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how to write dissertation :Dissertation Guide:researching an

incorporating the
All MA Programmes
Dissertation Guide


University of Leicester
Department of Media and Communication
All Master’s Programmes
Dissertation Guide

1. Introduction. 3
2. What is a Dissertation? 3
3. The Role of the Dissertation Tutor 4
4. Choosing a Topic 5
5. Planning Your Research and Writing 6
6. Ethics 6
7. Assessment Criteria 6
8. Deadlines 8
9. Plagiarism 8
10. Presentation 9
11. Research Resources 12


The aim of this booklet is to guide you through the whole process of researching and writing your dissertation. You will find different sections of it useful at different stages of the process. Read it carefully as soon as possible and keep it handy for close reference as you work on your dissertation. Note that it will be helpful to read the details about the presentation of the dissertation at the initial research stage because it includes guidance on how to structure your work and incorporate source material. It is also important to be clear about the assessment criteria before you decide on a topic and your methodology/ies. This will give you a sense right from the start of the final product you should be aiming towards. We hope you will find the booklet of assistance. Please do tell us how it can be further improved.

You should also note the use of PDP kite-marking at different points in this module booklet. The purpose of these superscripts (e.g., PDP A1, PDP C3, etc) is to direct your attention to how you may draw upon the learning activities within this module to inform your Personal Development Plan. Maintenance of your PDP is a parallel exercise running alongside your course work in which you compile a diary of competencies, qualities and skills that will enhance your employability after graduation. The key to these PDP codes is attached to the back of this booklet. For example, where we state under ‘What is a dissertation?’ that it involves choosing a topic that interests you and research it in depth, we also indicate that this exercise embraces such competencies and skills as those listed under PDP A1 (Numeracy skills) and B2 (Planning and Organisation). Hence, when recording acquired skills in your PDP, you might wish to make reference to how your dissertation work engaged you in acquiring or enhancing such skills.

Please note the key deadlines:

1. Choose the topic area and if possible working title for your dissertation and e-mail to (mediacom@le.ac.uk) as soon as possible and definitely no later than 9 December 2009. A dissertation tutor will then be assigned to you. You should then make an appointment to see him/her to discuss your ideas.

UK Thesis Base Contacts