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    I'm entering my final year after summer and therefore will have a dissertation to write. Does anyone have any tips or things they wish they'd known?

    I'm someone who is very much used to doing all of their research over a week or two and then just taking a day to write the entire thing in one go, before proofreading and editing for another couple of days. Obviously, this isn't going to be possible with a dissertation because there's no way I can write 10,000 in one day and then edit it in a couple of days haha.
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    Spend the summer doing some research on your dissertation topic.

    My dissertation involved building an Android app and a 40 page report... The write-up was based on the app so I had a lot of things to cover. I did my report in the last month and that included several drafts including countless hours of proofreading.

    I suggest that you do not write your report right at the end like me. There's always things that you can add to strengthen your dissertation so start early and get the headstart. Good luck.

    Feel free to PM me if you want more tips, I've just finished my dissertation so I still have it fresh in the memory
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    I'm struggling to think of a question but I'm fairly confident about the topic I want to cover.

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    Read over summer in preparation for dissertation, work on it throughout the academic year. I spread my work out, so by the time the deadline was like four weeks away, I had already completed over half my dissertation. Time managed well, I actually completed my dissertation well before the deadline. Over the three years of study, not once have I done a all nighter to get work done, unlike many other people on my course who did.


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    Thanks guys!

    (Original post by UWS)
    Spend the summer doing some research on your dissertation topic.

    My dissertation involved building an Android app and a 40 page report... The write-up was based on the app so I had a lot of things to cover. I did my report in the last month and that included several drafts including countless hours of proofreading.

    I suggest that you do not write your report right at the end like me. There's always things that you can add to strengthen your dissertation so start early and get the headstart. Good luck.

    Feel free to PM me if you want more tips, I've just finished my dissertation so I still have it fresh in the memory
    Thanks so much, that's useful! I've already started reading for my dissertation and I've also begun collecting the data I need, it's just the writing process that is freaking me out a lot. I'll happily take any more tips that you have though, so I'll pm you now!
    (Original post by Pulse.)
    I'm struggling to think of a question but I'm fairly confident about the topic I want to cover.

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    What do you study/what topic do you want to cover?

    (Original post by lozzielizzie)
    Read over summer in preparation for dissertation, work on it throughout the academic year. I spread my work out, so by the time the deadline was like four weeks away, I had already completed over half my dissertation. Time managed well, I actually completed my dissertation well before the deadline. Over the three years of study, not once have I done a all nighter to get work done, unlike many other people on my course who did.


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    Yeah I'm not an all nighter-er either, I always start things well in advance and have started reading for my dissertation already, I think it's just daunting that it's such a huge project!
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    Stay in touch with your supervisor, as they should be able to prevent you from making any serious errors and should steer you in the right direction. If they're not available for meetings, email them once a fortnight. Tell them what you've done since the last email, and what you plan to do in the next fortnight and why. That should give them enough info to let them intervene if necessary.
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    I'm also going into my final year after summer and will have to do a lab based research project style dissertation.

    Not looking forward to it, I don't even know what my research topic is (we didn't have much choice) or where to begin with it. Pretty much everyone I've spoken to on my course doesn't have a clue what is going on or what we are supposed to do.
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    I'm also going into my final year after summer and will have to do a lad based research project style dissertation.

    Not looking forward to it, I don't even know what my research topic is (we didn't have much choice) or where to begin with it. Pretty much everyone I've spoken to on my course doesn't have a clue what is going on or what we are supposed to do.
    Waeyyyy Lad based dissertation!! :sexface:
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    Well thankfully my university knows that most student have the same tendencies as you, to cram projects into a few weeks. Therefore, we were all assigned a Dissertation tutor who we met with once a week starting in October and we had regular progress checks, I think this would be very beneficial to you (as it was to me ) so check if your university offers the same thing, if they don't then you can either contact your student support to find a mentor or if you have good relations with one of your tutors then you can just straight up ask them to be your mentor and maybe just email each other once a week to track your progress?

    If you try and go about it all by yourself I got a feeling that your just gonna stick to your old ways and cram it to the last minute which will not only make the writing process more stressful but it's guaranteed to leave you with bits of writing/research missing.
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    (Original post by hezzlington)
    Waeyyyy Lad based dissertation!! :sexface:
    God damn typos >.<
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    I'm also going into my final year after summer and will have to do a lab based research project style dissertation.

