My BA dissertation is optional, should I do it?

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    So my English undergrad dissertation is optional. I'm seriously considering not doing it, mainly because I'm not sure which topic to choose, and the one area I am considering is one that I'm not very knowledgeable about. There's also plenty of other modules that I'm interested in and would like to take in place of the dissertation. I don't really fancy the inevitable extra stress that it would bring to my final year either.

    The only thing holding me back is the fact that I would like to do an MA in English at some point and am concerned that the absence of a dissertation on my transcript may harm my application. I've emailed one uni and they said that it shouldn't matter, but that I should emphasise the research I've done in other essays instead. I don't know about other places though.

    Any opinions?
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    Hmm this isn't something I've come across before. My instinct says you need that dissertation but I'm in a completely different field. I'd say email a few more unis and see what they have to say and if you're then convinced you don't need the dissertation then don't do one but pick your other modules carefully.
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    It is pretty likely that you will write a dissertation during your master degree, so having some experience on how to do it might help a lot.
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    I'm inclined to agree with agrew. You're unlikely to be able to duck out of a diss at Masters level and the undergrad one will be good practice. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to go into my Masters diss cold, especially given that it constituted one-third of my final grade.
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    (Original post by thedral)
    So my English undergrad dissertation is optional. I'm seriously considering not doing it, mainly because I'm not sure which topic to choose, and the one area I am considering is one that I'm not very knowledgeable about. There's also plenty of other modules that I'm interested in and would like to take in place of the dissertation. I don't really fancy the inevitable extra stress that it would bring to my final year either.

    The only thing holding me back is the fact that I would like to do an MA in English at some point and am concerned that the absence of a dissertation on my transcript may harm my application. I've emailed one uni and they said that it shouldn't matter, but that I should emphasise the research I've done in other essays instead. I don't know about other places though.
    In my view having done an undergraduate dissertation would strengthen your future MA application, and it would certainly give you valuable experience which would help you during the MA dissertation. Since good students often write some of their best work in their BA dissertations, it might also give you material which you could excerpt to use as work samples in your application (if, as your post suggests, you're planning to apply to MA courses after getting your BA, i.e. taking a break from academia for one or more years).
 
 
 
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