Lecture 4: Dissertation Preparation

10,000 word written project on a freely formulated topic in/on photography.
Structured into chapters.
Includes an introduction and conclusion.
Can be 2-5 chapters long.

Broken down:
Introduction – 1000 words
Conclusion – 1000 words
8000 left for chapters = 2700 words for each chapter

All chapters relate to the same thing (same research)

Tutors will not proof read the draft
Publishing Trading Centre
– proof reading services we can use to look over our dissertations for spelling, structure, grammar issues before submitting.

Use Harvard referencing


  • Try and write what you’re doing in your dissertation in the introduction (can you summarise it in the first sentence?).
  • Have a focussed path.
  • Use a very limited set of key concepts (dissertation examples show this well)
  • How many images? Enough to address your topic. For example if you were doing it on mass production you would need to include a lot of imagery.

Questions to ask when trying to think of a topic:

  • What are you interested in?
  • Photographers?
  • Literature?

What should be included in the proposal:

  • What we want to tackle.
  • Research.
  • How we plan to use it.
  • Related to visual case studies.

Example dissertation marks:

Reporting from the Bushes, The photograph’s version of events
Mark: 67

Still Time for the Moving Image
Mark: 72
Comments: Ambitious, interesting area of visual culture. Spelling/grammar.

Dialogue and the burden of representation. Perspectives from the work of Alfredo Jaar and Susan Meiselas
Mark: 80
Comments: Ambitious, showed independent thinking. Alternative reading of exhibition. Structured, resolves the issue.



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