions Preparing for and writing essays Preparing for and participating in seminars and classes Preparing for and writing University examinations.

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Problem solving. Specialist information. Calm under pressure.