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Writing skills: Dissertation preparation and planning

Venue: Online

*please note, this workshop has been rescheduled from 24 November to 1st December as a result of strike action by the UCU*

This workshop concentrates the preliminary stages of the dissertation writing. It is suitable for students who are early in their dissertation writing process, including considering a research area and formulating a question, writing a dissertation proposal, and undertaking preliminary research. This will be more relevant to students who have not yet begun their dissertations, or who have begun their research and would like to review their process so far and plan their next steps.

A second workshop (in term 2, but available online now) will focus on the later 'writing up' stages, including a focus on the literature revew and discussion section, as well as connecting the various sections from introduction to conclusion. It will be more relevant to students who have already begun their dissertation research process and and are currently engaged in the later stages of writing up their dissertation research.

Although the workshop will be helpful for dissertation writers from any discipline, the workshop will particularly focus on empirical research dissertations. Empirical research is usually found in scientific, social science and vocational subjects, and such dissertations use questionnaires, surveys, lab experiments and other methods to gather original data, and follow a formal report structure, rather than primarily researching from secondary literature, books and journals.

The workshop will cover:

  • formulating a research question
  • time and energy: managing the writing process,
  • dissertation structures
  • literature reviews
  • planning your writing

The workshop is primarily aimed at postgraduate students, but undergraduate students or phd researchers may also find it helpful. 

The slides and a recording of this workshop will be found in the Birkbeck Study Skills Moodle Module, in the Writing Skills Resources section under 'Dissertations and research skills'

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