Research Resources

Resource 12: Consulting finished dissertations

It is useful, at the outset, to glean some understanding of what a finished dissertation looks like and the components that come to make up a final report. Most institutions will hold example copies of dissertation projects completed by previous cohorts of students. Find out if your department or school makes these available to students. Look at examples of dissertations that use the same techniques or methods as yours. Reflect upon the following:

  • How have they structured the dissertation?
  • Does the overall structure seem logical?
  • How has each chapter been structured?
  • Does the argument flow well?
  • What are the strengths of how the dissertation is laid out?
  • Can you see any weaknesses?
  • What ideas might you bring to your own dissertation from looking at these examples?

Resource 13: Dealing with writer’s block

When faced with writers block, write answers to the following questions, which are targeted at helping you write up your human geography dissertation. Try to write the longest answers you can, and add as much detail as possible. Don’t worry about whether the sentences or paragraphs are fluent and grammatically correct. There is no need to add references or consider style. At this stage, just write!

  1. What was the inspiration for your project?
  2. What piece of reading grabbed your attention most on this topic? Why was this?
  3. What has been the most interesting thing you have found out? Why?
  4. What surprised you the most? Why?
  5. How would you describe your project to family and friends?