Dissertation Guide

By special request from Michelle and Helen in the Royal Holloway School of Management admin office I publish here a consolidated and click friendly page of links that have been developed by Justin O'Brien to help students find their way through the dissertation process.  

There is a logical top to bottom flow, but it is likely that you will want to read all the posts initially and re-visit key chapter guidance and skills guidance as you approach those elements in more detail.  Please note, this is an above and beyond general guide offered to all students worldwide facing a thesis/dissertation challenge.  It is very much expected that you will use the formal guidance documentation provided you by Royal Holloway (or other learned institution) to define the expectations.  (That is my disclaimer !)

Dissertation links

How to find a good/great/amazing dissertation topic

Tips on how to write an effective dissertation title

Possible shell document framework

Planning the dissertation

What text book should I use ?

Five common dissertation mistakes

Research like a hot knife through butter

Effective Academic Writing

Writing to a fixed word count

Writing a lovely literature review

Marvellous Methodology Writing

It ain't what you say, it's the way that you say it

Building Powerful Arguments


Critical Analysis

Writing up the results

Setting up for a Successful Summary

Fiddly bits at the end

Please feel free to acknowledge this guide in your dissertation cover pages, if you feel moved to.  justin.obrien@royalholloway.ac.uk is particularly interested to hear feedback on what worked, what didn't, what is missing and welcomes suggestions on how the guide could be improved further.  Drop me a line.

The writing style is quite conversational, aimed at replicating in some way the more informal guidance you can receive from your dissertation supervisor.  The posts are unashamedly resplendent with metaphors and cheap visual gags, to aide memorability mostly.  If you hear fellow students muttering "I'm doing the funnel", "Like a hot knife through butter" or "Make like pancakes" and a keenness for mountain similes, you know they have been reading this guide too.  

Jedi Knight to Padawan: 

"May the force be with you !"

You may also find the following uni study skills links useful:

Phrasebank (Discovered thanks to colleague Karin Whiteside)

Climbing the research mountain