How long to write your masters dissertation? Watch

username197472
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My uni has submission date of May or September for submitting dissertations. I am currently buried in journals. Word count needs to be 20,000

I have 1,500 words of a lit review.

How long should it reasonably take to finish? How long did yours take you to write up?
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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This is a good question! I don't actually remember writing mine but I did spend much longer on it than I did my undergrad dissertation (which was probably written up within the space of 10 non-consecutive days or less) :yep: I'd say because I'm a slow worker, I probably chugged my way through the writing process over the space of about a month.

That's not to say it actually takes that long though - I've just got a silly brain!
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Manitude
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I probably spent 5 or 6 weeks writing it and several months working on the content on and off. Mine was 10,000 words. I was a little pushed for time towards the end but it wasn't a particularly stressful time frame.
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Jantaculum
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About four weeks once I'd started the process in earnest - but this was after several months of reading and research and drafting out ideas.
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arguendo
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I have to hand in mine (15k) by august. My idea's not been approved yet, but I have an outline and have begun wider reading and making notes. Hopefully I don't get told to change topic. We get about two months to focus purely on it after exams, so I'm hoping that's going to be enough :/

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poohat
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I would always recommend writing things up as you go along - dont just do all the research first, and then save the last 3-4 weeks for writing it up. Instead, try to write a few pages whenever you learn or do something new, in order to spread the writing process across over the whole working period.

The same applies to PhD dissertations, you really, really, really dont want to write nothing for the first 2 and a half years and then have to write your thesis from scratch in a few months at the end, because you will probably end up wanting to kill yourself.
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JamesManc
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Depends, a few months of doing a bit here and there. If you wanted to be quick, and only taking a break to sleep you could probably get it done in two days to a week. Mine's 12,000 and I know a girl who really stresses about it and has been taking more than a year and always is seeing our mutual supervisor (doing same experiment) whereas I'm more laid back and just do a quick good job. I used to aim for 500 words a day on my undergrad.
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Klix88
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Mine was 25,000 words and I wrote as I went along. Started research from cold at Easter - I had to ditch my original project after two terms of prep work. I worked solidly on it from then, seven days a week apart from going part-time during June. Finished mid-August, a month ahead of the submission deadline.
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iceflyier
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Mine was 15000 words and I wrote it in about 3 weeks (researching it as I went along), spent another two weeks editing and polishing it, and handed it in a month before the deadline. I made myself write 1000 words a day, though ended up deleting around 6000 words. Got 8 hours of sleep a day, lots of food and and a siesta on the side, so it is do-able. I'd come back from a two-week backpacking break in central and eastern Europe before coming back and starting on it, so I'd say don't stress out too much. I got a first.
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gutenberg
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Mine was 25,000 words and I wrote it up as I was going along. I had finished the great majority of the research and writing in about 4 months, with the final month being largely editing, proofreading, and doing any additional last-minute research to strengthen certain parts.
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rosie9391
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Properly started on the 1st May and handed in 20,000 words on the 15th August. I started thinking about a project in the run up to Christmas, spoke with a potential supervisor in January and first met him in February. My course required a research proposal to be submitted at the end of March and in an ideal world, I should've done my literature review in this time too but coursework/life/job got in the way. I didn't do anything for it in April as it was full of deadlines and an overseas field trip. My dissertation had a lot of fieldwork so that began in May and continued into mid-July. I wrote my lit review and analysed data as I went and for the most part, stuck with a 9-5 routine. The last two weeks were unnecessary stressful and rushed as I kept on trying to do more and more with the data so the discussion, conclusion and final editing were done in the last 4 days.
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ellie.rew
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I did mine (15k) in about 3 months, comprising both research and writing, although I had done a lot of background reading around the topic in the months before that. Having said that, I had a terrible three months and in terms of actual productive days there were probably only about a dozen, the rest were spent grappling with the almost inevitable writers block and feelings of inadequecy and hopelessness. I sincerely hope you do it better than I did mine!
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QHF
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(Original post by tradingmyheartforyours)
My uni has submission date of May or September for submitting dissertations. I am currently buried in journals. Word count needs to be 20,000

I have 1,500 words of a lit review.

How long should it reasonably take to finish? How long did yours take you to write up?
Just because I'm interested (sorry), could you clarify how your course's submission deadline works? Do you get to choose whether you submit in May or September?

Anyway, from memory, I did some preliminary research and reading on my MSt dissertation during the spring and then wrote it mostly over the course of the summer term -- so, it must have taken about eight weeks of writing time. It was 11,000 words long. But these tasks have a tendency to expand to fill the time available, and in fact unless you have other vital tasks to be getting on with it would be a shame not to spend all the time you have available on it. At present (I'm in the third year of a PhD) I reckon I could write something similar to my masters dissertation in one or two weeks, but I think it's much harder to knock stuff out that fast on a masters course: you're starting much more from scratch with less data and less of a grasp of the surrounding secondary material.

I would echo the other advice in this thread about writing early and writing often.
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robertkieron
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Hey, I am currently doing BA Hons graphic communications, but willing to do a MA probably in visual research. But I am not sure yet, cause I do want a Phd. I feel I have completed my 8000 dissertation for my course. I have to print it off for peer review next week a new thing which come into play for University centre at Blackburn College.
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