Screening of information sources for dissertation

Have you ever been to a movie without first reading reviews or asking your friends about it? Or, do you dine at a new place without being sanguine about the quality of food? Obviously no! Then how can you prepare your dissertation without confirming the reliability and relevance of the resources? Hence, one of the first steps of research process is carefully selecting the information sources that you are going to use. This applies to both primary and secondary sources. When selecting your primary sources, judge whether the participants are interested in the study and providing genuine information. You also have to qualify them to ensure that they are capable of answering your questions.

The secondary sources commonly used for research include journals, books, magazines, web sources, census reports, conference papers, etc. It is wrong to pick such references just to boost the number of entries in your bibliography, without a thorough consideration of their quality. You have to screen them on the basis of the following criteria:

• Relevance of matter: it is not sufficient for your references to be vaguely related to the subject that you are studying. They must be pertinent to the topic of research and provide some ideas or facts that are worth mentioning in the dissertation. They can either support your theory or refute it, but the logic or argument must be strong enough to be considered for research.

• Authenticity: check whether the author and publisher are completely authentic or not. The reference sources must not have any trace of plagiarism. Also ensure that the facts and figures given in the sources are 100% accurate. For this, you can double check them from any other source or talk to the author. Sometimes, the source of funding for publication also needs to be checked to ensure that the material is genuine and unbiased.

• Updated: ensure that the information provided in your references is up to date. Out dated facts and figures must not be made a part of the dissertation. Look for recent editions of books and journals.

Scrupulous scrutiny of references will take some time, but it will provide you a strong foundation for a valuable dissertation that is worthy of publication.

How to Write a Case Study?

A case study is a particular type of research paper. A case can be a person, group, event or situation. Case studies are used as a learning tool in most fields including medicine, management and law. In order to write a case study, it is first of all important to understand the purpose of the study, whether the study is being made to report occurrences of certain phenomenon and their causes or whether the study is being made to identify existing challenges and seek their solutions. In the former type the focus is on analysis while the latter type the focus is on problem solving, a case study may be written keeping both the approaches in mind. In order to write a case study both secondary and primary research is required, some cases may be written purely on secondary information.

A case study generally has following parts:

Abstract: here the writer should specify the subject of study, its purpose and importance and methods used for conducting the study.

Observations: this part should clearly mention what the researcher has found out by his/her observations.

Interpretation: the researcher uses his/her knowledge to explain the observed phenomenon; if the study is analytical researcher can use causal methods to establish cause effect relationships. Researcher may also explain problems and their context in several dimensions.

Suggestions: in this section the researcher can suggest the solutions to the identified problems or relate the observed phenomenon with factors, the researcher may also give details regarding the method of applying the solutions so as to get the correct result.

Conclusion: in this section the researcher needs to summarize the main findings, suggest generalizations and scope for future study or applications.

References: in this section researcher needs to list down all the cited or quoted works in prescribed style.

Appendix: this section contains tables, graphs, charts etc., which could not be included in the main text so as to maintain its sequence or flow and avoid diversion.

Dissertation topics and the relevance of contemporary news

There are many students who have to do a project in finance. When they have to think of a topic, they find that most of the best topics have been chosen and trying to do something original is quite hard. But one of the advantages of finance is that something or the other is happening every day. There is always plenty of news in either the financial markets or in corporate mergers or in the commodities markets. Since the dark days of the 2008 Recession, the banking industry has been getting a lot of attention. It is hard to open the newspaper on any given day and not see at least a snippet of the trouble that investment banks are getting into. In some Western countries, whole economies have been troubled by the financial activities that their largest banks have indulged in.

That is why this is as good a time as any to do a project on the banking sector and the consequences it is having on people around the world. Since there are new developments taking place every day, it is always possible to generate an idea that looks at matters from a different angle. Reviewing committees love to read research on contemporary issues, simply because of the relevance it has to modern day living. It is also a good way for a student to make a name, and get his work noticed by those who matter. Many famous economists have made their name by working on a burning contemporary topic. That is why the students should get into the habit of reading the newspapers very closely because that could be the source of their big dissertation idea. They could also examine an old theory and relate it to contemporary times.

META ANALYSIS

When the results of large number of quantitative studies are summarised and various analytical tests are conducted to see the effect of any variable, it is termed as meta-analysis. It provides a means through which a large number of quantitative studies of a specific topic could be summarised and studied.  Meta analysis therefore helps in pooling the results from different studies so as to estimate the overall effect by correcting the various sampling and non sampling errors which arises in relation to studies.

Meta analysis basically lies between two types of activities: doing a literature review of current studies in the area of interest and also to conduct a secondary analysis of other researcher’s data. But the technique depends upon the important information available for each of the studies.

As all the information related to methods of study and sample size is not included in published papers, Meta analysis is always not feasible. ‘File drawer problem’ is one problematic area for Meta analysis where research is not generating interesting publishable findings. This trend and tendency creates bias in Meta analytic reviews, as findings that fail to support a hypothesis or are equivocal in their connotations does not hold much chance to be published

Critical analysis is important to ace your dissertation

Literature review is an imperative part of any dissertation. Here, students are required to assess the sources at hand and show how the arguments presented by other authors either support or reject their dissertation statements. Many students simply provide a summary of the articles they have read in their literature review, and this pulls down the grade of a student. So, choose the books and journals you plan to analyze very carefully and ensure that the authors are renowned and have contributed to their fields in a significant manner. This way, the credibility of your literature review and dissertation will increase, and you will be one step closer to getting an ‘A’ grade.

Secrets of writing a good dissertation

The idea of writing a dissertation is daunting for most of the students. But, one can write a dissertation in an easy way if they follow some tips. According to the experts of the industry, there are some secrets which can help students in completing their dissertation effectively without much stress. Some of the secrets of dissertation writing are as below –

• First of all, students should use various resources to collect relevant information. Internet is one of the best sources from where they can get a lot of information.

• There are plenty of websites that provide students with proper guidelines for writing dissertation. www.dissertationpal.com is one of the reputed websites that guides students on how to write a perfect dissertation.

• Students should maintain the standards of their dissertation by following the rules and guidelines without fail.

• Students should make sure that they meet all the rules, citation and formatting styles.

• Another important tip is to note all the relevant points and essential information.

• Proofreading the work before submitting is very important as it polishes your work.

Apart from the above said there are a number of tip and tricks which can be followed by students of all disciplines and levels.