Article: Eight steps to writing an entire dissertation in just four weeks Watch

She-Ra
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http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/cont...ust-four-weeks

Based on some awesome community advice - here's our latest dissertation writing advice :H

For dissertation support, chat in our special thread here http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3718635
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tinkerbell_xxx
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I really needed this! Even though I have longer than 4 weeks this is really helpful! Thank you
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She-Ra
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(Original post by tinkerbell_xxx)
I really needed this! Even though I have longer than 4 weeks this is really helpful! Thank you
Hey tinkerbell_xxx :wavey:

Thanks so much for letting me know. I'm really glad you've found it helpful, even if you have longer than four weeks. The advice in this article can be applied to any 10,000+ word project, thesis or dissertation.

Good luck with yours and let us know how you get on
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john2054
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Sorry this structure simply doesn't work for me: First week: Complete the literature review (2,500 words) and methodology (1000 words)
Second week:
Work on and complete the two chapters (2,500 words each)
Third week:
Work on and complete the main discussion (2,000 words)
Final week:
Amend and edit all of your content, double-checking all references and ensuring the bibliography is fully up-to-date. Such an unwieldy literature review is a complete waste of time. Much better to plow the effort and resources (here time and concentration) on including a good introduction and conclusion, which coincidentally has been missed off altogether from this essay structure, whereas in fact they should consist of at least 10% of the total word count, or so I'm told. I will let you know what i get back for my dissertation, in a couple of months when it is all over, thanks!
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runningoutoftime
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(Original post by john2054)
Sorry this structure simply doesn't work for me: First week: Complete the literature review (2,500 words) and methodology (1000 words)
Second week:
Work on and complete the two chapters (2,500 words each)
Third week:
Work on and complete the main discussion (2,000 words)
Final week:
Amend and edit all of your content, double-checking all references and ensuring the bibliography is fully up-to-date. Such an unwieldy literature review is a complete waste of time. Much better to plow the effort and resources (here time and concentration) on including a good introduction and conclusion, which coincidentally has been missed off altogether from this essay structure, whereas in fact they should consist of at least 10% of the total word count, or so I'm told. I will let you know what i get back for my dissertation, in a couple of months when it is all over, thanks!
It may not work for you but it might work for others and hence is beneficial
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john2054
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i consider the recommendation to spend so long on a literature review, and miss out both the introduction and conclusion to be both harmful to the students potential progress and grades. And yes i am near to finishing my dissertation right now, so i do think that i know what i am talking about!!
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john2054
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(Original post by runningoutoftime)
It may not work for you but it might work for others and hence is beneficial
Now i have graduated with a 2.1 I can safely say that, i don't know!
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Abbas78600
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I am glad I caught this article. I need to write a 5,000 word literature review and at the moment still deciding on a topic. I got until April to hand it in. I am going to follow the same plan but instead of having 1 week to do each part I am going to give myself 3 weeks to do each part .
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Acsel
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Solid advice, having a plan for your content is always a good start, making it far easier to flesh out the content.

Leaving the intro and conclusion until last is also excellent advice, many students start with a blank sheet and get nowhere because they don't know what to write for an introduction. That makes sense, your introduction is supposed to introduce what you are about to write. You can't introduce something you haven't written. Similar story for the conclusion.

I also agree with spending a good chunk of time on the literature review. If you're doing it properly, reading lots of material and referencing that'll take up a good chunk of time. Considering 10,000 words are being written over 3 weeks each week should consist of roughly a third of that. Spending a week working on a 2500 word lit review and 1000 word methodology seems very reasonable. If anything it may take longer due to the sheer quantity of content you may need to read. The writing and rewriting is not what tends to take time, it's the need to read enough material to have something to write about. I remember writing my first literature review last semester, only 1000 words and that didn't take long to write. What took up most of my time was finding, scanning and shaping the material from dozens of papers.

