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The Official English Personal Study / Dissertation Thread

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    In my opinion, there are main two ways to approach layout - either by working through the texts from beginning to end, or by seperating out into themes.

    The first way, to work through the texts, does run the risk of 'retelling the story' (which is muchly frowned upon) instead of examing the themes/comparing the texts in enough depth. However, it does guarantee that your dissertation will be a coherrent whole, rather than a series of mini-essays.

    The second way, by themes, does run the risk of being a series of mini-essays; the way to avoid this is to introduce each new theme with an explanation of how it connects with the one before it.

    With your particular angle, "the males' treatment of the females, and how it can lead to detachment and hatred of their bodies", I reckon you could work fairly comfortably with either.

    As to making it a 'good dissertation', it depends to a certain extent what your weaknesses as a writer are, and combating those; your English teacher/Personal Adviser (assuming you have one) should be able to help you with that via proof-reading though.

    I would give a couple of general suggestions, however:
    - make as many textual references/ comparisons as possible. As you'll no doubt remember from Higher, no point should be made without direct reference (or preferably quotage) from the source. Since you're now working with two texts, refer to both and then compare their similarities/differences.
    - go into detail with your points. Analysise the quote, explain the word choice, connotations, references, etc.
    - if possible, make references to some secondary litertature on the books. You don't necessarily have to agree with the POV, but it looks good. If you can't find anything better, there's usually a smallish introduction to the texts in the books themselves.

    As for starting, the first step is always the hardest Just get struck into the introduction, and the rest will (eventually) follow.

    Good luck, and let me know how it's going...
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    Oh, & thanks for the rep mystery person :cool:
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    Sorry for not replying faster, was waiting until i had seen how i had done. Not too bad, still got alot of work to put into it though. Thanks for all your help, was great and gave me the push to start.
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    No problemo!
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    Does this dissertation sound OK? Are the books a bit clichéd?

    Slight Spoilers of the books are below :P

    The endings of The Great Gatsby and 1984 both feature the failures of the protagonist's dreams.
    The study is an examination of why the respective authors had the dreams failing and a literary study of the concerns brought up by the failure.

    what is shown:

    [x] that individuals are powerless against society (Gatsby is powerless in his attempts to skip social class [capitalism] / Winston is powerless against the dehumanizing totalitarian Ingsoc society)

    [x] social class means different things to different people depending on situation (Gatsby wishes he was a higher class / Winston wishes he was a lower class)

    [x] relationships complicate wider actions (Gatsby's death is essentially as a result of his relationship with Daisy / Winston and Julia's relationship complicates their Party life and also their feelings for each other in the end gives The Party something to break in them. - even the strongest relationship can be corrupted)

    [x] relationships cannot withstand society's failings

    [x] trust is spurious, just an empty facade

    [x] the failing shows how empty each dream is

    [x] In GG, Gatsby's dies still in the grasps of the American Dream without succuming to reality. Winston is forced to give up his dream when he realises he "loves Big Brother"
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    sounds impressive!1984 is quite a common book for dissertion but doing it with the great gatsby seems unusual not that i know much about this at all just my opinion you've done way more than me for your dissertation i am no where near ready to write my plan yet!

    we have to do three books though so that can be my excuse for being really lazy
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    lol thanks.

    We were suppose to have had 1500 words by Dec 10th but I'm just starting mine this weekend ha
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    ^ PostModernStar, by a freak twist of fake, I am currently half-way through reading 'The Great Gatsby' for the first time. I will, therefore, refrain from direct comment for a couple of days. However, your proposal looks very well thought out Good luck with it!
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    hey

    i was wondering do i need to have secondary critism for my dissertation?im doing three of Bernard Shaws plays if that makes a difference.

    No idea how we are expected to do our dissertation and revise for the prelim so many quotes....
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    Oh no, you don't *need* to - it's just a good idea if you have the time, space, resources, etc.

    As for the workload... yeah, it sucks :/
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    hey

    i have another question.....:p:

    got to write a plan for my dissertation and im not sure how long it should be/what should be in it

    so has anyone written one or is writing one?and want to tell me about it?

    any help would be great
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    I can't remember if I wrote one as such, but I certainly planned out things like the books I was going to use (both primary and secondary), my area(s) of interest within the texts and an approximate timescale.

