Abstract – A concise summary of the research project that gives an indication of the aim of the study, the method used the main findings.
Introduction – library based
- What the general nature of the research is
- A summary of how you located the information (Research method – e.g. systematic literature review)
- A justification of the study that establishes the relevance of your aims (Why), it may be interesting to outline why you have chosen this research topic.
- How? Outline of ethical issues and reference to relevant ethical guidelines
- A summary of contents and main arguments in dissertation
Literature review – chronologically, showing the sequential development of an area of thought and demonstrating how your work comes out of that.
Thematically, dividing existing literature into recurring themes and showing how these topics are covered in various works, and them leading into your focus upon these topics.
- defining the labelling theory; criticism
- what social reintegration is
- how does labelling and social reintegration effect ex-offenders
- a summary of the literature review
This is the main part of your dissertation and should contain a number of chapters broken down into relevant sections. For library-based projects this will depend upon the area or topic you are examining. Each chapter should convey the aspect of the topic/literature with which it deals and anything that you consider to be relevant to the research question and to its investigation. You should also write an account of the strengths and weaknesses of your data relative to your research question. The actual content and structure of the main body of your work will depend on the specifics of your dissertation. some library-based projects follow a chronological format or begin a new chapter for each topic analysed. More than anywhere else,
The final chapter provides the opportunity to discuss the findings of your research and tie together all the disparate threads of the study. This section should begin by reminding the reader of the research question and the main findings from the data chapters. It is important to contextualise the findings in the literature and locate them in the general body of knowledge examined in the literature review. This chapter should conclude with discussion of how your findings give rise to recommendations for change / improvement in policy or practice and suggestions for future work that might come out of your research. You should NOT introduce any new literature at this stage.
Bibliography – using Harvard referencing
Appendices offer the opportunity for you to include information that otherwise would have unnecessarily cluttered the main text. Material included in appendices should be titled, numbered and listed in the contents page. Appendices usually contain data or texts not incorporated in your main chapters, which are relevant to your study (but may upset the flow of the chapter if included in the text). However, appendices should be used sparingly and only when necessary – too many irrelevant ones weigh down a piece of work and show that you have not carefully selected appropriate and representative material. Speak to your supervisor about the specifics of your dissertation, and whether material you have would be best placed in an appendices or the main text.