Dissertations

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Assessment

Your course will provide you with a range of assessment opportunities from the more academically formal such as essays, presentations, reports, through to designing web sites, blogging, making videos. Your tutors will set out the assessment criteria which will be related to a set of learning outcomes.

Format

When being assessed in an academic format the house style you are expected to adopt here at Marjon should be the following:-

  • Arial or calibri 12.
  • 1.5 or double line spacing.
  • Normal margins.
  • 6 point spacing between paragraphs.
  • Before you start an assessment, you might find the following guide useful.

Word Count

Section 13 of the SRF 2017-18 contains full institutional guidance on Assessment Practices, which includes this section on word counts:-

‘Students will be given target word counts or equivalents for coursework assessments. The instructions for the assessment should make the consequences of exceeding or failing to reach the word count clear before the student undertakes the assessment. Word counts include footnotes, quotes and reference citations within the text of the work. The reference list, bibliography and appendices are excluded, as are captions for images, figures or tables.’ (SRF, 2016-17, 13.3.2)

Portfolio 

This is a collection of documents and/or artefacts created by a person to demonstrate the achievements, learning and skills they have developed.  A portfolio may be created for a number of reasons, for example as part of the personal development planning/profiling process, as part of the assessment of a course or to support a claim for APL.

Submitting Assessments

The majority of assessments at Marjon are submitted electronically using a system called Turnitin. Full guidance on using Turnitin can be found here.

Dissertation Basics

Dissertation top tips!

  • Listen to your dissertation tutor
  • Look at past examples in the library
  • Choose your research area carefully – it needs to be realistic and manageable
  • Planning and time management is the key
  • Keep a blog where you can write down thoughts and ideas
  • Keep a list of references as you go along
  • Get a non-specialist to read your dissertation to see if your ideas are clear
  • Discuss your work with other students – use each other for support
  • Format your work-use the layout guide and formatting checklist
  • A 10,000 word dissertation is 3 x 3,500 word essays…

Dissertation Formatting Guides & Files

For all the resources and guides related to dissertation formatting, please visit the following section in LearningSpace.

Dissertations Guidelines Checklist

The purpose of this checklist is to provide generic advice helpful to any student from any discipline. It is hoped that this will not conflict with guidelines set out by individual departments, but if it does, then your department’s policy must take priority over anything contained here.

Find out more about spelling & grammar, punctuation, quotations, table of contents, abstract & much more by visiting the Dissertations Guidelines Checklist page.

Formatting your Dissertation

This areas provides guidance of writing and presenting your dissertation. More information regarding the layout and formatting of the dissertation can be found here.

For specific guidance and support on using word to format your document visit the ITTS page on LearningSpace.

Introduction to Honours Projects & Dissertations

Major assessment tasks include Dissertations, Honours Projects, Independent Study Modules and other modules of 30 credits or more with a single assessment point.  They typically involve researching a topic which has been agreed and approved by a programme tutor. Information on these will be found in your Programme and Module Handbooks.

To find out more about the purpose, presentation, requirements & submission of your dissertation, please visit the Introduction to Honours Projects & Dissertations page.  This also includes information about formatting a major document and presentation of an Honours project.

Literature Review

The literature review must survey the existing research that is relevant to the question that is addressed by your research project. Your dissertation tutor may be able to give you some pointers but really it is down to you to go and find as much relevant information as possible.

Find out about what a literature review is, structure, writing the review & final checklist by visiting the Literature Review page.

Starting your Dissertation: A Brief Guide

These pages will take you through three stages to help you start your dissertation.  Please visit the Starting your Dissertation: A Brief Guide page to find out more.

Writing your Dissertation

This is only a general guide to writing dissertations – you should refer to the Student Handbook on writing Major Assessment Tasks, and to your course/module guides for specific information relating to your course.

Your department’s policy must take priority over anything contained in this guide.

To find out more about Exact requirements, contacting your dissertation supervisor, research design, writing your dissertation – general points, & much more.  Please visit the Writing your Dissertation page.