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Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Dissertation Studies What is a dissertation?

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Presentation on theme: "Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Dissertation Studies What is a dissertation?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Dissertation Studies What is a dissertation?

2 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Dissertation Aims Make your own contribution to educational understanding by presenting a coherent, detailed and sustained argument at length on an educational topic Develop advanced practical and analytical skills in a range of quantitative and/or qualitative research methods as an academic researcher and writer on educational and social matters Develop your own ideas and organise a project independently but with supportive guidance Refine and practice a range of skills which would be useful to you in further study or a professional/work based context.

3 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Main - Textbooks

4 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Recommended Book Pears, R. & Shields, G. (2005) Cite them right: the essential guide to referencing and plagiarism Newcastle upon Tyne: Pear Tree Books.

5 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Other - Textbooks Literature Reviews Fink, A. (1998). Conducting Research Literature Reviews. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Paradigms Guba, E., & Lincoln, Y. (1998) Competing paradigms in Qualitative research. In Denzin, N. & Lincoln, Y. (eds). The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues. Thousand oaks: Sage. Oppenheim, A. (2000). Questionnaire Design. London, UK: Continuum. Patton, M. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. California, Sage. Willig, C. (2008) Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology. Maidenhead, Berkshire : McGraw-Hill Content Analysis Krippendorff, K. (2004). Content Analysis: An Introduction to its Methodology. London : Sage. Neuendorf, K. (2002). The Content Analysis Guidebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

6 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Other - Textbooks Interviews Kvale, S. (2008). Interviews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing. London : Sage. Rubin, I., & Rubin, H. (2005). Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data. London: Sage. Wengraf, T. (2002). Qualitative Research Interviewing. London : Sage Observation Wragg, E. (1999). An Introduction to Classroom Observation. London: Routledge. Action Research McNiff, J., & Whitehead, J. (2002). Action Research: Principles and Practice. London: Routledge. Qualitative Analysis Strauss, A. and J. Corbin (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research. London, Sage Publications. Survey Oppenheim, A. (2000). Questionnaire Design. London, UK: Continuum.

7 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School The Expectations Primary Research 16,000 words in length It will meet the masters level assessment criteria: Analysis of Literature and Research Synthesis and Utilisation of Evidence Integration of Theory and Practice Structure Presentation

8 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Structure of the dissertation Title (page) Table of contents Abstract Ch 1Introduction Ch 2Literature Review Ch 3Methodology Ch 4ResultsCh 4 Findings Ch 5DiscussionCh 5 Conclusion Reference List Appendices Quantitative Qualitative

9 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Chapter 1: Introduction Introduction to your topic Research problem(s) to be addressed Background to the problem’s context Why is your problem important? who will benefit? Who will use your conclusions? policy/ practice/ research (also why they will use it) Structure of dissertation

10 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Chapter 2: Literature Review General definitions of concepts General discussion of your concepts and related topics Specific research that is related to your topic who, why, where, when, findings, shortcomings Existing work on your topic who, why, where, when, findings, shortcomings General conclusions about work done to date

11 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Chapter 3: Methodology The rationale of process and the actual process of the investigation that you are undertook Theoretical research philosophy / approach research purpose research design Methods what is your data what is your sample what is your collection method what is your collection instrument what is your analysis

12 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Chapter 4: Results/Findings What were the findings of the study? Sufficient evidence must be presented to enable the reader to comprehend and critically assess the approach adopted. The findings should not simply be listed, but some indication of the nature and relative importance should be given. Are any limitations of the findings acknowledged? Do they consistently address the topic of the dissertation?

13 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Chapter 5: Discussion Summarise your results and conclusions in a more readable fashion. Give the interpretation and evaluation of your results/findings Relate your results to the literature you discovered for the literature review Suggest recommendations and implications that relate to the problem you are studying Discuss limitations of your research

14 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School MSc EPI Dissertation Studies Understanding Research -Assumptions -Limitations

15 related

16 Depth and Understanding Representive and Predictive Positivist – Quantitiative Research Interpretist – Qualitative Research

17 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School What does it aim to do? exploratory generate new ideas, concepts, or hypotheses descriptive provides a detailed, highly accurate picture explanatory explains why something happens look for casual relationships between concepts predictive forecasts future phenomena

18 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Are the researchers ‘politically’ neutral? most researchers aim to be politically neutral or impartial by presenting all sides of an argument sometimes the researcher is overtly partisan or adversarial examples feminist research critical theorists action researchers

19 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School What use is it? in pure, basic, theoretical or academic projects, the aim is to understand the cause or mechanism of a phenomenon. applied or practical projects impact directly on health, wealth, education, or culture PurePractical

20 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School How original is it? most research projects are so-called original investigations. you obtain new data or information about a phenomenon. some research projects are reviews of the literature. you use other researchers' published data or info about a phenomenon. primaryreviewreplicationsecondary

21 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Who is it studying? Are you studying a single situation or person, or is it a sample that will allow you to generalize to a population? populationsindividualssamplescase studies

22 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School From what ‘discipline’ does it approach research? Psychology Sociology Economics Political Science Management History

23 What do they study? Objective objects that we can identify with our senses therefore… only research things that are objective activities behaviours Subjective all objects undergo a process of interpretation by the individual therefore… research the interpretation and not the object understandings preferences

24 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School Is it theory-building or theory- confirming? hypothesis theory test hypothesis accept/reject theory Theory confirming - Deductive identify patterns observations generalisations theory Theory building- Inductive

25 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School What type of information is collected? with quantitative collection methods… you gather data that is a numerical representation of the phenomena of interest surveys, experimental methods, observations with qualitative collection methods… you gather in-depth / rich information from individuals or documents interviews, observations, texts, videos …

26 Southampton Education School Southampton Education School How is the information analyzed? with quantitative analysis methods… you use established statistical processes to look for patterns and relationships amongst the data with qualitative analysis methods… you looks for themes and patterns of interest within the information


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