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Here the focus of attention is on a particular community, organisation or set of documents.The attraction of this kind of dissertation is that it stems from empirical curiosity but is at the same time practical.Think about the Research Methods modules you have taken so far.
Remember that all tables must be carefully titled and labelled and that sources of your data must be acknowledged.
You will probably want to use in-depth qualitative data, and you may wish to adopt a realist, a phenomenologist, or a constructionist approach to the topic.
Remember that theoretical studies, like data-based studies, need to have their research design spelled out from the start.
But even if your dissertation is more empirically focused, it could still be entirely literature-based.
You might, for example, explore empirical debates in your chosen field across different countries or time periods.
Whilst it is possible for dissertations to be entirely literature-based, the most common form of dissertation takes the form of a case study.
There is plenty of scope to use the approaches and methods that you are most comfortable with.
You need to justify your approach and methods and to cite appropriate literature to help you do this.
Qualitative dissertations will include descriptive material, usually extracts from interviews, conversations, documents or field notes, and are therefore likely to be nearer to the upper limit of your word range (e.g. The types of method suitable for a dissertation could include content analysis, a small scale ethnographic study, small scale in-depth qualitative interviewing.
Your supervisor or research methods tutor may be able to give you detailed examples of these or other ways to combine methods. If you decide to do a primarily theoretical dissertation, it is almost certain that your dissertation will be entirely literature-based.