WHAT IS A DISSERTATION? D11ZZ (Architectural Engineering) & D21RZ (Civil Engineering) Dr Mehreen Gul M.firstname.lastname@example.org 24/05/2016 WHAT IS A DISSERTATION? • A good overview over the subject area within which the dissertation topic resides • Detailed knowledge about the dissertation topic • Evidence of own work to make a contribution to the dissertation • Evidence of critical discussion of the results and their implications to the wider field • Written in clear, correct, and appropriate English • Structured clearly to reflect the progression of the argument to achieve the aims and objectives of the project • Make clear & specific references to the sources used in the project & discussion of the work DISSERTATION STRUCTURE Introduction & general context Literature Review Conclusions Results & Discussion Analysis Research Methodology DISSERTATION LENGTH • Examinable content is the quality of the research and not the length of the dissertation • Depends on the topic and type of dissertation (experimental, qualitative…) • In general a dissertation should be around 50/60 pages excluding Appendices. • 12000 -14000 words approximately YOUR DISSERTATION • Initial consultation with your supervisor • Refine the objectives & start the project immediately • Dissertation progress is expected over the summer vacation….!!! (on-campus students) • Stay in contact with your supervisor regularly (face to face meetings for on-campus students) • Keep writing your dissertation as you proceed • Remember to underpin your research objectives and analysis/discussion with comprehensive literature-based evidence • Don’t leave everything until the last minute DISSERTATION STAGES Preparing • • Identify research aims, or a problem & justify • Develop methodology; start background reading and carrying out initial literature review; and get feedback from supervisor • Refine the aim, set up objectives, methods, anticipate research outcomes. • Get advice from Supervisor on skills and techniques required; • Develop fieldwork or laboratory work; further background reading and literature review. Carrying on Finishing • Organise any necessary field/laboratory work and setup of the platform for the investigation • Data acquisition, Survey, Experiments & Modelling • Data analysing - Compare your own data with published ones – update literature review • Draw conclusions – they support/against your initial arguments and elaborate possible implementations • Detailed outline of chapters drafted • Writing the chapters of methodology/results & discussion while progressing your project Stages • Revising literature review, relate your data with others‟ work, deepen and widen your discussions • Identify any gaps where extra work or reading are necessary. • Write the conclusion chapter, highlight your findings • Write the introduction particularly refine your research aim and objectives • Prepare the first complete draft – too long/short or repetition or poor diagrams/tables/chart or English • Check your references, layout/format, page/figure/table numbers …. • Consult your Supervisor before making final correction/checking, • check binding requirements. • Binding of dissertation, complete forms and submit the dissertation to the School Office SOURCES OF SUPPORT • Supervisors/Staff • VISION • Tutorials • Academic Literature • Resource Centre/HW Library SUPERVISORS • Assist you in the process: selecting a suitable topic, defining your research topic, refining the hypothesis, selecting appropriate research methods, carrying out a literature search, carrying out experimental work, and writing up your dissertation. • It is not always possible to give a student a supervisor who specialises in the area in which they choose to work. • S/He may not be a particular expert in the topic you choose, in which case other supervisors may be able to offer subject-specific advice. SUPERVISORS • VISION link “Supervisors & Topics” • EGIS website: http://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscienceinfrastructure-society/staff-directory/staff-a-z.htm • Research/selected publications/biography • IIE: Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (D21RZ) • CESBD: Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design (D11ZZ) YOUR SUPERVISOR DO NOT • Tell you the objectives of your work • Give you a complete list of all the relevant literature on the subject • Develop the dissertation structure for you • • • • • Do detailed design of apparatus for you Do the experiments for you Write chapters for you Do proofreading for you Chase you if you do not keep to time VISION • Learning Materials • Dissertation guides • Assessment • Forms/front cover/binding info • Organisations - EGIS > Graduate School > • Infrastructure & Environment > Independent distance learning students > Safety, risk & reliability engineering (Dr P Thompson) • Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design > Student hand books THE TUTORIALS Date Time Topic Speaker 24th May 11:00 to 12:00 What is a Dissertation? Dr Craig Kennedy & Dr Mehreen Gul 24th May 12:15 to 13:15 Literature Review to Writeup Dr David Kelly 25th May 11:00 to 12:00 Research Techniques Dr Sarah Payne 25th May 12:15 to 13:15 Referencing/using End note Dr Alicia Montarzino ACADEMIC LITERATURE • Articles in journals/conferences/books are thought to be more reputable because they have be refereed i.e. prior to publication, the content of these publications has gone through a peer review process • Peer review - review of an author's scholarly work/research/ideas by others who are experts in the same field • There is a difference between general web-sites and scholarly material available online • Although you do sometimes find academic literature via a web-search, you will see there are better resources to use… CENTRE LIB & EGIS RESOURCE CENTRE • www.info4education.cm • A complete reference source for students, graduates and academic professionals who need efficient and current access to British Standards, legislation and other guidance information related to the construction, health and safety, engineering, process and electronics industries. • EGIS_databases guide (‘Learning Materials’ on Vision) • www.sciencedirect.com • World’s leading information source for researchers: Journals, books, technical papers • http://isguides.hw.ac.uk/home • The Information Services Guide for Energy, Society, Geography and Environment (EGIS) was put together by the Subject Librarian for EGIS. Lots of useful information and links to resources that will help with your studies or research. If you have any questions, please get in touch. • Your Librarian (Edinburgh Campus and Distance Learners) ‘Rachael Whittington’ e:mail R.Whittington@hw.ac.uk ASSESSMENT ASPECTS 1 Definition and justification of aims and objectives of dissertation 2 Evidence of literature research and a good overview over the subject 3 Research plan and appropriate methodology 4 Evidence of sufficient own work carried out 5 Quality of the work carried out 6 Critical analysis of the work within the methodology (Uncertainties of results, potential and limitations of methodology) 7 Critical discussion of results in the wider context and contribution to the field 8 Clear and appropriate structure of dissertation and of logical progression of argument 9 Appropriate use of language (spelling, grammar, style) 10 Quality of referencing, figures, tables, ... … Submission dates 2016: 12th August 2nd December (on-campus re-sits and IDL/ALP students) Thanks Questions??