The structure of a dissertation
Students should structure their dissertations as below. Students should take some
time in the class facilitation to ask questions about each part of the structure. There
are a few basic components required as categories to guide investigation that every?
good ethnographic dissertation needs to include. Approximate word counts for each
chapter are suggested below. The normal rules for word counts apply, i.e. students
can be up to 10% over the 10,000 limits without penalty. Also, the bibliography,
abstract, and footnotes are excluded from the word count.
• Abstract and proposition (200 words – not part of the 10,000 words limit)
• Chapter 1: Introduction – Explain why the research is important and how
you will go about discussing your findings – include a clear discussion of the
missional community to be researched and how you engaged them. It can
simply be that no one has ever investigated the community you want to reach
for mission before. State your research question clearly. (800 words)
• Chapter 2: Literature review – Review some relevant literature and explain
how your literature review has helped you focus your research to guide your
research. Try to find research that others have done in similar areas. What
questions have it answered and what do you need to find out extra to what the
literature says? (3,000 words)
• Chapter 3: Methodology – Explain which research methods you have
chosen and how the chosen research tools will be used to address your
proposition specifically. (1,000 words)
• Chapter 4: Findings – This section contains a survey of the research
findings. References should be made here to the appendices. (Data such as
the actual questionnaires, should be in the appendices.) (1,700)
• Chapter 5: Analysis of findings – Analyse the findings, triangulating them to
the literature review, appendices and methodology. Did your findings similar
to what you found in the lit review, or were they different? (2,500 words)
• Chapter 6: Conclusions and recommendations – Discuss how the findings
lead to the conclusion. What are the answers to your research question?
Make sure to be critical and objective as far as possible. Make
recommendations for next steps and future research (1,000 words)
• Bibliography: This should contain around forty items including books and
journal articles. Only books referenced in the research should be included.
• Appendices: Surveys, questionnaires, participant observation, interviews,
etc. Tables, charts, collation measures, etc. (Appendices are excluded from
the word count). You need to include your ethics checklist as an appendix.
Special notes on dissertation appendices
• It may be appropriate to anonymise the names of young people vulnerable
adults, etc., who have participated in your research. It is acceptable to refer to
participants as “Participant A”, “Participant B”, etc.
• Writing up questionnaires and can be very time consuming. Student are
permitted to scan questionnaires provided the results are clearly legible.
Appendices that are scruffy or illegible will be penalised.
Between chapters it is worth inserting a page break. This will ensure the new chapter
starts on a new page. If you do not know how to do this you can watch a tutorial
Binding a dissertation
We only require you to submit your dissertation to Moodle. We do not require you to
submit a bound copy of your dissertation. If you wish to get your dissertation bound,
this can be done various print shops, binding shops or stationery shops, for example,
most branches of Staples have a binding service.
Using review comments and track changes
When a student sends a draft copy of their work to their supervisor, most supervisors
will send it back with comments made using MS Word’s reviewing tools. If you have
not used this before, there are several good tutorials on YouTube:
A word of caution: If students do not remove all evidence of track changes and
comments prior to the final submission, the comments may still be visible to the
marker. Changing the view to “no markup” does not remove the comments, and they
may become visible when the student submits
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