This article might be coming a little bit late for a lot of you or maybe not soon enough. As the final term for many students begins, dissertation deadlines loom on the horizon. If the whole process is underway (which it should be) think of this like a check-list. However, if you have yet to start (or you’re a fresher/second year) these tips are invaluable.
Your dissertation is arguably the biggest piece of work you’ll commit yourself to until you’re a big, important adult delivering a presentation or something. Suffice to say, very few entry level jobs or internships will expect this kind of dedication from you.
Blood, sweat, tears and chocolate stains go into dissertations so make it as easy for yourself as you can. Here are six things every student needs to remember when working on their dissertation.
1. Back-up like your life depends on it
It’s the classic tale of the lowly student and the case of the wiped dissertation. It’s almost too tragic of a cliché to use as an excuse. Into the depths of oblivion it goes and there’s no way you can recreate the work. Don’t just save every other word but make numerous copies of your diss across hard-drives, USBs and the like.
2. Control your emotions
If you’re working in a small house or library (which you probably are) no-one cares about how tired or frustrated you are. Most students have a zero tolerance policy for divas so straight up cut-out that under-your-breath cursing and groans through gritted-teeth. You’re not special.
3. Give plenty of time to proof-reading
Carless speling mistakes look unprofesional and make for terirble reading. Do yourself and your tuter a favor and dedicate at least a quatre of the time you spent writng the piece to reading it over.
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4. Work out the best working environment prior to starting
Do you work best with people around you or alone? With music on or in silence? Play around with work environments prior to starting your dissertation. Trying to figure out working conditions is a common distraction tool students employ in the early days of writing.
5. Figure out when you need to start (then start before that)
Do the maths and figure out what day you need to start your dissertation in order to get it finished in ample time. Then throw those calculations out the window and start now. Your schedule won’t account for hangovers and lazy days so start ASAP to allow yourself those inevitabilities.
6. You are the agent of your work
Don’t pay attention to how anyone else is doing theirs. This is your big project, a labour of love and dedication that culminates everything you’ve worked for in the last two years. Own it.