    What are you thinking of studying?
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    im doing 3 of George Bernard Shaw's plays can not remember why i decided it was a good idea kinda stuck now though

    the finished thing is due in 4 days just as well its the easter holidays!iv done the introduction but nothing else im really bad with putting off work

    i managed to write a plan just need to actually write the dissertation now so i should turn the internet off and focus only another 3700 words to do............
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    (Original post by North)
    im doing 3 of George Bernard Shaw's plays can not remember why i decided it was a good idea kinda stuck now though

    the finished thing is due in 4 days just as well its the easter holidays!iv done the introduction but nothing else im really bad with putting off work

    i managed to write a plan just need to actually write the dissertation now so i should turn the internet off and focus only another 3700 words to do............
    Haha mine is due in on the 14th, well the first draft, then hopefully I'll get it back asap and be able to re-draft and hand it back in to be sent off before the deadline at the end of the month! Talk about cutting it short! :eek:

    2200 words done though a minimum of 1300 to go!
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    i have done 588 words!

    what are you writing about?you know i thought a dissertation sounded okay at the start of the year better than another essay in the exams but i think im changing my mind

    your doing english at uni?wow my teacher would love you no one in my class is doing it its easy to see why when he forced us to do Heaney what are you studying for literture?
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    (Original post by North)
    i have done 588 words!

    what are you writing about?you know i thought a dissertation sounded okay at the start of the year better than another essay in the exams but i think im changing my mind

    your doing english at uni?wow my teacher would love you no one in my class is doing it its easy to see why when he forced us to do Heaney what are you studying for literture?
    I ended up scrapping some of the stuff I had written yesterday and rewrote it, so I'm not much further ahead today at a measely 2400 words.
    I'm supposed to be doing a comparison of the themes within the poems "Daddy", "Ariel" and "Lady Lazarus" by Plath, and "Sylvia's Death" and "Her Kind" by Sexton.
    Yeah, we're studying John Keats and "Othello" and "Antony and Cleopatra", I think I'll end up doing Keats in the final exam, so here's hoping for a good (read: easy) question!
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    WHOOP I'm so glad I dropped Adv English......
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    (Original post by sweetest-downfall)
    WHOOP I'm so glad I dropped Adv English......
    Rubbing it in is mean!
    The mere fact that I'm devoting my entire easter holidays to this thing should at least mean I deserve a decent mark out of it :rolleyes:.

    What is everyone aiming for in the final exam?

    I'm not fussed so long as I pass, but a B would be fab .
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    Hi!

    I am dreading this dissertation- I was going to do "Pride and Prejudice", "Emma" and "Wuthering Heights" and perhaps discuss the role of women in the respective periods,and/or irony, but I've been told to reconsider as they are too similar?!?

    I was thinking about doing a traditional novel, such as "Pride and Prejudice", a modern one such as "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini and a 'futuristic' novel such as "Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood, but I've yet to clear this with my teacher- any early opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    In S5, I discussed irony and symbolism in George Orwell's "1984" for my personal study and thoroughly enjoyed it- any suggestions along this line would be appreciated as well.

    I would definately not rule out poetry (preferrably Sylvia Plath- I could do the novel "The Bell Jar", but I'm slightly confused as to how many poems I would have to discuss in conjunction with this?) and I would quite happily do ANY Drama as well.

    Sorry for bombarding you with all of this but this subject means so much to me already and I don't want to be overwhelmed later on!

    Thanks again!

    Xxx
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    (Wahoo, first post ever!)

    I'm starting sixth year after the summer and I have to choose my dissertation topic in the next week. I was going to discuss the degeneration of a character in society using Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'.

    The books 'The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner' by James Hogg and 'The Testament of Gideon Mack' by James Robertson were recommended to me by the English department in conjunction with my idea. But now my English teacher has altered my line of argument to 'Discussing the thematic significance of the Devil as a character in Scottish literature', which means I don't even get to discuss the book I had originally planned upon...

    I haven't read 'Private Memoirs and Confessions' or 'The Testament of Gideon Mack', so I think what I'll do is read them over the summer and decide whether I think I'll be able to write about the question correctly. If not, I'll ask to alter my question when I go back to school. Does this seem like the right thing to do?

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