Dissertation Writing

Dissertation Writing

Doing a Dissertation


  • What is a Dissertation?
  • Choosing a “Good” topic
  • Conducting the Research, from

Proposal to Write-Up

What is a Dissertation?

  • A formal requirement to satisfy a masters degree; written to demonstrate the student’s competence
  • 15k – 20k words
  • Conducted in 3 months
  • Aimed not to introduce a new theory, but rather emphasising to a rigour research process

Choosing a “Good” topic?

  • Relevance, Significance, Realistic
  • DO-ABLE !! (in 3 months)
  • Things to consider:
    • Literature Gap
    • Your interest?
  • How accessible is the data?
  • Not so much to dazzle with your topic, but rather on doing a rigorous research process

1st – Research Proposal

  • The rationale behind the entire research
  • Brief literature review, conceptual framework
  • Reviewing main theories / concepts, to formulise the conceptual framework
  • Foreseen methodology (and data collection instrument)
  • max 2000 words

2nd – Research Design


  • Quantitative
  • Qualitative
  • Mixed methods


  • Survey
  • In-depth interview
  • Focus group discussion

Best practice – create a matrix of RQs, main theories, data collection instruments, and operational questions

3rd – Data Collection


Prepare interview questions: 2 versions

  • For respondents
  • For yourself, with (potential) probing questions
  • Prepare interview protocol
  • Audio-record the interview
  • Don’t take notes too much while doing the interview


  • Prepare survey questionnaire
  • Use appropriate tool
  • Paper-based
  • Online: Survey monkey (free), MBS Qualtrics

4th – Analysis

  • Analyse the data based on the reviewed theories / concepts (literature review)
  • Be critical
  • Do not (!) introduce or use new literature / theories / concepts other than those described in Literature Review
  • Practicality
  • Map the data and theories used to analyse that particular data using table, Mind Map, or any other mapping tools
  • This allows you to keep track both of your data and your literature

5th – Writing up

  • Chapters – proportion
    • Introduction >> 10% of total words
    • Literature review >> 20% – 30%
    • Research method >> 5% – 10%
    • Data / result
    • Discussion
    • Conclusion >> 5%




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