The art of the dissertation
Time: 14:00 - 16:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HCS57
Available start dates
Duration: 2 sessions
What is the course about?
An academic dissertation is often an important component of many final year degree courses, but many undergraduate students have never attempted to write anything of this length before. This course helps you to plan and structure a dissertation in any discipline. It will be most useful to students who are approaching, or have already started, their final year dissertation.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
We will look at how to scope out the topic and create a title; how to read widely but selectively and to take notes efficiently; how to create a narrative through the literature review and through the dissertation as a whole. There will also be an opportunity for a brief one to one consultation with the tutor to discuss the particular challenges of your topic. Please note: the tutor is an expert in academic writing, not in your subject, so their suggestions are intended to supplement, not to replace, the advice of your academic supervisor.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Better understand the process of planning a dissertation.
- Feel more confident in your ability to plan and structure your own dissertation.
- Understand how to create a narrative from your research question to your conclusion.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is aimed at undergraduate level, but could also be helpful to Master's (and even early stage PhD) students who want to refresh their understanding of planning and structuring a longer work. A good level of written and spoken English is assumed for students at this level in UK universities, and you should also have a clear understanding of the requirements and guidelines for the dissertation on your particular course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The sessions will be a combination of tutor input, whole group and small group activities / discussion / short presentations and independent work in the class. Students will also be offered a brief, one-to-one consultation with the tutor to talk about their own dissertation.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will get the most from this one day workshop if you bring:
- The guidelines and requirements for the dissertation on your course.
- Any plans you have created for your dissertation (such as lists / notes / rough mind maps).
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might be interested in our Business or Copywriting courses.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
Anne Wilson is a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow who uses her experience as a professional writer to help undergraduates and postgraduates improve their academic writing. A former freelance journalist and award-winning corporate scriptwriter, she gets behind the mystique of academic writing to make it accessible to all.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.