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Hello to all… I’m at that terribly scary time of life that involves the writing of a dissertation in order obtain a degree. It’s nerve racking because the effort thus far to obtain a degree in English Literature rides on the disso! The fact that such a huge proportion of our fate relies on this aspect of degree doesn’t help at all!
However, the saving grace is undeniably the sisterhood & brother-ship we all have as we ride this shaky wave together to our destiny. To not be the only one in the boat is awfully gratifying, and because the time has come to get our skates on and make those finishing touches, I’m going to share my amateur tips on what’s helped me to write my dissertation.
So… without further ado…for all you students who weren’t already sick of writing, here’s some more lengthy text to immerse yourselves in… I joke.
Please listen up and don’t be one of those unlucky individuals that make us feel better about ourselves because they begin a year’s research in the space of 24 hours! Start early! Start months before it’s due. Truuusssst me!
Choose a topic you ACTUALLY care about
Dissertation should be interesting for you – it’s the culmination of the skills you’ve obtained thus far on your journey to the “adult” world. So pick something you really care about. It’ll make writing a little easier. Don’t feel the need to rush into your decision because everyone else has decided.
Write little and often
If you’re on top of things on the disso front then you can afford to take it easier and write little and often. I write every day for mine and it’s 10,000 total. However, writing about 500 words per day has been super easy (post research) because I now have time to go through it with a fine tooth comb!
Write in the same location
This might not help everyone but I love to write in the same place every day. It makes me feel organised and as though I have a routine going on. I sit in a specific, quiet location of the library and have my “disso spot”!
Separate your research in your folder into dissertation chapter sections. When it comes to writing, things will be so much more effective and less time consuming than having to shift through tonnes of books.
Write Down Your References As You Go
Nothing would be worse than coming to do your bibliography and not having your references written down. In a lengthy piece, it would take a tonne of time to find each and every reference. Having said this, I’m a sucker for leaving bibliography maintenance to the very last minute having misplaced various references. DON’T DO IT!
Take a day off now and then
As it is applicable to most things in life, so too is it applicable to dissertation; take time away. It’s refreshing not to look at something for a day or two because when you go back to your work you will see it with fresh eyes and generate new ideas.
It’s going to be ok!
There’s such a tendency amongst everyone to panic an extortionate amount as the deadline gets closer and closer. You will, and can, do this. I have been so stressed out and anxious about my dissertation but they way I look at it is, there’s NO WAY I’m not going to hand something in, and I WILL do it. Whether it’s good, bad, indifferent, I will be handing it in. So, that usually allows me to relax a little.
What dissertation tips can you share?
Can you share any dissertation writing tips? Leave them in the comment box below. If you are struggling to write and suffering from a creative block check out our article on dealing with writers block. Is the stress of writing your dissertation becoming overwhelming? Check out this link to dealing with stress.