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Doing Your Research Project with Documents: Online resources

Welcome to the online resources for Doing Your Research Project with Documents by Aimee Grant.

Please find supplementary materials as referenced in the book below. Click on the resource headings to download the corresponding PowerPoint document.

Resource 3.1 Getting the most out of your dissertation handbook
On page 27, we consider how to get the most from your dissertation handbook and other information your department has given you.  This is a helpful way to pool together the important information that will help you get through your project as smoothly as possible and achieve the best grade you can. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 3.2 Structuring your dissertation
On page 30, a template is provided which is a way for you to organise your dissertation chapters into sub-sections.  This will help you with structure and keeping your dissertation within the word count allowed. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 3.3 Planning your dissertation using a Gantt chart
On page 34, an example of a Gantt chart is provided for my fictional dissertation project.  This resource is a blank version of that Gantt chart which you can use to help you plan the tasks you need to do within the time that you have available. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 3.4 Super important dissertation things to do
On page 35, an example of a to do list with tasks ranked by priority is shown.  This resource is a blank version of the ‘super important dissertation things to do’ template that you can print and use as often as is helpful to keep you on track with the small day-to-day tasks, such as finding a particular paper or data source. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 4.1 A pro forma to record your supervisor’s preferences
On page 45, an example of a supervisor’s preferences ofr communication and meetings is included.  This resource is a blank version of this, that you might find it helpful to use to record your supervisors’ preferences, including in relation to supervision meeting agendas and notes. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 4.2 Supervision meeting planner
On page 47, I provide a template that can be used as both an agenda for supervision meetings and also to record agreed decisions, actions for you and actions for your supervisor. This approach is useful to ensure good communication and clear expectations between yourself and your supervisor. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 5.1 Considering ethical issues in your dissertation
On page 55, you can find a blank template which is a tool to reinforce the content in Chapter 5 relating to ethical principles.  You may wish to complete this early in your project, and reflect on it as salient points whilst conducting your dissertation. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 6.1 Considering positionality
On page 68, the content of Chapter six relating to positionality is summarised in a pro forma that you can use to consider your own positionality (including demographic characteristics) and consider how that impacts on your interpretation of the data in your research project. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 6.2 Getting started with your research diary
On page 71, you will find a template for a structured research diary.  Research diaries can come in many shapes, but novice researchers often find it difficult to know what to write, and expect it to take a long time to write in their research diary.  This structured template allows for you to write ‘little and often’, encouraging you to record key decisions which will save you time later when writing up your research. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 7.1 Referencing checklist
On page 85, there is a referencing checklist for you to complete based on your dissertation handbook.  This will ensure that when you are conducting your literature review, you know what information to collect and can do so, saving you time and effort later in your project when assembling your reference list (sometimes known as a bibliography). Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 7.2 Critically reviewing a journal article
On page 94, you will find a structured template that you can either use or amend when you are reviewing journal articles which are relevant to your research project.  This includes highlighting any literature that you should read, the methodological details and the findings that are relevant to your project. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 7.3 Structuring your literature review
On page 96, there is a template that you can use to structure your literature review.  It uses the ‘funnel’ approach to literature reviewing (see page 95), but can also be used for the ‘stacked boxes’ approach where multiple different topics are described.  The template helps you to think about the amount of words you can ‘afford’ to use for each section of the literature review. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 10.1 Writing your research question
On page 130, you will find a tool that supports you to develop your research question.  Research questions are small, but central to every chapter of your dissertation, so it’s very important to get these aligned with your literature review, research design and conclusions if you want to achieve the best mark possible! Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 10.2 Structuring your methods chapter
On page 135, you will find a second tool to help you structure a chapter of your dissertation; this time focused on the methods chapter. The tool uses headings that are commonly found in research reports, including population and sampling, data collection and data analysis.  Again, the template provides space for you to consider how many words you can ‘afford’ to use in each section of your methods chapter. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 11.1 Structuring your results chapter
On page 153, you will find the third tool aimed at helping you structure a chapter; this tool is focused on reporting your results.  Again, the tool uses headings including an introduction and conclusion to your results chapter, to help signpost your readers, as well as allowing for your own sub-headings related to your findings to be included. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 12.1 Considering quality and bias in documents
On page 161, you will find a tool to help you consider the quality and bias issues in your data sources.  This is information that you should include in the ‘strengths and weaknesses section of your discussion chapter. If you are using a variety of sources that are dissimilar to each other, you may wish to use a template for each source. Download the PowerPoint document

Resource 12.2 Structuring your discussion chapter
On page 163, the last tool of the book can be found.  It is the fourth and final tool aimed at helping you to structure a chapter of your dissertation.  The discussion chapter is completed after the analysis has been completed, and often students will be short on time when preparing this chapter.  Using the suggested sections from this tool as a starting point will help you to consider what information you should include in your discussion.  You may find it helpful to remember that your findings without interpretation usually belong in the results chapter (unless you are in a theoretical discipline like sociology), and the interpretation and reflection happens in the discussion. Download the PowerPoint document