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Masters Discussion Forum

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This Category:   PostgraduateForum.com > Masters Dissertations


Masters degree - dissertation

User: Virshininke - 09 May 2017 16:54


So I am at the stage where my dissertation proposal got approved and now I need to start writing. Does any of you have any good advice on how to make sure I get good marks? I need to get at least 70% from this. When I did my degree I got 68% in dissertation two years ago. However I do feel because I am a distant learner and doing my degree online mostly my tutors (especially my dissertation tutor) are not taking me seriously and most of the time my emails with any questions get ignored. This makes everything so much harder. I do have till August to get my dissertation done.

User: Tudor_Queen - 09 May 2017 22:26

Is there a marking criteria in your handbook? Adhere to what it says you need to do to get 68 plus. If you don't have one, do an online search and find one from another university.

User: blocksof - 10 May 2017 00:01

Make sure you record all failures from experiments and use photos to support it if doing any practicals. I was lucky as my proposal had zero literature review and I could blag my way through it.

User: Virshininke - 10 May 2017 10:54

There is no marking criteria. The only resources I have been given was 50 pages document, which mostly speak about what fonts and spacing I should be using and referencing, but nothing else.

My previous degree dissertation was project based, where now its research and I am really finding it hard.

User: TreeofLife - 10 May 2017 11:08

Ask for a mark scheme? They must have one.

In general, to get a First you have to show something along the lines of this: excellent, comprehensive work; well presented and structured and logically organised; critical insight; originality; well referenced showing clear knowledge and understanding of the relevant literature using appropriate examples; thorough analysis of
results and an ability to evaluate critically and discuss research findings.

What's the difference between a project and research? Nothing, I would guess.

User: Virshininke - 10 May 2017 11:14

In my previous exoperience because I did the project I didn't have to do questionnaires and analysis of the results. Also quite a lot of dissertation was about explaining how I implemented my project and what I did at each step.

User: AOE26 - 11 May 2017 17:52

Surprised there is no marking criteria. I had one - not that it made any difference. Like you I rarely got replies from my supervisor, I spent a month writing a few paragraphs of my methodology chapter (literally 4 paragraphs in a month) and asking for advice/review as I went. Only to have a meeting with another supervisor on a day at Uni for him to dismiss 3 of the paragraphs as irrelevant.

Bag over the head punch in the face moment I can tell you.

As tough as this sounds the tutors are not there to teach you! So you may find you get little guidance. I found that part very tough as I was keen to do well (as is everyone). My supervisor was reluctant to even suggest an estimate of a score for my paper - in the whole year he only ever once gave me a nod to where it might come... and he was WAY off.

So I have been no help what so ever... but take some comfort in the fact you are not alone!!

User: Tudor_Queen - 12 May 2017 10:07

Follow the marking criteria set out by Tree Of Life and you'll have a good chance of doing well! I always found I did better on marked assignments/dissertations just by focusing on producing something of high quality - not so much excellent in terms of inspiring or some kind of breakthrough - just clear, logical and well written.

User: fallenonion - 13 May 2017 18:14

Quote like crazy from other sources. Everything you say, try and back it up. Having an impressive bibliography / appendixes is half the battle I,reckon. And include a range of sources - a mix of contemporaneous stuff like journal articles and websites alongside more seminal works in your field. A strong abstract is important too - look at some style models, and polish it until there's not a wasted word. A strong start and a strong finish covers a multitude of sins in the middle!

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