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    (Original post by Fjarskafinn)
    So -

    ..now we've all finished our dissertations and had our results (I'm assuming here, apologies to anyone who hasn't yet found out their results), what golden nuggets of wisdom can we offer future "dissertators"? What would you change if you could do it all again? What did you do that was possibly not the greatest idea in the world?

    I'll offer my own tips:

    1. Start thinking about your topic as early as possible. It's never too early to start thinking about what might interest you. What questions do you have that you would love to research? Even the beginning of second year isn't too early to start thinking!

    2. Cherish the meetings you have with your supervisor. Not in a weird way, of course. Before you go to the meetings, make a list of things you'd like to ask, like a sort of agenda. Take brief notes on the things you discuss, make sure you've got down all the advice your supervisor gives you.

    3. Leave a day between writing a chapter and proof-reading it. If you've spent all day composing a chapter, rifling through books, sorting through photocopied articles and chapters for that ONE important sentence you highlighted, you are going to be far too tired to proof-read it all once it's typed and saved. Yes, this is an excuse to kick back and watch a film/have an evening out!

    4. Back up EVERYTHING. Use a service such as SkyDrive (from Windows Live) to upload your chapters, notes and plans as and when you write them. It must have happened to most students at least once, that sickening cold feeling that goes straight down your body when you've lost files or misplaced a USB stick. I ended up printing everything out so at least even if the whole INTERNET failed I could type up my work from a hard copy - time-consuming, but a saviour, should things go drastically wrong.

    5. Talk about your topic to people, even if they don't want to hear it. My partner got his fair share of boring conversations when he was being talked at by me at length about Gaelic influence in the Faroe Islands. However, it did serve a purpose - it made sure that I KNEW my topic and arguments inside-out. If you struggle to put together a little speech outlining your topic, which informs whoever's listening about your findings (ie. if you can't succintly explain what you're researching) it might be good to sit and write out a skeleton plan of your dissertation to re-establish what your points and chapters will cover.

    I really hope these will be useful to others - if not, I've only wasted 15 minutes of my own time.
    Very good advice!! I'd add:

    Choose a topic you're genuinly interested in and would enjoy to research, don't feel pressured to do a topic you might not enjoy much- Chances are you'll be researching for quite a long time and you don't wanna do something which you're not motivated to write.

    Don't worry if you change your topic and stray from your initial idea. Originally I started with workplace discourse which changed into German and English politeness in political talkshows. I was really scared for a long time that I'd made completely the wrong choice but I'm glad I wrote about it in the end.

    If you get a choice of supervisor, don't pick a topic based on who would supervise you.
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    My tip:

    Make sure you get a good supervisor;A lot of my friends' supervisors' were literally unreachable, there was this one that was never in his office and would reply to his emails 2-3 days later. Honestly i was so frustrated i had to stand up for my friend and go get this mans butt in gear even tho he wasn't even my supervisor. I feel that, that cost her a very good grade because she had to keep on going to other supervisors but they all gave different answers and stuff etc etc.

    Have a plan Everyone says start as early as possible i started mine sooo early but still had to change in the last minute. I would suggest you write out a detailed plan not just a generic one, that way you can foresee problems before they occur. The problem with my dissertation was that it was so wide i.e. the topic was so big it had no direction literally. If I had done a very detailed plan i could have from earlier on tailored my dissertation to a specific area of my topic rather than trying to do everything (this tip will make more sense when you start your disso).

    My 3rd tip is PRACTICE although i spent soo many months on my disso, when it came to the presentation i crumbled soooo badly, although my presenting skills is weak i also found that it was that it was very difficult to explain my disso. If i had started practicing frequently early on i wouldn't really have this problem. I still got a decent grade for it, but boi it was soooo hard, it was like all the information was in my head but i just couldn't find the right words/phases to explain it especially the econometrics part because i did 4 models (ols, 2sls, random effects and fixed effects if you do econometrics). Its even worse when you watch someone else and they have such a good presentation (when your presenting your disso you'll know what i mean).

    good luck (if u need any help pm me)
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    [QUOTE=jus-mi;32621815]My tip:

    Make sure you get a good supervisor;A lot of my friends' supervisors' were literally unreachable, there was this one that was never in his office and would reply to his emails 2-3 days later. Honestly i was so frustrated i had to stand up for my friend and go get this mans butt in gear even tho he wasn't even my supervisor. I feel that, that cost her a very good grade because she had to keep on going to other supervisors but they all gave different answers and stuff etc etc.

    Totally agree with this!!!
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    Got a 75 for my dissertation! :jive:

    Oh my good golly gosh, I can't believe it. Only awaiting two more essay grades now before Judgment Day!
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    After all that work I got a 42 lol!

    You ask why I "lol"... i got it independently marked by an external assessor after I recieved my degree, who gave me high 70's. I cant say why I got such a low mark other than it was nothing to do with the actual work, nor anything I did. Think along the lines of, 10 students in a class, 8 of them female, 2 of them male, only one of them heterosexual, one female lecturer. Add to that that I love Photoshop (and justified its use, and pro's and con's) and the lecturer hates any form of digital manipulation, and you begin to get the picture...
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    (Original post by thesmileyone69)
    After all that work I got a 42 lol!

    You ask why I "lol"... i got it independently marked by an external assessor after I recieved my degree, who gave me high 70's. I cant say why I got such a low mark other than it was nothing to do with the actual work, nor anything I did. Think along the lines of, 10 students in a class, 8 of them female, 2 of them male, only one of them heterosexual, one female lecturer. Add to that that I love Photoshop (and justified its use, and pro's and con's) and the lecturer hates any form of digital manipulation, and you begin to get the picture...

    can't you still make an appeal showing the result of your external assessor, or ask the uni to send it off to another external marker! Don't give up
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    (Original post by jus-mi)
    ...
    Hey how's it going? How are your postgrad applications coming along? Also, how's your dissertation coming along, what you doing yours on?
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    Just saw this thread on the front page...damn I need to start my dissertation!! Exam revision first though - priorities.
 
 
 
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