Get support with your dissertation

Student working on laptop

If you are starting to think about your dissertation or thesis, the Library can support you with everything from refining your question to finding and using the best resources to support your work.

Planning Your dissertation

Putting together a dissertation is a large project and requires careful planning. The Library’s KnowHow team run workshops and webinars to support the planning stages of your dissertation. During the sessions, you will look at the importance of refining your question, consider what should go into the different elements of a dissertation, and consider methods to manage your time throughout the process. View the KnowHow events calendar to book your place on any of the upcoming sessions.

All students are also enrolled on a KnowHow: Study for Success course in Canvas, in which you can find tutorials on ‘Refining your Question’, ‘Managing your Project’ and ‘Writing a Literature Review’, as well as several tutorials on working with statistics if your dissertation involves this.

We also offer postgraduate student-led services to support you with your dissertation. Book a one to one appointment with a Writing@Liverpool tutor for advice on writing particular aspects of your dissertation or a book a Stats@Liverpool appointment for help with working with statistics.

Finding and using resources

The Liaison Librarian for your subject can help you with the research for your dissertation or thesis. They can advise on the best databases to search to find quality academic information, such as recently published journal articles and conference papers on your subject. There are specialist databases for many subject areas – use your Subject Library Guide to find the most appropriate database for you.

To find relevant material, you need a good search strategy. Before you start, think about how to describe your subject: keywords, synonyms, abbreviations, alternative spellings. Book a one-to-one appointment with your Liaison Librarian who can offer you advice on search strategy.

Using primary sources

If you are looking for primary source inspiration for your dissertation or thesis, useful overviews of all the collections held within the Library’s Special Collections and Archives are available via the Collections A-Z webpages.

The team in Special Collections and Archives can offer one-to-one support in making effective use of the service, including help to use and understand the catalogues in order to locate Special Collections and archival material. Contact the team via email for support –

More information is available on the Support for Teaching and Research webpage.

Referencing and Academic Integrity

When writing up your dissertation, it is important to ensure you understand academic integrity and reference your sources correctly to avoid plagiarism. Learn more through the KnowHow Academic Integrity tutorial in Canvas.

The Library’s Referencing Guide also gives guidance on referencing styles and software to manage your references, such as EndNote, and the KnowHow team run sessions to help you get started with EndNote Desktop.

We’re here all year

Remember, we’re not just here to support you at dissertation time. You can contact us for support throughout the year and we will do our best to help you achieve academic success!