Common features to a successful dissertation
In the past students have shown great creativity in their chose of topics and the approaches they are using, there is not one single format and one single approach. However there are common features to successful dissertations:
Firstly and most important the writer communicates a strong engagement with the research – this means you have got to choose a topic that motivates you and that has risen out of a real desire to celebrate or critique something that is happening in education, to take the subject further by exploring practical or theoretical opportunities and difficulties. Rule one is think and talk to others about what really interests and engages you in education
Secondly it has got to be manageable. Your first ideas will probably be on a large scale, taking it to extreme why not consider a comparative study of the role of talk in schools in Europe and Asia? Explore the practical difficulties and bring it down to manageable size, for example a study of the impact of talk in citizenship education in a class of Y8 students in a local school.
Thirdly the dissertation is mapped out in advance. There is no one format for doing this but I would like to draw attention to some common features which you will have discussed in your research methods classes but are worth repeating below: