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
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
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
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
III Choosing a topic Find an area Propose a focused topic Propose supervisors Best to match your interest with possible supervisors
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 ?
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
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?
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
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 – Joanne.firstname.lastname@example.org)
IV Supervisor and Supervision Supervisor assigned in the Summer Term See your supervisor Informal chat Get direction
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
Supervision 2015-16 Most supervisors will be assigned for the whole period Some special arrangement 2015-16 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. 24- 27) 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
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!
Research with human subjects A PPR ethical approval form must be completed (p. 19- 20) 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 http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/resources/ethics/procedures.ht m [more details at meeting on 13 th March See dissertation handbook pages 18-20]. http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/resources/ethics/procedures.ht m
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
Outline and chapters Chapters What does each chapter do? How does it fit into the whole? How are the chapters broken down?
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
VII Library Resources Library – One Search Books Journals Newspapers and periodicals Websites Lorna Pimperton (PPR subject librarian)
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)
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.