Words I never thought I’d be saying if you asked me 3 or 4 months ago!
This blog is aimed at those who will be writing and completing a dissertation next year (2021/22). I hope I can share some wisdom from what I have learned about myself and my studying style over the past few months.
At the start of the academic year the assignment was launched: 10,000 words on absolutely anything that you like. Now, that may seem daunting and you’d be correct. But my first piece of wisdom is here! If you know you’ll be doing a dissertation in the following year of your education, get on top of this – I promise, you’ll thank yourself later. In the summer leading up to your dissertation year, take a few days and just jot down some ideas on your chosen topic, this will really help you when it comes to starting in September. I had so many ideas in my head, so when it came to starting all I had to do was narrow this idea down and perfect it! However, if you go in with absolutely no ideas at all, you might find yourself spending quite a while trying to pick a topic and this is time needed on writing!!!
If you take this little bit of time narrowing down a few ideas, this will aid you so much when you come to writing and will make the research part seem a lot less daunting too as you have a clearer idea on exactly what you want to write, or at least some areas of research that you want to take a closer look at.
Everyone is different, but for me, the research part is definitely what took the longest, believe it or not! There are so many avenues to go down and explore in terms of researching for a dissertation – it is 10,000 words after all. But if you have your foot in the door reasonably early in regards to research, you’ll be away! For me, when I had all my research analysed and collected, I found it a lot easier then to piece it all together and start writing.
A dissertation seems like such a scary thing at first, but one thing you should remember heading into your final year: it shouldn’t be scary, it should be fun. This is the one piece of work you have full control over so have fun with it and make it your own. Pick a topic that interests you and something you love talking about or a new topic that you don’t know much about but would love to learn about – that’s exactly what I did!
But, I really can’t stress it enough, don’t leave your dissertation to the last minute. You don’t need that stress, just enjoy the ride and remember to make it yours! I actually handed my dissertation in the day before the deadline because I’m sure like a lot of people you do get to a certain stage with it where you feel like you physically can’t do any more work on it. After you’ve read your piece of work a million times, there’s only so much more your brain can handle.
To summarise, if you’re starting your dissertation year in September, try and get organised in the summer and gather together some ideas, spread out the work and take it section at a time. This way the whole process will seem a whole lot less daunting come September!
Good luck people, and remember, you got this!