Handouts on writing dissertations and other extended research reports

Resource file(s):

This bundle consists of a set of handouts giving advice for final year undergraduates on writing up a substantial piece of individual original research, and accompanying notes on ways that the tutor could run an effective tutorial on each topic.

Original context: These documents were prepared as tutorial handouts (also available online) for students completing a final year dissertation in human geography, physical geography or environmental science. The dissertation module for these degree programmes at the University of Hull is a year long independent research project worth 40 credits (one third of one academic year’s workload) on a topic developed by the student with support from an academic supervisor. Students choose the project and plan for it as part of an earlier module, have a research design approved in May of their Level 5 year, then have summer and most of the Level 6 year to carry out the work. Final reports are submitted in late March or early April of the following year.

Students had one to one meetings with supervisors, but based on past feedback about students wanting more taught content in the module and about students getting different levels of information from supervisors about writing up the report, we added a small number of programme level tutorials (tutor groups of 10-20 students although actual attendance was generally 5-10 students) to cover the writing process. These documents were prepared to support equitable delivery of information across multiple tutors and as a resource for students who either were not able to attend the sessions or who needed to access the information at a different point in the year than when the tutorial was scheduled to occur.

The dissertation is assessed in two parts, 10% from an infographic progress report submitted in November of Level 6, and 90% from a written thesis up to 10,000 words in length submitted in late March or early April of Level 6 (timing depends on the academic year and position of Easter in the calendar). Some of these documents will require editing before use as they contain Hull-specific information (e.g. infographic, how to structure your dissertation) but will hopefully still be of some use and are included for completeness.

Materials included in the bundle:

  • Project management – student handout
  • Project management – tutor notes
  • Literature review – student handout
  • Literature review – tutor notes
  • Writing methods – student handout
  • Writing methods – tutor notes
  • Results and arguments/discussion – student handout
  • Results and arguments/discussion – tutor notes
  • Infographic – student handout
  • Infographic – tutor notes
  • Structuring the dissertation – student handout
  • Structuring the dissertation – tutor notes
  • Abstract, introduction and conclusion – student handout
  • Abstract, introduction and conclusion – tutor notes
  • Editing – student handout
  • Editing – tutor notes
Created by M Jane Bunting
on 2023-05-28