Dissertation Evidence

Your dissertation evidence is what you have discovered and what you have concluded from it.

This is the main body of your dissertation. It might be divided into chapters and you might not call it evidence. What it contains are the facts, evidence, analysis, evaluation and discussion.

The evidence referred to may comprise evidence from published texts – for example if you are exploring the literary texts of a particular writer – or it may consist of primary data gathered by your own, first-hand research – for example a sociological study of attitudes to gender roles based on research methods such as interviews and questionnaires.

The arguments that you present must be underpinned throughout by awareness of theory – your argument should be placed within the context of existing theory relevant to the subject. It has to be presented in a professionally finished manner. Your tutors should give you precise details about the format, layout and stylistic requirements of your assignment. Make sure that you know exactly what these are.

“This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.” (Winston Churchill)

Top dissertation evidence tips

  • Although you will extensively analyse other material that is available in your chosen area of research, when writing an academic paper, the main voice should be your own and it should be clear what you are trying to demonstrate.
  • You will strengthen your argument by referring to the ideas and findings of others – and by contrasting your ideas with others.
  • By interpreting other people’s work and using it in your own way you can indicate the significance of these ideas to your own argument.
  • By commenting on or evaluating the work of others you demonstrate your own understanding of the topic you are investigating and indicate how your contribution to the debate fits in.

Be sure that your reader can CLEARLY see which words are your own and which belong to others.