Getting some tens of thousands of words down on paper can be a daunting task. So when it comes to dissertation time, and the figure quadruples, the value of the grade increasing, well, that can equate to a stressful time for students. It’s important not to sink in these situations and not let it get to you. You don’t need to count words – by breaking it down into manageable and achievable stages, you can make it, and easier than you’d think.
Everything about the dissertation (and any good paper, for that matter) with picking the right topic. It might sound logical but think about it like this: you’re gonna spend several months on this topic, it’s so much better if you like it from the beginning, so that you don’t hate it in the end. Obviously, that’s not always the case, but seriously, the subject has to be one that you feel comfortable, confident and to some extent, passionate talking and writing about. If you do, it will show in all aspects of your dissertation, from the research you do, to the writing and the time you spend on it. So if you feel drawn to a particular area within your university subject, talk to the tutor about it. It’s worth getting a feel for an expert’s opinion, not least because, if you do choose their subject, chances are they’re going to mark it too so it’s definitely a good idea to get on their good side.
Dissertation supervisors are also key and whilst you can’t always get along like a house on fire, it’s definitely worth considering who is likely to be your’s; if you are in a position that you can choose from two (or several) different projects, choose the one with the better supervisor – it’s always gonna be worth it.
Also, there are a few questions worth considering such as is this an expert you’d be happy to see for a few hours every few weeks? Do you find them passionate and easy to follow when it comes to your dissertation subject? Or perhaps you are in the fortunate position where you get the chance to pick? In this case, lucky you. But look for a member of staff who is an expert in your chosen field, try and establish a good working relationship where And regularly scheduling a meeting can help motivate you, plus it helps to keep you on track as the supervisor will be able to advise you if you’re veering off the subject. And if it’s not working out, then speak up, by politely explaining your predicament. Your dissertation is too important not to treat seriously.
Sometimes dissertation work lands at holiday time – and this happens especially if you don’t do some careful planning. This can be problematic for students who have, for instance, left it until the summer holidays only to find their dissertation supervisor is away on a research trip for the next three months. So if you’re still feeling completely cut off, isolated and adrift, then fear not. Because help is at hand. In recent years, the internet has offered a source of help for students – you can find papers, general information, maps, so on and so on; just keep in mind that the library can also be your friend, and sometimes, a quiet environment with lots of books and papers is all you need.