Write a dissertation rationale that stands out

Being a student offers so much promise of excitement. However, it also means that while you are having all these new experiences, you also have to write numerous essays and a dissertation that may include things like the dreaded dissertation rationale. Actually, writing a rationale is really not that awful if you follow some easy steps.

First of all, it is important to stress that each university has their own specific requirements for dissertations. On top of this, each department has its own specific requirements too. Therefore, it cannot be stressed enough that your first task is to find out exactly what the requirements are for your own particular dissertation. For instance, some universities request that the dissertation rationale is with the Introduction and some prefer it to be part of the main text.

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The meaning of rationale is basically a statement of reasons, so how does this fit into a dissertation, you be asking. Well, let’s remember that your dissertation is all about you doing a piece of original research, a rationale at its most basic form is why you are doing it. However, for your dissertation rationale to make sense, it has to be explored further. In essence, you need to explain:

  • What the problem is that you are going solve.
  • What ideas are behind the current research that exists about the problem.
  • The reason the problem should be investigated.
  • The methods that you are planning to use to solve the problem and why you are using them.

That is all a rationale is. The first two steps may have already been stated earlier in your introduction. If that is the case, briefly state them so that the whole rationale flows and makes sense but don’t elaborate. Hopefully, now it may be clear what a rationale is. However, if that hasn’t helped you, don’t worry, because we are going to investigate one step at a time.

First of all, let’s look at the problem that you are going to solve. Let’s imagine that you are interested in how often recidivists reoffend and why. This is a huge topic and far too big for a dissertation to cover because of time, financial and word count restraints. In that case, you may have decided that the cuts in Social Services have had an impact on recidivists reoffending. Therefore, your research question could be, for instance, “Austerity cuts to Social Services have made it more difficult for recidivists to stay out of prison.” As mentioned earlier, if you have already gone into detail about this, you simply need to clarify it briefly in your rationale.

In this part of your rationale, you will need to discuss the recent theories and thoughts surrounding your research problem. It is important not to go into everything that is suggested. In other words, you need to keep it brief, yet informative. Also, as well as making sure that you don’t reiterate every argument about recidivism, you should also make sure that you don’t bring in other areas that are having similar social problems. For instance, if you are unduly hot under the collar over the cuts to social services all round because of your political beliefs, make sure that you don’t bring in how its causing children in care to suffer too. Keep to your topic.

This is where the true part of your rationale begins. As mentioned earlier, rationale is all about reasons why you are doing something. This part can be problematic and you need to really think it through and do a great deal of reasoning before you write this. If at this point, you are wondering why this is so, it because there is an endless amount of reasons why the problem needs to be solved. If you had the mind to do so, you could write a full book on why the cuts to social services have caused recidivism to rise. For instance:

  • According to statistics, reoffending costs the British economy an estimated amount of between £9 billion and £13 billion per year.
  • Living in a cycle of crime – prison – crime because you are not getting the right Social Services support, is surely a waste of human life.
  • Every time a crime is committed, someone somewhere is on the receiving end of it. Therefore, if a constant offender cannot cope living outside prison assaults a pensioner so that he will be put away again, all members of society suffer because of the lack of useful support for offenders.

Those are just three reasons for doing the research and there are many more. At this point, you truly need to be clear what is your reason for doing your research. The reason for this is that the more focussed you are on your research problem, the easier it will be for you to have a structured and logical dissertation.

This is the really interesting part of the rationale because it truly allows you to concentrate on how you will perform your own original research.

  • For instance, you may wish to use some quantitative research such as governments statistics on Gov.UK to demonstrate how reoffending has risen since the austerity cuts began.
  • However, the most interesting part of your research will be the qualitative research that you can do yourself. For instance: a questionnaire for reoffenders that delves into beliefs and attitudes as to why they reoffend. To do this, you would have to ensure that the questions were not ambiguous as this could cause confusion and wrong answers could be given. In your dissertation rationale, you would explain why you were using this method. For instance, you might suggest that you wanted to discover how the offenders felt once they were in the outside world. Did they feel free after being in prison or did they struggle to cope with the challenges of everyday life like budgeting for bills etc. but they didn’t get enough support?
  • You may even do a case study that looked into the stages that reoffenders go through when they are released from prison until they return to prison. The reason for this would be that this would help to solve the research problem because it could help distinguish what are those crucial steps that cause an offender to reoffend.

Hopefully, this article will have helped you to understand how to write a dissertation rationale. However, if you are unclear about what you need to do or your workload is too huge, you made need help. We offer a large range of services that cover everything to do with dissertations from research to writing. On top of that, we also offer essay writing services, letter writing for those applying for jobs or anything else that you may need a professionally written letter for. If you need any work editing or proof reading, we also have a professional team on hand for that too. Our services are purely confidential so no-one will be aware that you use us, so why not get in touch and see how we can help you?

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