Assignment Writing and Dissertation Preparation

The details
Colchester Campus
Autumn & Spring
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 20 March 2020
12 April 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA Q11012 Applied Linguistics,
MA Q16012 English Language and Linguistics,
MA Q10812 Linguistic Studies,
MA Q108MO Linguistic Studies,
MA Q10012 Linguistics,
MA Q15012 Psycholinguistics,
MA Q14012 Language in Society,
MA QX1312 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL),
MA Q2Q912 Audiovisual and Literary Translation,
MA Q91012 Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling,
MA Q91112 Translation and Professional Practice,
MA Q91T12 Advanced Interpreting with Specialised Translation (Chinese-English),
MA T1Q912 Conference Interpreting and Translation (Chinese-English),
MA Q91212 Chinese-English Translation and Professional Practice,
MPHDQ15048 Psycholinguistics,
PHD Q15048 Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics

Module description

Topics covered in the module

Assignment writing

* Using online databases to conduct literature searches
* Plagiarism

Dissertation Preparation

* Hot to write abstracts
* How to write literature reviews
* How to write methods chapters
* Designing questionnaires
* Conducting qualitative reviews
* Conducting observations
* Coding/ analyzing (qualitative) data
* Writing up your dissertation

Module aims

To familiarize students with the standard practices of writing assignments and dissertations. To provide practice for students of conforming to these conventions. To raise students' awareness of unacceptable practices in assignment and dissertation writing (e.g. plagiarism, irrelevance, incorrect referencing, unsubstantiated argumentation)

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to demonstrate:

* An understanding of acceptable and unacceptable practices in assignment
and dissertation writing.
* A basic familiarity with some common research methodologies and

Module information

This module runs over 2 terms.

Learning and teaching methods

1x1hr lecture, 1x1hr seminar, 8 weeks. 2 computer lab sessions x 2hrs each, 2 weeks.


  • Flick, Uwe. (2015) Introducing research methodology: a beginner's guide to doing a research project, London: SAGE.
  • Biggam, John. (2015) Succeeding with your master's dissertation: a step-by-step handbook, Berkshire: Open University Press.
  • Feak, Christine B; Swales, John M. (c2009) Telling a research story: writing a literature review, [Ann Arbor]: University of Michigan Press.
  • Holliday, Adrian. (2016) Doing & writing qualitative research, London: SAGE.
  • Tang, Ramona. (no date) Academic writing in a second or foreign language : issues and challenges facing ESL/EFL academic writers in higher education contexts / edited and compiled by Ramona Tang.
  • Bell, Judith; Waters, Stephen. (2018) Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers, London: Open University Press, McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Cohen, Louis; Manion, Lawrence; Morrison, Keith. (2018) Research methods in education, London: Routledge.
  • Thomas, Gary. (2017) How to do your research project: a guide for students in education and applied social sciences, London: SAGE Publications.
  • Borg, Simon. (2010-10) 'Language teacher research engagement', in Language Teaching. vol. 43 (04) , pp.391-429
  • Swales, John M., 1938-,. (no date) Academic writing for graduate students : essential tasks and skills / John M. Swales & Christine B. Feak.
  • Bitchener, John. (2010) Writing an applied linguistics thesis or dissertation: a guide to presenting empirical research, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Biggam, John. (2018) Succeeding with your Master's dissertation: a step-by-step handbook, New York: McGraw-Hill.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Overall assessment

Contact your department for more information.


Contact your department for more information.

Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Tracey Costley, email: tcostley@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Tracey Costley;



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 73 hours, 18 (24.7%) hours available to students:
55 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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