Succeeding with Your Master's Dissertation: A Step-by-Step Handbook by John BiggamSucceeding with Your Master's Dissertation: A Step-by-Step Handbook by John Biggam

Succeeding with Your Master's Dissertation: A Step-by-Step Handbook

byJohn Biggam

Paperback | March 1, 2011

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 301 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


"I found this book indispensable and consulted it pretty much on a daily basis throughout the whole process of planning and writing my dissertation. By following the book from beginning to end I was able to hand-in a piece of work that I was both proud of and confident would meet Masters standards." Lee Pimlott, Masters Student, University of Derby, UK

Amazon reviews for the 1st edition:

"The ONE book you need to guide you through writing your master's thesis. It ensures you 'tick all the boxes' necessary for a good result. I especially liked the 'common mistake by students' in each section."

"The book provides structure, clarity, time management and advice on content for your dissertation. I am delighted to say I passed my Master's with a distinction and owe a lot to the guidance provided by this book."

This popular book continues to demystify the dissertation writing process. Taking a step-by-step approach to the dissertation life cycle and highlighting examples of good and bad practice and the common mistakes that students often make, the book provides clear guidance on how to gain marks, as well as how to avoid losing them.

From your initial research proposal to your final submission, you will find this book an indispensible guide. This new edition offers:

  • Additional advice on mind-mapping, note taking and speed reading techniques, as well as time management and how to make the most of your supervisor
  • More information on research methods
  • A new chapter 'Systematic Reviews'Succeeding with Your Master's Dissertation is essential reading for all students tackling dissertations on Master's courses or on short postgraduate courses, the social sciences, business and humanities. The book is also key reading for supervisors and undergraduates considering postgraduate study.
Dr John Biggam is a lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has an international reputation in teaching and learning. He is also a Union Learning Representative, the first in Scotland for the University and College Union (UCU).
Title:Succeeding with Your Master's Dissertation: A Step-by-Step HandbookFormat:PaperbackDimensions:9 × 6 × 0.79 inPublished:March 1, 2011Publisher:McGraw-Hill EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0335242251

ISBN - 13:9780335242252

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents


A Master's dissertation: what is it?
So, what skills do you need to succeed?
Watch your words!
How to use this book
Summary of key points

Preparing for your dissertation

Putting together your research proposal
Research focus and overall research aim
Research objectives and keywords
Research methods
Setting a timescale
Producing a dissertation template
Supervisor meetings
Supervisor and Student: roles and responsibilities
Summary of key points

Developing your i-skills

What are i-skills?
Information needs
Organising skills
Literature search techniques
Speed reading skills
Critiquing skills
Communication skills and mind-mapping
Summary of key points

The dissertation Introduction

The general structure of the Introduction
Research focus (revisited)
Overall research aim and individual research objectives
Value of your research
A further suggestion
Summary of key points

The Literature Review

Focus on your research objectives
Description vs critical evaluation
Learning theory and your dissertation
Structuring your Literature Review
Summary of key points

Systematic Reviews

What is a systematic review?
The stages of a systematic review
AMSTAR: a checklist for systematic reviews
Summary of key points

Research methods

What's it all about?
Research strategy
Quantitative vs qualitative research
Sampling techniques
Positivism and phenomenology
Justifying your research strategy
The question of reliability (and validity)
Data collection
Preparation, preparation, preparation
What and why?
Framework for data analysis
Limitations and potential problems
Summary of key points

Writing up your findings

The general approach
The process of description, analysis and synthesis: an example
Summary of key points

Concluding your dissertation

What's in a Conclusion?
Research objectives: summary of findings and conclusions
Contribution to knowledge
Summary of key points

Finally: Writing the abstract?

What is an abstract?
How to write an abstract
Abstract template
Summary of key points

Practical issues

Presenting your work and preparing for a viva
Presenting your work: common mistakes
Preparing for a viva
The marking scheme
Good grammar
A word of warning: plagiarism
What counts as plagiarism?
What if you are accused of plagiarism?
Research ethics

Summary of good practice to adopt and bad practice to avoid

Forewarned is forearmed
Dissertation writing: summary of good practice to adopt
and bad practice to avoid
Practical issues: summary of good practice to adopt
and bad practice to avoid