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PPR.399, PPR. 394, PPR. 393 Dissertation modules (Optional) Ngai-Ling Sum, PPR Dept., Lancaster University.

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Presentation on theme: "PPR.399, PPR. 394, PPR. 393 Dissertation modules (Optional) Ngai-Ling Sum, PPR Dept., Lancaster University."— Presentation transcript:

1 PPR.399, PPR. 394, PPR. 393 Dissertation modules (Optional) Ngai-Ling Sum, PPR Dept., Lancaster University

2 Outline: 7 Parts  Course aims  Why the dissertation is important  Choosing a topic  Supervisor and Supervision  Research Ethics  Dissertation Scoping, Planning and Writing  Library resources 4-5 pm  Laura Pimperton PPR subject librarian

3 I Course Aims Explore a topic in depth Use skills and knowledge gained from other modules Experience of independent work with the advice of a mentor

4 II Why important?  1. Develops important skills ability to analyse in-depth and to work independently skills in making arguments, presenting evidence and communicating complex ideas transfer these skills to work and postgraduate studies  2. You can choose the topic! Can focus on something that interests you (but needs also to be manageable) Enables you to work with an experienced member of staff

5 What kind of dissertation?  PPR 399 The standard one!  PPR 394 Dissertation with external collaboration  PPR 393 Dissertation with field studies Fill in form in dissertation handbook for ALL these options but indicate if you want to be considered for PPR 394 or PPR 393

6 III Choosing a topic Find an area Propose a focused topic Propose supervisors Best to match your interest with possible supervisors

7 Focused topic  What is it you are interested in ?  What question are you answering ?  What answer do you think you will give ?  Why ?  How are you going to get there ?

8 How to focus on a topic? AreaTopicMore focused topic PoliticsBritish politicsDevelopment of multi-party system in British politics IRSecurityRadicalization of the West PhilosophyApplied ethicsEuthanasia Religious StudiesContemporary Christianity Evangelical Christians

9 From topic to research question AreaMore focused topicResearch question Politics: British politicsDevelopment of multi- party system Why has Britain gone from a 2-3 to a 6-party system? IR: SecurityRadicalization of IslamIs the role of Islam in radicalization over- estimated? Philosophy: applied ethicsEuthanasia – the legal status of euthanasia in a liberal society Should autonomous individuals be legally allowed the right to die? Religious Studies: Contemporary Christianity Evangelical ChristiansWhy is evangelical Christianity the fastest growing part of the church in Britain?

10 Two things to keep in mind It is usually sensible to choose a topic related to something you are doing or have done It’s also good if you can match your topic to the interests of possible supervisors

11 Just a long essay?  The dissertation is something more than just a ‘long essay’  1. Choose a fairly focused topic and show that you can analyse theoretical and/or empirical issues in detail  2. For some dissertations, sources might go beyond academic books, articles and web search (some do fieldwork)  3. Present ideas as linked chapters (help available from student learning support from the faculty –

12 IV Supervisor and Supervision  Supervisor assigned in the Summer Term  See your supervisor  Informal chat  Get direction

13 Supervision: General  Supervisors will provide 3 hours of supervision.  That allows for six 30-minute meetings.  Your supervisor will:  i. help you to focus your topic and work out a more precise title;  ii. give you advice on your plan of research and on appropriate reading  iii. comment on an outline plan for the dissertation of 1500 words (max)  iv. be available from time to time (by appointment) for consultation and advice.  But your supervisor will not read or comment on the completed draft of the dissertation prior to submission

14 Supervision  Most supervisors will be assigned for the whole period  Some special arrangement  There will be more members of staff on sabbatical leave in Michaelmas term (marked * in the handbook) Chris Macleod, Alison Stone, Sossie Kasbarian, Simon Mabon, Anderson Jeremiah, and Kim Knott (see p )  As they are area specialists, you will still be assigned to them  They will supervise you during: the summer term and summer holiday 2015 the Lent term 2016  The interim Michaelmas Term 2015 Assign another member of staff for consultation Transfer back to the supervisor for the Lent Term

15 V Research ethics  Take personal responsibility for conducting the research and writing up the results– ‘do no harm’  Obtain informed consent from all participants  Give particular attention to vulnerable participants  Ensure confidentiality and anonymity of data  Do not undertake research without the necessary skills  Write up the findings with honesty and integrity  Consider providing feedback to participants  Remember that you are representing the university!

16 Research with human subjects  A PPR ethical approval form must be completed (p )  The form must be approved by your supervisor PRIOR to any data collection.  If you require a letter to confirm you have received ethical approval for the project this is issued by your supervisor See University procedures for ethical approval at m [more details at meeting on 13 th March See dissertation handbook pages 18-20]. m

17 VI Dissertation Scoping, Planning and Writing  Summer 2015  Scoping, reading and planning  Michaelmas 2015 Start Planning and Writing Outline Chapters More reading and writing Solidify direction  Lent 2016 Finalizing and Finish writing Chapter details and refinements Bibliography and References Check your work

18 Sources: Scoping  Library – One Search  Books  Journals  Newspapers and periodicals  Websites  Other? Fieldwork?

19 Outline and chapters  Chapters  What does each chapter do?  How does it fit into the whole?  How are the chapters broken down?

20 Example: Chapters  Chapter 1 Introduction  Chapter 2 Globalization and Capitalism  Chapter 3 Global Capitalism and Financial Crisis  Chapter 4 Financial Crisis and EU Austerity Politics  Chapter 5 The Case of Greece  Chapter 6 Implications for EU Integration/ Disintegration  Chapter 7 Conclusion

21 VII Library Resources  Library – One Search  Books  Journals  Newspapers and periodicals  Websites  Lorna Pimperton (PPR subject librarian)

22 What to do next...  Start thinking about a topic  Start thinking about a possible supervisor (check the handbook to see who is available – note those with *)  Return your form to Helen (B.40) no later than Wed 29th April 2015 (deadline)

23 Working on the dissertation  Assigning of supervisor  First meeting with supervisor no later than the end of the Summer term  Aim to get your topic finally agreed during the Summer term  Work on your dissertation during the Summer vacation, if possible, and during next Michaelmas and Lent terms  Dissertation must be submitted by Monday 18 th April 2016 New dissertation modules 1000 word plan to be approved by end Summer term.


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