These detailed guidelines attempt to explain the mechanics of writing a third year project dissertation in Computer Science. They serve as a useful starting point for students (and new advisors) in their third or fourth year of study in the Computer Science Department of a UK-based university. Afterall, no one is born knowing how to write a dissertation. Yet, there are certain elements, a commonality, that can be found in virtually all good dissertations. We give our recommendations as to each section a good dissertation consists of as well as what each section contains. These guidelines are generic and can be customized to fit most projects. The guidelines are open and free to use at any university or institution without permission.
We believe that the writing can start with the abstract, however, in practice writing usually starts with the background section. The abstract can be approximately 6-12 sentences. It’s a difficult starting point, but it forces the author to write down a concise description of what it is they are researching and the associated benefits. Chances are, if the author can’t write an abstract, then it is not clear in the author’s mind what the project is about. Of course the abstract will be refined and updated over the lifetime of the project. The abstract can concisely (1) identify the project topic, (2) identify the benefits and advantages that result (3) and if there is novelty, describe the novelty of the presented work. If there’s a description of the project in a p
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