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Transcript of Dissertation Success
Have a good filing system: Save relevant articles in a folder with the file name using the Surname and Title.
(When you've used them move them to an archive folder)
I had a million ideas,
& hope these ones help!
What's already out there?
* Class Notes (I used Porter & STEEPLE in the intro)
* Supervisor thoughts (What else are they looking for)
* Professional Research (I concentrated on IES / CIPD)
* Journal Articles (via Google Scholar - abstracts/references)
* News (Quality Newspapers / P.M.Magazine)
* The Company Strategy (show how you can help achieve it)
* Key people (talk through ideas with your Line Manager)
Don't reinvent the wheel if you don't have to - get permission & reference!
Don't panic about the amount of info you have - having written down key points try to group them
(I ended up with 9 pages of References - it helped beyond belief to be organised right from the very start!)
Think through what could go wrong (& how to stop it going wrong)
Get it Right the First Time by
doing a Pilot Study
Get Sufficient Numbers by
Keep a track on ALL information sheets provided, and keep referring to them
If your brain is melting, do something easy -
but do something!
My Autumn plan revolved around Strictly & It Takes Two. My guide:
* Work every week day from 7pm
* Have Saturdays Off
* Work after Sunday results
* Prepare for no life, just wine
(All subject to the usual T&C)
Have an overall plan that works for you (Gantt Charts are quick & easy)
CREATIVITY: Explore ideas
FEELINGS: Explore gut reaction
Think about what needs doing when
Using Edward de Bono's 6 Thinking Hats
Premise: There are a number of ways in which any situation can be approached.
By 'putting on' different hats (ways of thinking) you can see things from different perspectives, and therefore understand the whole in a more rounded and complete way.
What could help my
what am I interested in?
What floats my boat?
(& reference properly! Good referencing is like good grammar - it makes words flow for the reader (marker!) & creates a professional image)
e.g. Go on about the benefits (Meetings, E-mails, Reports, Statistics.
e.g. Use a Prize Draw!
It also shows due diligence & gives you something to write about!
Write the Methods Section by
Find out exactly what's needed B4 you do it - find your inner philosopher - arghhh!
All my planning worked - I had 78 responses to 138 questions - this was what it had all been about...
...BUT I now had 10,764 separate bits of data - numbers & words - which I had to fit together AND make sense of AND somehow convey their meaning AND link it all to previous reading!!
2. Do Careful Coding:
1. Do Easy Counting:
* How many respondents?
* How many male?
* How many male respondents?
This gave me reassurance as I can count! It's also an important step to understanding data
Careful coding - one small mistake at the start can cost days of work.
Save as a file separate to the original data
5. Link Qual to Quan:
4. Explore the Words:
I'm a quan. person
Generally I understood the numbers then illustrated them with quotes
6. Link Findings to Lit:
What did IES find?
What did CIPD find?
What did other people find?
How does this compare to what I found?
3. Explore the Numbers
VERY exciting & VERY scary!
A good starting point is to put 2 variables into a Scattergram - this will show what's 'normal' and can help you find patterns (& outliers).
Have a weekly plan that works for you
Make Molehills out of Mountains
This approach is similar to the one taken by Belbin, who believed that teams of people with different approaches were most effective.
Decide on a general topic
Decide on a specific topic
Understand the Data
Stay positive - this time next year it'll all be over!
Make Notes Religiously:
Author(s), Date, Title, Journal, Key points, key pages
(using WORD is fine!)
NEVER delete ANYTHING!