Further Reading1


It may be useful to read up, not only on your chosen topic, but also on how to conduct research, and how to approach your dissertation. This section suggests a number of texts and web resources that might prove helpful in this regard.

Further reading

There are many books, articles, guides and online resources available that can help with writing a dissertation. You will probably want to pick and mix advice from a range of different sources. Different people will respond to different approaches, so although we offer some suggestions for further reading there are many other resources available that may help you. There is no single way to write a dissertation, but it is important that you familiarise yourself with your own institution's guidance and regulations.
The table below contains a suggested reading list.



Becker, H.S. (1986) Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing & Publishing) Chicago, University of Chicago Press

Acutely sensitive to the anxieties that plague social science writers, shows students (and post-graduates) what they are doing wrong in their attempts to write and offers eminently useful suggestions about what they should be doing instead.

Bell, J. (1999) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education and Social Science. 3rd ed. Milton Keynes, Open University Press

Over 100,000 copies of the second edition sold – say no more! A classic text.

Bolker, Joan. (1998) Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day: A guide to starting, revising, and finishing your doctoral thesis, 1st ed. New York, H. Holt

Focused on PhD, but also offers ideas for structuring writing time over a period of time.

Dunleavy, P. (1986) Studying for a Degree in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Basingstoke, Macmillan

Discipline-focused, so useful.

Hart, C. (1998) Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination, London, Sage Publications

This text takes the reader through the initial stages of an undergraduate dissertation or a postgraduate thesis, offering advice on: searching out existing knowledge on a topic; analysing arguments and ideas; mapping perspectives; producing a literature review; and constructing a case for investigation.

Jupp, V. Davies, P. & Francis, P. (eds) (2000) Doing Criminological Research, London, Sage Publications

Examination of the issues regarding the practices and principles of research methods, contextualised within studies of crime and criminal justice.

ROBSON, C. (2007). How to do a Research Project: A guide for undergraduate students. Oxford, Blackwells

This is a guide written specifically for all undergraduate students who need to use social science research methods for their projects. The guide also has tasks, further readings, and an associated website.

RUDESTAM, K. E. and NEWTON, R. R. (2000). 2nd ed. Surviving your dissertation: a comprehensive guide to content and process. 2nd ed., Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications

This book offers an overview of the research process from topic selection to the finished dissertation. Written for Master’s and Doctoral students, this book still has something to offer for undergraduates.

Taylor, G. (1989) The Student's Writing Guide for the Arts and Social Sciences, Cambridge, CUP

This book is designed to help students with the problems they face in their academic writing. Beginning with the premise that successful writing in the arts and social sciences goes hand in hand with understanding the subject-matter and finding out what to do with it, the book deals with the tasks that confront students as they think about a problem and explore possible answers.

Watson, G. (1987) Writing a Thesis: A Guide to Long Essays and Dissertations, London, Longman

This immensely successful volume is not an arid list of Do's and Don'ts, though it is very practical in the advice it gives. It is a witty and engaging discussion, aiming to stimulate literary and historical research on the one hand, while disciplining it on the other.

Walliman, N. (2000) Your Research Project: A Step-by-step Guide for the First-time Researcher, Sage

A step-by-step guide for the first-time researcher.  


Key Questions


1. © Julia Waldman  and Malcolm Todd (Leeds Metropolitan University)


Author biographies