It’s safe to say that a dissertation (or research project as my university likes to call it… let’s just agree they’re the same thing) is never going to be an exciting time. It may mean you’re closer to the end, close enough to see but certainly not touch.
It will be hard.
It will be draining.
It quite possibly will be soul sucking.
But I promise you, it can be fun!!!
Although I may not have finished mine, it’s safe to say I have officially mastered the best way to do it now, so I’ve put together some tips for all my readers to give you all a little help if you find yourself doing one also. Whether you are in your first or second year of university and can see it looming, about to go to uni in September, or you’re doing it now and just have no motivation what so ever, it can help, even just a little.
1. F O R G E T T H A T D I E T.
We all say it, “next year I’m going to eat healthy and lose weight and be fit” blah blah blah. Well, if you have a dissertation to do, you may as well save your breath.
You’ll be spending hours on end in front of your computer screen, working your butt off each day. It will be stressful and you cannot overcome stress with a salad. Save your diet for when you finish. Junk food will be your best friend during these months so just wave goodbye to your diet and save it for your graduation.
2. S N A C K.
Honestly, snacks will be your best friend. For those long hours you are putting in at the library, make sure you take a bag of your favourite goodies (as long as you won’t be p*ssing off a librarian), it will make the whole process so much easier.
For the sake of everybody else in the library though, unless you have your own private study room (these can be a god send BTW) try to refrain from having snacks that STINK. I was trying to work in the library the other day and somebody next to me had some sour cream, it made it all the more harder to concentrate.
3. L O V E W H A T Y O U D O!
Obviously, it’s rare that you are going to enjoy writing a 10,000 word assignment, but if you choose a subject you find interesting, I kid you not, you’ll actually enjoy yourself!!! (Laugh all you want… you’ll be thanking me).
I was going to be so boring but then I realised I could be more creative and now I’m finding my topic really interesting!
On that note…
4. B E C R E A T I V E.
When you begin, you may think you have to stick to something to do with your course (which obviously you do) but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative!!!
Let me give you some examples which are idea’s I had and friends on my course considered (my degree is in Marketing);
BORING IDEA (my original idea):
- How the ever changing increase in technology and social media has an effect on marketing.
I know… Yawn right.
- How pester power, caused from advertising to children, can influence parents buying habits and the ethical implications surrounding this.
- Using Disney Princesses in advertising to children can cause problems in later life.
Don’t stick with what you think will look the most professional. Think of the person marking it, would you want to read a 10,000 word report on something boring? EXACTLY!!!
5. A S S I S T A N C E M A T T E R S.
If you think that the tutor is just going to tell you your guidelines etc and then mark it, you’re wrong.
Your personal tutor is there to help, no matter how big or small your problem may be. Arrange weekly meetings, ask them anything that comes into your head. Use them!!! That’s what they’re there for.
Don’t forget, they are the ones marking it, so the advice they give is more than likely going to result in better marks.
6. A C C E P T H E L P.
I am incredibly lucky to have Momma P, two sisters and two aunties who have all recently completed a dissertation who are there for my every melt down and struggles during this time.
If you know someone who has experience doing a dissertation, involve them, ask them for advice, see what they think of your question, if they care about you, they are likely to take an interest.
And last but not least…
7. A S K Q U E S T I O N ‘ S.
No question is stupid, no matter how much you think it is, there is no harm in asking. That one question could be a changing game in the entire report. If not, what have you lost?
At the end of the day, your dissertation is an incredibly important part of your university experience, take your time, get as much help as you can and enjoy it while it lasts. Apparently university is the best years of your life, or so they say…
Good luck my angels!!