After all that though the best advice is to simply not leave it until the last minute. While unexpected things do happen and have an impact on your everyday life, it's important to be able to juggle that with your studies. If you can write a good dissertation in 4 weeks, where you may be spending 40 hours a week on it you can equally spend 10 hours per week over 16 weeks. That's a little more than an hour a day which even if you have serious commitments should not be an issue. Of course on top of that who says you need to start thinking about your disertation in your final year? There really is absolutely nothing stopping you from coming up with ideas in your first year and refining everything over the course of a few years. Is it extreme? Yes, or course it is. But it should highlight that leaving it until the last minute is always something you can avoid.
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john2054
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(Original post by She-Ra)
http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/cont...ust-four-weeks

Based on some awesome community advice - here's our latest dissertation writing advice

For dissertation support, chat in our special thread here http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3718635
It is disgusting that you are giving advice on how to write the most important university project, in 4 weeks!!!!?!
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CCC75
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(Original post by john2054)
It is disgusting that you are giving advice on how to write the most important university project, in 4 weeks!!!!?!
Calm down John! The article explained that 4 weeks was the time period which a student with pressing family issues found themselves with - it does not promote leaving dissertation writing until 4 weeks before the deadline.

I have favourited the article for future use as I feel that many of the tips will be beneficial to me.
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john2054
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(Original post by CCC75)
Calm down John! The article explained that 4 weeks was the time period which a student with pressing family issues found themselves with - it does not promote leaving dissertation writing until 4 weeks before the deadline.

I have favourited the article for future use as I feel that many of the tips will be beneficial to me.
thanks, i just don't like it how they delete lots of my posts, and block lots of my threads, then come out with stuff like this!?!
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Acsel
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(Original post by CCC75)
Calm down John! The article explained that 4 weeks was the time period which a student with pressing family issues found themselves with - it does not promote leaving dissertation writing until 4 weeks before the deadline.

I have favourited the article for future use as I feel that many of the tips will be beneficial to me.
That. Many of the tips are perfectly applicable outside of dessertations and outside of this timeframe. Change it to 8 weeks and double the timelines set out in the post for example. It's useful information that happened to be the result of unfortunate circumstances. It doesn't encourage anyone to put themselves in this position.

The only thing I'd change is add a disclaimer that this is not the ideal way to tackle a dissertation. If people start reading this and thinking it's possible then the importance of getting the dissertation done (and done right) goes way down. We don't want people thinking they really can leave it until the last minute. That said the sort of people who choose to leave work until the last minute probably aren't going to change because the issue is an underlying one or time management and priorities. If you are knowlingly leaving it until the last minute then really that's just your own fault.
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She-Ra
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(Original post by john2054)
It is disgusting that you are giving advice on how to write the most important university project, in 4 weeks!!!!?!
That's a little strong.

Hardly.... lots of students leave it until the last minute for multiple reasons so we're doing the best we can to support them.
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john2054
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(Original post by Acsel)
That. Many of the tips are perfectly applicable outside of dessertations and outside of this timeframe. Change it to 8 weeks and double the timelines set out in the post for example. It's useful information that happened to be the result of unfortunate circumstances. It doesn't encourage anyone to put themselves in this position.

The only thing I'd change is add a disclaimer that this is not the ideal way to tackle a dissertation. If people start reading this and thinking it's possible then the importance of getting the dissertation done (and done right) goes way down. We don't want people thinking they really can leave it until the last minute. That said the sort of people who choose to leave work until the last minute probably aren't going to change because the issue is an underlying one or time management and priorities. If you are knowlingly leaving it until the last minute then really that's just your own fault.
(Original post by She-Ra)
That's a little strong.

Hardly.... lots of students leave it until the last minute for multiple reasons so we're doing the best we can to support them.
Good points, thanks for contributing...
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Muttley79
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This won't work for some subjets where there are surveys and parts to submit [with marks awarded] along the way.

Any practical subject might also have an item to make and parts to be ordered for this; workshops have to be booked in advance.

Working like this could impact on exam preparation too.
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Carl1234
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Can anyone give me any advice on how to write my methodology? I'm using the interview technique and really stuck on how to structure it
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by Carl1234)
Can anyone give me any advice on how to write my methodology? I'm using the interview technique and really stuck on how to structure it
A methodology section can be structured like this:
~ Participants
~ Design (the broad method you chose and why)
~ Materials (what does your interview set-up and questions consist of)
~ Procedure (how your interviews are carried out)
and if you have room a section on Analysis (how you will analyse the data you gather from the interviews - the full analysis will be in the results section).

If you are still stuck or this structure doesn't apply to your subject area, take a look at relevant research papers that used interviews as their method to see the consensus on structure.
Last edited by PhoenixFortune; 1 week ago
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