Dissertation Helpdesk Dissertation Helpdesk

Our virtual Dissertation Helpdesk is open to students from all disciplines. Share tips about how to get going and keep going with your dissertation writing. Our friendly tutors will offer tips to help with the writing process.

You can ask as many questions as you like and discuss ideas with other students. The Helpdesk will run on Thursdays in June and July 11am – 12pm. To join, enrol in our Academic Writing and Studying Blackboard Organisation: bit.ly/LEThelp

The Helpdesk will take place in Collaborate and you will need to use Google Chrome to access this.

We also offer one-to-one drop-ins and tutorial appointments and a range of writing resources including study guides on dissertation writing.

Resources from previous workshops Resources from previous workshops

 Your dissertation: getting started

In order to make a good start on your dissertation it is essential to have a clear idea of the structure and direction your writing will take. This workshop aims to help you to:

  • Reflect on the stages of the dissertation writing process.
  • Gain an understanding of where you are in the process and the steps you need to take to make progress.
  • Consider how to select an appropriate topic and develop it into a question.
  • Identify common dissertation structures and the function of different sections and chapters.
  • Understand the function of the Literature Review and issues to bear in mind before beginning to write one.
  • Discuss any potential problems which might prevent you from progressing through the dissertation writing process.

Workshop slides 

Your dissertation: managing your time

Making effective use of your time is an essential aspect of successful, stress-free research. This workshop will introduce a variety of time management strategies that you can adapt to your own needs and working style. In particular you will consider the following:

  • how you spend your time
  • how to break down the dissertation into manageable tasks
  • how to plan and prioritise your work
  • how to maintain steady progress with your dissertation.

Workshop slides (2016) pdf [88KB]
Handout (2013) pdf [33KB]

Your dissertation: the literature review

Having an understanding of the existing literature in your area of research is a key part of every dissertation, and is often one of the first pieces of dissertation research you will undertake. This session aims to help you to:

  • Understand the purpose of a literature review and the role it plays in your dissertation
  • Take a critical, analytical approach to the literature
  • Organise and structure the literature review

Workshop slides pdf [144 KB]

Activity pdf [31 KB]
Handout (2013) pdf [42KB]

Your dissertation: editing and proofreading

All the research you've done needs, of course, to result in a final product: your dissertation. This workshop aims to help you manage the final stages of your research journey by suggesting strategies and techniques to enable you to:

  • bring together the sections of your work
  • put distance between yourself and your work so you can look at it critically
  • proofread your work effectively.

Please bring a piece of your dissertation writing to this session.

Workshop slides pdf [26 KB]


Further resources

Proofreading, referencing and bibliographies slides (from 2011) pdf [73KB]
Exercise - Proofreading (2013) pdf [411KB]
Exercise with errors highlighted - Proofreading (2013) pdf [416KB]
Exercise answers - Proofreading (2013) pdf [455KB]
Proofreading for language problems (2011) pdf [88KB]
Playing cards (2011) pdf [56 KB]