Monday, 29 August 2016

Dissertation Tips


If you're going into your final year of uni, chances are you are going to be writing a dissertation (if not, you are incredibly lucky!). Your dissertation is a huge piece of work, but there is no need to be stressed out about it. So here are some tips from someone who learnt the hard way about writing their dissertation. (Disclaimer - I left my super late to do it, but still ended up with a mid 2:1!)

1. Start researching now
There is a huge chance that you will change your idea, but having some sort of plan is useful. Perhaps do some reading on the components on your dissertation, what you actually need to put in it, and look at some previous work in the area that you want to look into. Google Scholar is of course great, as is academia.edu. It could give you some inspiration.

2. Get in touch with your supervisor
Seriously, use your supervisor. Introduce yourself and tell them some of you initial ideas. That way, when term starts, you won't waste a precious hour with them thinking of a topic from scratch. They'll tell you if they think it is feasible in the time period, and if they have seen any like it in the past.

3. Talk to people who have done one previously, either friends in other years or ask to look at some examples.

4. Set aside some time each week to work on it.
If you have a day off, or even an afternoon, try and work on it, just like a scheduled lecture or seminar would be and try and keep to it weekly.

5. Don't compare yourselves to others
Shut out all the people who said that they have already written half of theirs. They're probably lying.

6. Ask for help
If you are struggling, ask for help. Whether that's from your supervisor, someone who is also researching your area or a friend.

7. Gather information/data first
Don't try and write up too much until you have collected your data. I wrote a literature review before doing any data collection, and then had to spend hours changing large chunks of it so it would fit with my results. Your data will really help shape your project and know what previous research you can look at.

8. Leave yourself plenty of time to write and redraft
Don't leave it to a week until the deadline to start writing. I would advise up to at least 3 weeks before, and a week to look over it. But if you get it done before, than that's brilliant too. But believe me, you will do a lot of editing!

9. Leave time to bind and print
Most universities will have their own or printing company, but even if they don't, most companies will want at least 24 hours if not more to print and bind your work. Make sure you know the place and time where it needs to be submitted and make sure you have time to print!

10. Be proud
A dissertation is a hard thing. 10000 words or even more is a really big task, and you can feel like you are totally alone. But there will never be a greater feeling when it is all handed in!

Good luck everyone who is going into their final year! Make the most of the time you have and enjoy it! 



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3 comments

  1. Going into third year, you have no idea how helpful this is to read..! I'm a little scared but also super excited to get stuck into it. :)

    Katie // wordsbykatie.com

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  2. Thank-you for the advice, I'm about to go into my third year and the looming dissertation is scaring me!
    - Emily from http://www.emilyunderworld.co.uk ♡

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  3. This advices are going to be very useful for me for sure, cuz I am going to start writing my own dissertation) But you know, I think that it will be much easier for me just to buy one half of it at https://essayfactory.uk/ and the second one, practical one, to write by myself, what do you think about it, any advices?

    ReplyDelete

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