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Doing Your Social Science Dissertation

Doing Your Social Science Dissertation

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May 2009 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Dissertations can be the most rewarding, and for some the most stressful, part of any undergraduate degree course, providing the opportunity for students to pursue a chosen subject in some depth, developing their expertise. The dissertation offers many challenges to those seeking to do it well and this guide is the perfect book for those seeking to succeed with their dissertation.

Judith Burnett helps students to rise to this challenge, making the most of the opportunities which a dissertation offers and overcoming the obstacles to successful completion. This book takes students through the process of doing a dissertation from turning the raw ideas into a research question, designing the research project, choosing appropriate methods, developing a research proposal, planning and executing the project, working with data, writing up, and preparing the work for presentation.

Doing A Dissertation in the Social Sciences is an invaluable guide to avoiding the pitfalls and making the most of the opportunities offered by the dissertation. It ought to be compulsory reading for undergraduate students in any social science discipline.

SAGE Study Skills are essential study guides for students of all levels. From how to write great essays and succeeding at university, to writing your undergraduate dissertation and doing postgraduate research, SAGE Study Skills help you get the best from your time at university. Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub for tips, resources and videos on study success!

Introduction: why do a dissertation in the Social Sciences?
Ready to research?
What is expected in your dissertation?
How do I define a research question?
What kind of researcher am I?
How do I write the Research Proposal?
Finding sources and doing the literature review
What are the problems of real world research?
The research design
Carrying out the research
What do I do with all of this data?
Drawing conclusions and coming up with theories
Writing up
Troubleshooting: what to do if it all goes wrong


SAGE Study Skills hub
Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub for tips, resources and videos on study success!

I especially liked the introductory chapters - so clearly laying out how to design and create a proposal ready for research.

Miss Jo Button
Education , South Devon College
June 2, 2016

Good for third year students embarking on dissertations, covers theoretical and practical issues

Dr Richard Peake
Law , Leeds University
November 7, 2012

I did not find the chapter on expectations all that useful, and I did not like the chapter on research design. By contrast the chapter on literature reviews is very good. So, we will be dipping in and out of this book.

Dr Elisabeth Carter
SPIRE, Keele University
September 26, 2012

A good clear book appropriate to undergraduates, and helpful for them in doing dissertations, so it's on the supplemental list for our undergraduate methods course. But it's relatively entry-level and it could push students a bit further - certainly I wouldn't put this as key reading for the MA research methods courses I convene.

Mr Ben Baumberg
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kent
August 29, 2012

This text will be useful for nurse researchers adopting a social science stance.

Dr Sheila Greatrex-White
Nursing , Nottingham University
April 24, 2012

This will be a useful text for nursing research students adopting a social science research approach.

Dr Sheila Greatrex-White
Nursing , Nottingham University
April 24, 2012

This is a really useful book for students undertaking their research during their final year. The section on the literature review was really useful.

Mrs Deborah Wilkinson
Department of Education, Chichester University
March 5, 2012

An excellent guide for students on approaching their dissertations

Dr Joanna Large
Cardiff School of Education, Cardiff Metropolitan University
December 16, 2011

an excellent resource for students studying research

Ms Louise Lawson
Secondary and Tertiary Care Group, Hertfordshire University
October 25, 2010

This is a wonderful book for graduate students who are struggling with the wide variety of conundrums, pitfalls, and uncertainties of qualitative research. It does seem to be aimed primarily at graduate students - for a PhD candidate like myself it seems a bit too generic at times. A lot of time is spent on the transition from life as a student to becoming a PhD candidate. That's fine, but that does mean the book is aimed at a particular audience at a particular time in their academic trajectories. 2 years and 9 months down the line, I personally prefer books with a more direct, no-nonsense approach, such as Dunleavey's excellent 'Authoring a PhD', but this is rather personal. The book's discussions of both quantitative and qualitative methods are rather short, but they do provide sufficient food for thought and bring the beginning PhD candidate up to speed nicely (I think). My students love the fact that this book contains so much valuable information in a compact form, which doesn't shy away from discussing more psychological dimensions of research they sometimes struggle with. A great book in a great series!

Mr Matthijs Kouw
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University
September 14, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One

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ISBN: 9781412931137
ISBN: 9781412931120

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