1. Prime Dispute: Policy for Dissertations
1.1 Prime Dispute promotes the training and development of all industry sectors via Prime Dispute's leading Academy in dispute avoidance and resolution. The journey of learning through education can be a rewarding experience. Not only does it expose you to the latest trends and knowledge in your field of interest, but offers you the opportunities to gain the skills necessary for the competitive world of work.
1.2 Prime Dispute strives to equip you with the means to become a creative and critical thinker who can shape your working environment . Your dissertation is a key step in achieving these goals.
1.3 A dissertation is similar to an essay but its scale and academic purpose require you to plan and structure your ideas and material more carefully, to discuss problems in more detail and to fully note all the sources you have used in developing your theories.
1.4 A dissertation should begin with a brief explanation of the topic chosen and the problem(s) that the dissertation addresses. The main body of the dissertation should consist of a structured argument or survey in which you discuss the relevant primary material and main scholarly views and advance the interpretation(s) that you prefer (or explain why no one view is adequate).
1.5 There should be a conclusion summarising your own response to the problem(s) identified.
2. Starting your Dissertation
2.1 The following are suggested contents for the preliminary pages of the dissertation.
(a) Title page
(b) Abstract or summary (one separate page)
(d) Author’s declaration
(f) List of Figures
(g) List of Tables
3. Body of the Dissertation
3.1 The body of the dissertation should be divided into relevant chapters and sections, to be accessible by the Educator. There is no defined number of chapters or a maximum or minimum requirement, but it is suggested that the dissertation will usually comprise:
(c) Research Methods Used
(e) Analysis and discussion
(g) Future Work
4.1 The Introduction should capture the Educators attention and introduce everything you intend to refer to within the dissertation.
4.2 An Educator will often read the Introduction and Conclusion first and it is worth remembering this is when you are writing these chapters.
4.3 The Introduction should contain the following:
a) Overview of the general research area.- you need to try and demonstrate how important this area of research is to the subject and the parameters of your understanding.
b) Explanation of how your research fits into this broad area as you are trying to demonstrate how your research is going to contribute to this area.
c) The research questions or hypotheses and the specific objectives of your research may need a separate sub-heading so that they stand out to the Educator.
4.4 Guide to the subsequent chapters; may include a few paragraphs explaining the content and reasons for including each chapter. These paragraphs must explain why your dissertation includes certain chapters, not what chapters are included. Try not to just re-iterate the contents page, if the Educator wants to know the content of the dissertation he/she can re- read it. Alternatively, if it is not clear from the content what is in the dissertation, then the content page requires more work.
5. Literature Review Section
5.1 This is achieved by reviewing existing literature focused on your research area. If your project involves gathering some primary data, you may find that this data, when analysed, changes the focus of your project and you may need to return to the literature to find other research that supports or disagrees with your findings. This suggests that you should wait until the end of the project to write up the literature review.
5.2 Your review of the literature should not be just a summary of the articles that you have read. Your work should be critical and analytical. Ask yourself questions such as:
(a) How does this article relate to my project objectives and how can I use it to develop my theories/hypotheses? You should then explain in the dissertation, how you intend to use this information;
(b) How does this article relate to what I already know about the subject and how does it compare with that written on the same topic by other authors? Again, you should explain in the dissertation how this information agrees (or disagrees) with other published work.
(c) Try to combine/compare/contrast the ideas and views from different authors. It is best not to just repeat what one author says, then follow it with a summary of the work of another author.
6.1 You will need to remind the Educator of the purpose of the research and the research questions. Discuss how the research has or has not answered them. Remember this is the chapter where you have most opportunity to demonstrate your intellectual skills. You need to be self-critical so consider how reliable and valid the findings are. Consider including the following:
(a) An overview of the significant findings of the study;
(b) A consideration of the findings in light of existing research studies;
(c) A careful examination of findings that fail to support or only partially support your hypotheses;
(d) Limitations of the study that may affect the validity or generalisation of the results.
7.1 Remember that the Educators may read this chapter after the Introduction so check that your conclusion show that the objectives have been achieved or if it not, explain why not. Try to use some of the same key words or phrases from the objectives to show consistency. It should start with the focus on your study and broaden out to discuss the implications for this research area and for future research. The main challenge in the conclusion is to give a summary whilst avoiding too much repetition. The use of bullet points can be very useful. In the analysis section you may have identified areas for further research but in the conclusions you could give a little detail on the possible research methodology that could be adopted. Some additional points to consider:
(a) Refer to the objectives;
(b) Summarise the main points from the results and show how they address your research questions;
(c) Give guidance as to the implications of your research;
(d) Do not offer new opinions - these should all have been introduced in the Discussion and Analysis chapters of the dissertation;
(e) Identify the possible weaknesses in your research and the limitations of your study;
(f) Suggest what future research might be conducted and how your study helps;
(g) In the same way that you should have spent time getting the opening of the introduction right try to get a convincing ending to the dissertation.
8. Future Work
8.1 The purpose of this chapter is to enable the field of research to progress, so that any new research project can build on the ideas and concepts of what has happened before. Having completed the research and knowing what you now know, if you had the time and resources to start a new research project in the same area, what would you do? What further questions have been raised as a result of your research and what are the next steps? You may not necessarily be the one to do this research, but by identifying what direction the research could take, you may enable others to do so.
9.1 Use whichever referencing style you wish, although the Harvard method is probably the most widely used within UK academic institution, due to its simplicity and ease of understanding.
9.2 If you have used the Harvard system the references are much shorter and contain each source listed only once in alphabetical order by originator’s name. This means that there is much less need for a bibliography but it could be used to list any sources not cited in the actual dissertation and therefore not contained in the reference list.
10. 1 The bibliography should list all sources of literature consulted when preparing the dissertation (and listed in alphabetical order of author';s surname), that have not been already cited in the dissertation.
11.1 All appendix material must be referred to in the main body of the dissertation or it will be ignored. They can be useful for information that is too detailed or not sufficiently relevant for the main dissertation.
12.1 It is important that the candidate does not leave the submission to the last minute, so that you have plenty of time to ensure the submission is successful and correct.
12.2 Candidates have up until the deadline to submit work and we suggest leaving plenty of time to do so. Prime Dispute automatically marks submissions as late by highlighting them in red to both the candidate and when forwarding to the Educator.
12.3 Work submitted ON the deadline, will be marked as late. Candidates will need to submit BEFORE the deadline. The penalties applied to late submissions will be at the discretion of Prime Dispute and/or the Educator.
12.4 Any requests for extensions or submission of dissertations should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
13. Additional Information
13.1 Candidates should ensure the following are met:
(a) A cover sheet containing title of the dissertation, your name, membership ID, the date of submission and the word count;
(b) Word count: this is defined as the number of words contained in the submitted work including quotations, footnotes, captions, titles, abstracts, summaries and tables of contents. Appendices and bibliographies are not included in the word count. Appendices will not normally be marked and they must not include material essential to the argument developed in the main body of the work;
(c) The word count given is a maximum (12,000) and you may be penalised for submitting dissertations which are too long or too short.