Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if you have ever written a dissertation then you probably look back and think ‘I wish I had known that before I started!’ There is lots of help and advice to get you through your dissertation from how to plan a dissertation to help with writing it and a dissertation example can be found on sites like Oxbridge Essays who offer all sorts of useful hint and tips. So for now if you are about to tackle this enormous task that you have either been dreading or are approaching with nervous anticipation sit back, grab yourself a cuppa and immerse yourself in a wealth of expert advice and useful tips which you will be glad you read before you started!
You need to start with an open and organised mind. Make a list, make 2, in fact make however many lists you need to plan what you need and when. Your lists could include –
- What resources and research matter you will need
- What possible working titles you could give to your dissertation
- What subjects you will cover within it and the arguments that you will pursue
- What events are taking place during that time so that you can get organised beforehand and not be distracted once you have your pen to paper
Keep a book with all the lists and notes in and you will always have it to refer back to – if you wake up in the middle of the night with a flash of inspiration write it down and then go back to sleep. You will be glad you did. Keep it all together though – don’t write it all on scraps of paper you will only find yourself scrabbling about looking for them.
You aren’t the first person to write a dissertation and there will be many experienced people that you can turn to for help and advice before you start – especially your dissertation tutor who is there to help you so make sure you use this help. Speak to students that completed theirs last year and ask them what their challenges were and how they tackled it. Are their online forums where you can chat to others that perhaps you don’t know? It may be good to get some neutral advice from outside of your circle.
Don’t Doubt Yourself
There will undoubtedly be that moment when all of a sudden you panic and wonder if you are doing the right thing. Are you covering the right subject, was the argument put across properly, is it the best angle to approach it from? When this happens step away and take a break, seek advice from your tutor/supervisor and try not to panic. Chances are you are going to be surrounded by others who are also working on theirs and they may discuss something that you feel you should have included. Trust your instincts and don’t try to be like everybody else!