Topic: Assessing the Impacts of Mandatory Sentencing on Racial Disparities in the United Kingdom

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Dissertation Structures

Dissertation Based on Primary Research
When writing up your research, you will need to present and organise your work under a number of headings. These will vary according to your research and methodology, but there are a number of common areas that should be included, and it is important that you give careful thought to these and any other areas that may need to be included in order to provide the reader with a coherent account of your research and its outcomes. In general, a dissertation may follow this kind of structure:
• Title page
• An acknowledgements page (optional)
• Abstract (word limit: 300 words)
• Contents page
• Introduction
• Literature Review
• The Method section
• The Results & Analysis section (more usually associated with quantitative studies)
• Conclusions and Future Research
• References
• Appendices
Some of these sections are likely to include sub-sections/headings – these are allowed in dissertations, although be careful that you do not overuse these. However, the exact format of your dissertation will depend on your research and chosen methodology, and you can discuss how best to approach presenting your work with your supervisor.
Literature-Based Dissertation Structure
The broad structure of a literature-based dissertation could be set out in the following way:

• Title page
• An acknowledgements page (optional)
• Abstract (word limit: 300 words)
• Contents page
• Introduction
• Methodology
• Extended literature review covering specific issues or debates (this should include 2 or 3 chapters, each devoted to specific issues in the literature that present the findings of previous research surrounding the dissertation topic/focus)
• Key themes (this should draw together key themes from the above chapters, relating them to your research question)
• Conclusions and Future Research
• References
• Appendices
The headings for some of these sections will be influenced by your research topic, and is something you could discuss this with your supervisor. The word counts for each section are also likely to be influenced by your research topic and methodology so, again, this should be discussed with your dissertation supervisor.

Dissertation Requirements

Dissertations must be typewritten, word processed or printed and the following requirements must be strictly observed:
• Size: A4 (210 x 297 mm) (except with special permission)
• One side of paper only to be used
• Spacing: double or one-and-a-half
• Inner margin: 35 mm minimum
• Head, foot and outer margins: 15 mm minimum
• References Section to follow text, and to strictly match the guidelines for referencing
• Title page to include, as well as the full title of the dissertation, the degree for which the work is submitted, Department/University, month and year of submission, the candidate\’s name and finally, word count
• An abstract must be produced with single spacing on one side of A4, not exceeding 300 words
• A list of contents, including chapter numbers/titles and page numbers, should follow the abstract
• Subheadings should be typed in lower case, underlined or in bold, and begin from the margin
Numbers up to ten should be written in words, except for measurements. Abbreviations are written without full stops (ESRC, EU, etc.). Quotations should be enclosed in single quotation marks, except for quotes within quotes which should be enclosed in double quotation marks. Long quotations (four lines or more) should be typed as an indented paragraph, single spaced, without quotation marks.
Dates should be written as 30 June 2013, the 1980s (no apostrophe), twentieth century (no capital).
Male nouns and pronouns should not be used to refer to people of both sexes. Terms such as `black’, ‘African-Caribbean’ and ‘Asian’ should be used with care to ensure, as far as possible, that those so designated accept these labels. Terminology with derogatory connotations, e.g. `immigrant\’ for non-immigrants, ‘coloured\’ etc. is not permitted. Further clarification on the appropriate use of terminology can be found in the \’Your Assignment\’ area of the Learning Support section of your Blackboard site.
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