How to do Your Dissertation Right

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

How to do Your Dissertation Right

So you may be aware that my dissertation is underway and I am currently almost finished my first chapter (a week early, yay go me!!) Although I am not finished my dissertation or even close to it, since I began this first chapter I have already learned so much and I want to share those with you. 
Whether you have a dissertation coming up or even just an essay, here are my tips for doing it right and efficiently. 

CHOOSE A TOPIC YOU ENJOY
My dissertation topic is bloggers, I know not everyone is studying media, but there must be something you enjoy about the field you're studying otherwise you wouldn't have chosen it. If you are interested in the topic then you like researching it and reading the figures, it is interesting and finding sources becomes almost easy. 

GET A HEAD START
C'mon stop caring that Kelly and David haven't started theirs yet, what age are we? It's not cool to have a horrible work ethic, you'll be going into the big bad world soon and no one is going to hire you if you leave everything to the last minute and trust me, they know when you have. I'm not saying start months in advance, but just give yourself a head start, research your topic in advance. I started my research three weeks before my first chapter was due and here I am less than 500 words to go a week and a half early.

How to do Your Dissertation Right

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF 
ALL THE HELP YOU GET
In the lead up to us beginning our dissertation my uni did a lot of drop in classes, they weren't mandatory, but they were to help you write your dissertation, lay it out and format it and I'm sure there will most likely be more as we continue to hand in our chapters. Going to them can be a pain since you know you don't have to be there, but they help a lot. I also was able to set up a meeting with a librarian to find out how to best use the library and online index to my advantage, it helped so much I found a bazillion other sources I wouldn't have without her help. 

CUT IT INTO SECTIONS
I do this with all my essays if I know I have 2000 words to do I split it up into at most four nights and make it my mission to do at least 500 words each night. These nights don't have to be consecutive, you can do one night of research another writing, the next night a break etc, but splitting the word limit up really helps make it look like such a smaller quantity of work.

DON'T BE SCARED 
TO TAKE BREAKS 
You have to take breaks no matter what you are doing if not you will burn yourself out, trust me, I am the absolute worst at this. I am someone who gives everything my all so taking breaks is hard for me. For a long time, my brain seemed to think to need an early night or taking an hour away from my laptop meant that I had failed, it really doesn't in fact if I don't take those breaks or have that early night I could make myself fail because I'll be too ill to hand in what I am completing.

CREATE EARLY 
DEADLINES
I actually have my advisor to thank for this one, she has asked me to hand in all of my chapters a week early to her so she can look them over for me before official hand-in. I cannot tell you how amazing an idea this is and I will be using it for all other classes too. Having things done and out the way lifts such a weight off your shoulders because you aren't rushing anything, you are taking your time, checking over your work, having a more relaxed schedule, it's perfect. 

Have you got any tips for studying or undergoing your dissertation? Do you currently do any of these tips? 

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