Five steps to a successful dissertation
The final-year dissertation is a milestone in your university career. You’ve struggled through hangovers, early morning lectures and extended nights in the library. Now you’re ready to face the challenge of the dissertation, incorporating all the research techniques that you’ve learnt into one long, strenuous piece of work.
Take a look at the five golden rules of dissertations:
1. Choose the right subject
Choosing a subject or area of enquiry that really appeals to you will help keep you motivated. Before deciding on a subject, think about a few options and consider where your research may take you, what sources are available for each, and if the subject is likely to sustain your interest. You’ll also need to ensure the subject contains enough scope – or conversely is not too broad – for a viable dissertation.
Discussing these issues with your tutor or supervisor should help shape your ideas.
2. Start early
Start working on your dissertation as soon as possible. Most students are given months to complete their dissertation and these months can shrink away very quickly, leaving you with almost no time at all.
By starting early, complications can be sorted out without creating a massive scramble at the end. Completing your research and the main body of your dissertation with plenty of time to spare will give you opportunity to review and refine what you’ve written which can make all the difference to your final mark.
3. Understand requirements from the outset
Following any required format or guidelines from the beginning can avoid later panic, and it is often much easier to do things as you go along, rather than to try and remember months afterwards, or to rush back through when your deadline’s approaching.
This particularly applies to referencing – note the required referencing format at the start of your research and record the appropriate details of any sources you use.
Pay attention to how your dissertation needs to be submitted and presented and remember to allow longer than you need for printing or binding.
4. Get organised
Write a plan outlining what you need to do and when, remembering to build in extra time to deal with issues that you haven’t anticipated. If you’re likely to amass piles of paperwork then a good filing system will make it easier to find documents you may need later. And remember to back up any electronic files – there’s nothing worse than losing weeks of work due to computer failure.
5. Seek aid and support
If you’re struggling at any stage, or just want reassurance that you’re going down the right track then don’t be afraid to contact your tutor or supervisor.
Student Services departments can help if you’re suffering from stress, or need to talk to someone.
If you just need encouragement, try working alongside others, such as in the university library or study areas, or arrange study sessions with other students.
Kickstarter is a trademark of Kickstarter Inc. This site is not affiliated with Kickstarter, Inc. Made by SoFriendly