    Not looking forward to it, I don't even know what my research topic is (we didn't have much choice) or where to begin with it. Pretty much everyone I've spoken to on my course doesn't have a clue what is going on or what we are supposed to do.
    yep seems that way...luck of the draw sorta thing in some ways....very different to say studying for an exam
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    (Original post by JavaScriptMaster)
    Well thankfully my university knows that most student have the same tendencies as you, to cram projects into a few weeks. Therefore, we were all assigned a Dissertation tutor who we met with once a week starting in October and we had regular progress checks, I think this would be very beneficial to you (as it was to me ) so check if your university offers the same thing, if they don't then you can either contact your student support to find a mentor or if you have good relations with one of your tutors then you can just straight up ask them to be your mentor and maybe just email each other once a week to track your progress?

    If you try and go about it all by yourself I got a feeling that your just gonna stick to your old ways and cram it to the last minute which will not only make the writing process more stressful but it's guaranteed to leave you with bits of writing/research missing.
    Sorry? I don't cram projects at all. I start early, plan ahead, do all of my reading so I know what I'm writing about, do my analysis and source examples, then write it all at once and give myself a few days to proofread. That isn't cramming it, it's just doing it in a way that has worked for me for short pieces of work (<4000 words). My only issue is that I feared I would end up spending so much time on reading and planning that I would end up having to do the whole write up at once, because I'm so used to doing it that way. Having a looked a bit more into it, I think I'll actually find it quite easy to split it up and look at each chapter as a 'mini-essay', so my main fear isn't as strong now .

    I also didn't indicate I would be doing it all by myself, I'm a student who is constantly utilising office hours and the help of lecturers, so I'll still be doing that come dissertation time. We don't get allocated our supervisor until the end of November though.
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    (Original post by GoingToBurst)
    Sorry? I don't cram projects at all. I start early, plan ahead, do all of my reading so I know what I'm writing about, do my analysis and source examples, then write it all at once and give myself a few days to proofread. That isn't cramming it, it's just doing it in a way that has worked for me for short pieces of work (<4000 words). My only issue is that I feared I would end up spending so much time on reading and planning that I would end up having to do the whole write up at once, because I'm so used to doing it that way. Having a looked a bit more into it, I think I'll actually find it quite easy to split it up and look at each chapter as a 'mini-essay', so my main fear isn't as strong now .

    I also didn't indicate I would be doing it all by myself, I'm a student who is constantly utilising office hours and the help of lecturers, so I'll still be doing that come dissertation time. We don't get allocated our supervisor until the end of November though.
    okay well I apologies for making assumptions but there's only so much information I could take in from your original post but say no more, I'm sure you'll be fine because I know people who actually do cram it all and finish with a 2:1 so just listen to your heart.

    Good luck!
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    I would echo the people who said that you should start doing some reading over the summer - you mention you've already started, which is great.

    When you get back to uni, I would try & set aside some time every week devoted to the diss. It can very easily get swallowed up when you have essay deadlines etc. looming, and suddenly you find you haven't worked on it for several weeks, and you've lost the thread a little of what you were doing. I tried to set aside a particular day to work on it - it was usually Friday IIRC, since I didn't have any classes that day and I still had time over the weekend/Monday to do reading for the classes I had on Tuesday (I had a great final-year timetable ). You might find you do better with a couple of afternoons or mornings devoted to it, for example. The key is consistency, and keeping up reading and data-gathering so you can then start thinking about writing.

    As you're researching and reading, always be thinking about how you might structure the piece: think about how you can divide the material into chapters, and what the topic for each chapter will be. This will be vital for writing, because I think the best way to tackle the writing is to try and write it chapter by chapter, rather than doing it all in one go. It is very doable: if you decide Chapter One will be about Topic X, you can gather together everything you've read and all the data pertinent to that topic, and construct the chapter. Chapters are essentially like essays, only for a diss you essentially have to knit together a couple of essays. This doesn't mean the chapters constantly have to refer to one another, but you have to sustain the thread that is the central question across all of them, and then use your introduction and conclusion to draw everything together. It's like writing a couple of essays on the same broad topic, but approaching it from a few different angles, and then writing about the connections etc. between them in the intro & conclusion.

    Doing it chapter by chapter also means you can show your supervisor each chapter as you write it, rather than dumping the entire thing on them to read and possibly having to redo large parts. As you send each chapter and receive feedback, you can then explain how the next chapter will feed into the one(s) you've done, and how you see them linking together. I would also suggest that you set deadlines for yourself about when you want certain things done by: if your overall deadline is 1 March for example, maybe having a full draft by 15 February, with the remaining two weeks then for polishing, editing, completing references etc. (though try to do those as you go!!). Break that down further then - if you have 3 chapters for example, then say you'll have one chapter written by 30 November, another written over Christmas, and the third by 30 January, with the two weeks to 15 February for your intro/conclusion.

    I hope that helps a bit. Really, dissertations are nothing to be scared of if you approach them in a systematic, consistent way and just keep plugging away at it
 
 
 
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