Dissertation in French [French]
This module will be available in 2012-13
About this Module
The aim of the module is to provide those students who have opted for greater depth by studying one or two languages the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of one aspect of their studies by researching and writing in French an extensive piece of work in an area in which the department can offer research supervision. Writing the dissertation will provide experience in planning, documenting and writing an extended piece of work (5000 words). It will also increase your facility in expressing yourself at a suitable academic level in the target language and in presenting and referencing your work according to the conventions of academic writing. It will provide invaluable practice for those of your wishing to progress to postgraduate study. The dissertation also aims to develop independent learning, a genuine commitment to research, the ability to organise and manage a longer project, and to write fluently and accurately.
The dissertation involves researching and writing an extended piece of work in French on a subject in which the department can offer research supervision. You will thus be working closely with an expert in the field. In order to be accepted onto the dissertation module, you will have to demonstrate your preparedness by having done a relevant module at level 2, or by registering for a relevant module at level 3. This is to ensure that your dissertation is adequately supported in terms of background knowledge and/or suitable critical and theoretical approaches. Its precise contents are to be determined by negotiation with your supervisor, subject to approval by the Education Committee.
You should note, however, that the dissertation is a challenging enterprise, involving independent learning, a genuine commitment to research, and the ability to organise and manage your project and to write fluently and accurately. If you did not obtain high 2.1 or first-class marks in related second-year modules, you are strongly advised not to undertake a dissertation. Preparation for the dissertation will begin at the end of your second year, when you should approach the relevant Head of Department, who will direct you to the appropriate supervisor. Your supervisor will suggest possible subjects, and a preliminary bibliography, so that you can pursue a guided course of reading during your year abroad. In the light of your reading and discussion with your supervisor when you return to Durham in your final year, your subject will be defined and your topic approved by the Education Comittee early in the Michaelmas term. You will work independently, with some further advice from your supervisor, and you will submit your dissertation at the start of the Easter Term.
Teaching and Learning
The topic of the dissertation will be chosen in conjunction with your supervisor, and you will follow a programme of reading agreed upon by you and your supervisor. You will be given two seminars on research skills, and will have an additional six individual supervisions over the course of the academic year, written records of which will be kept. By the end of the second week of the Michaelmas term, you must submit to your supervisor a title, together with a programme of study for the dissertation. Failure to meet this deadline will result in your being required to drop the dissertation module at this point and to take an alternative module. By the end of November, you should submit a 300-word outline plan of the dissertation to your supervisor. By 18 February 2013, you should submit a 1000-word extract to your supervisor. The supervisor will comment in writing on both plan and extract, and these will be discussed in tutorials and further advice will be given. It is your responsibility to meet deadlines, submit the required work and to attend tutorial session; failure to do so will be subject to the School's Keeping of Terms procedures.
Assessment of the dissertation will evaluate your ability to assimilate, understand and analyse critically the primary and secondary material associated with your topic, also your ability to present a sustained argument with suitable evidence, and to express yourself fluently and accurately in the target language, paying due attention to the relevant conventions of academic writing. You will also be expected to produce a full and proper bibliography.
A 5000-word dissertation written in French (100%). To be submitted by 4pm Tuesday 23 April 2013.
Professor Chris Lloyd [email@example.com], Room A45, Elvet Riverside I