Guidelines for Dissertation Projects
When students start their projects, I give them the following advice, because I think it makes the supervision better and easier.
I have seen many problems surfacing late in the project, when there is no time to solve them. The advice below aims to solve these problems early in the process.
Take control of your own project and make your own objectives. Discuss them with your supervisor, but don’t let him decide.
- Write continuously, at every stage of the process. Start drafting individual sections as early as you can. I.e.
- draft literature review while you are reading
- draft presentation of technical algorithms while learning or implementing them
- document implementation while programming
I am happy to review your writing as you go a long. No text is too short to look for a second opinion.
- Include references in your writing from Day 1. I.e. learn how to do referencing in your software straight away. References are important. If in doubt, add more references, Harvard style of referencing, check this on Internet how to do referencing: http://libweb.anglia.ac.uk/referencing/harvard.htm.
- Assume that you are writing for next year’s MSc/Final Year students. I.e. your report has to be readable for people with a background similar to what you had when you started (but possibly with a different specialisation)
- Seek comments on your writing from fellow students as well as your supervisor. If fellow students can understand it, then the second examiner shouldn’t have too much trouble either. The supervisor may know the material too well to see the need for clarification.
As a starting point these links might be useful for you to see tips for writing thesis (structure and what it should cover):
How to write PhD Proposal
How to write MSc Proposal