How to pass Your Research Theory and Practice (RTAP) Dissertation

The Accounting Theory mini-dissertation is a way to assess what you have learned about Financial Reporting and Regulatory Frameworks.

We get many students asking us how to approach the short dissertation for Accounting Research Theory and Practice (RTAP). In order to do well, you need to be able to pull together thoughts from different authors and draw a conclusion about what they are saying.

Here are some tips that will help you with your RTAP dissertation:

The Portfolio of Evidence has all the guidelines you need. Please read through it!
Download the RTAP guide here
Make sure you use the Harvard referencing technique
Make sure you have a cover page or title page
Make sure you have a contents page
Make sure you have a body section that includes what others are saying about your chosen topic – all their points of discussion
Then comes the conclusion – please note: you don’t have to give an opinion, merely summarise what others have said which is your summary of all the points in the body of the dissertation.
Lastly comes the bibliography which lists all the books, websites or reference material you used.

Before you send it off, ask yourself:

Have I narrowed down my research? (Read the guide here which explain how to do this)
Have I asked someone knowledgeable to check my grammar and spelling?
Have I made sure all the Internet references have been correctly noted?
Have I checked that no copying directly from any resources has been done?

RTAP is not about testing your research skills but your ability to understand the ideas of others and how you draw conclusions based on opinions of others. Once you have chosen a specialised topic, you will need to write about what is being said and by whom it is being said and then draw up their conclusions correctly. To do this you are going to have to read up on the topic you choose and ensure you thoroughly understand it and actually take it in so that you can explain it well.

Google is a good source of information if you want to find our more about how to lay out a research paper. There are also websites that give you free downloadable templates. So your first step should be Google to help you prepare. Remember – there is no textbook for this as RTAP is about assessing your integrated knowledge and critical thinking skills for everything that you have been learning.

Do you have any tips that you think we should add or elaborate on? Write to us and let us know.