Monday, 7 May 2012

How To Write An Effective Dissertation Title

 Find circa 50 student dissertation exemplars (Merit +) available on the "All PGT Common Page" on Moodle.




Subject Interest

Crucial to pick a topic you are genuinely interested in.
Any topic will do (management is everywhere)
Unsolved mystery ?  (Do women have a relationship with their hand bag ? Why don’t men use moisturiser ?)
Personal passion ? (Sports team)


Link to academic theory

Initially this might be a wide area e.g. “leadership” or “marketing”
Reading the abstracts/introductions of a number of academic journals is essential here
You should ideally look for a more detailed area e.g. cross-cultural leadership or perhaps sports marketing

Formulating a title

Area of research interest: Manchester City
Academic topic: Cross-cultural team building
Access to organisation ?: Very unlikely
Proxy for access:  Football experts (fans ?)
Source of experts: general population/average student – unlikely, online sports forums, sports clubs/teams, snowballing (personal referrals)
Expertise qualification: depth of football knowledge & length of interest (likely to be mature fans ?)

Matching research and question

 It is important to ensure the research sample are qualified to provide expert view/opinion on the question
How many students have bought a house ?
How many students have flown business class ? (often..?)
How many lecturers are up on the latest music/fashion trends ?

Use your connections

It is possible to email (better to call or visit) a company and ask for help on research…. however expect many rejections and to work hard
Personal connections and in person requests can often turn up the best links
However; working people are busy, need lots of notice (weeks) and may cancel your appointment at the last moment. 
Ensure you have a plan B
Anticipate cancellations – need 5 interviews – plan for 7 or 9.

All PGT common page (Moodle)
Is your question too big ?

 “Social Media as a branding platform: The case of Nike”

Shows academic theory (branding/social media), context (Nike) and research approach (case study) but geographic realm (global ? Too big ?) case study via secondary sources ?

“Determinates of Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment of Saudi Females in Vocational Institutions.”

Is more specific and has a clearer focus.

Question words that suggest the type of research that will be undertaken (ack Dr. Donna Brown)

Great titles answer 5W’s and H 

What ? area of academic theory
Which ? company/industry
Where ? geographic focus
Why ? Importance, gap in literature and personal motivation (described in introduction)
Who ? define the research subjects
How ? methodology – flagged via key words 

Different methods to choose from

Quantitative methods:   ANOVA, correlation, ranking, panel data, survey, questionnaire, randomised, experimental, causal, reliability, validity, cross-sectional, longitudinal, classification, dependency, time series analysis, regression analysis, factor analysis
Qualitative methods: observation methods, projection, ethnographic, narratives, anthropological, action research, interview, focus group, semi-structured interview, research diary
Mixed methods: – sometimes referred to as triangulation.   Allows the combination of strengths of different approaches, whilst also perhaps overcoming some of the weaknesses.