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    I'm doing a human bio degree at a uni and because they only started offering the human bio course 2 years ago, several lecturers have told me that if I want to do a practical-based dissertation that I'll pretty much be limited to bacteria cultures using basic lab bacteria such as e.coli.

    We've had many lab classes where we've cultured bacteria and it's both boring for me, and something I struggle with quite a bit, so I feel like doing a microbio-based diss is a bad idea from the very beginning. I'm not going to be motivated to do my best if I find it boring, and because I've struggled with all the microbio stuff with a lecturer and friends present, I'm not exactly likely to do any better if I'm left mostly to my own devices.

    After asking what alternative options there were, I was informed of meta-analyses. This has been explained to me as finding a relatively narrow (but not too narrow) topic that you're interested in, coming up with a question you'd like to address and then finding all the relevant literature and basically comparing it to come up with your own conclusion. This sounds much more interesting to me as I have much more freedom to choose an area of genuine interest. I really enjoy reading journals of interest to me and my best marks so far have been in research-based essays where I had to go away and research an area and come up with a conclusion, so I definitely think a meta-analysis would suit me perfectly.

    However, ALL of the lecturers I've spoken to, bar 1 (spoken to 4) have advised me away from it, stating that they're very difficult to do, require sustained and prolonged in depth research, and that you have to be basically obsessed with the area you're researching or you'll lose motivation quickly. Only one of my lecturers has encouraged me to do a meta-analysis. So I'm worried to say the least that I'll be biting off more than I can chew if I do choose to do one.


    So, I basically wanted to know if anyone has done a meta-analysis for their undergraduate dissertation, and if so, what was your experience of it? Is it really much more difficult than a practical dissertation, or is it one of those things where if you enjoy it, it won't be as much of a struggle? Obviously both types of diss have their pros and cons but most of my lecturers are leading me to believe that it's excessively difficult to do a meta-analysis, even if you enjoy things like that.

    I'm in year 2 so I have a while to decide what I'm going to do yet, but I want to make an informed decision so thought I'd ask here for opinions.

    So, thoughts?

    (also, not sure if this is the right place to post this so apologies if it's not!)
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    (Original post by Rae18)
    I'm doing a human bio degree at a uni and because they only started offering the human bio course 2 years ago, several lecturers have told me that if I want to do a practical-based dissertation that I'll pretty much be limited to bacteria cultures using basic lab bacteria such as e.coli.

    We've had many lab classes where we've cultured bacteria and it's both boring for me, and something I struggle with quite a bit, so I feel like doing a microbio-based diss is a bad idea from the very beginning. I'm not going to be motivated to do my best if I find it boring, and because I've struggled with all the microbio stuff with a lecturer and friends present, I'm not exactly likely to do any better if I'm left mostly to my own devices.

    After asking what alternative options there were, I was informed of meta-analyses. This has been explained to me as finding a relatively narrow (but not too narrow) topic that you're interested in, coming up with a question you'd like to address and then finding all the relevant literature and basically comparing it to come up with your own conclusion. This sounds much more interesting to me as I have much more freedom to choose an area of genuine interest. I really enjoy reading journals of interest to me and my best marks so far have been in research-based essays where I had to go away and research an area and come up with a conclusion, so I definitely think a meta-analysis would suit me perfectly.

    However, ALL of the lecturers I've spoken to, bar 1 (spoken to 4) have advised me away from it, stating that they're very difficult to do, require sustained and prolonged in depth research, and that you have to be basically obsessed with the area you're researching or you'll lose motivation quickly. Only one of my lecturers has encouraged me to do a meta-analysis. So I'm worried to say the least that I'll be biting off more than I can chew if I do choose to do one.


    So, I basically wanted to know if anyone has done a meta-analysis for their undergraduate dissertation, and if so, what was your experience of it? Is it really much more difficult than a practical dissertation, or is it one of those things where if you enjoy it, it won't be as much of a struggle? Obviously both types of diss have their pros and cons but most of my lecturers are leading me to believe that it's excessively difficult to do a meta-analysis, even if you enjoy things like that.

    I'm in year 2 so I have a while to decide what I'm going to do yet, but I want to make an informed decision so thought I'd ask here for opinions.

    So, thoughts?

    (also, not sure if this is the right place to post this so apologies if it's not!)
    Before I offer helpful advice I would like to mention that it is a disgrace that a university will offer very few, basic practical-based dissertations. I personally wouldn't dream of doing a research project outside of the lab, but then that's my personal preference.

    It depends entirely on the specific field or area which you want to study and write about. A lot of these types of analyses require intense reading and understanding of all the latest papers in the last 5 years. If there hasn't been many papers over the last 5 years, then it's not worth covering. Even with a slight misunderstanding can cause your paper's downfall. I would certainly advise against it mainly due to the difficulty, especially for a final year project.

    Even if you just have access to E. coli in the lab, there are many research potentials and practicals of which you could perform. There are endless opportunities to study the E. coli genome and molecular mechanisms.
 
 
 
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