Complete a masters dissertation in 6 weeks?!

Watch
LDS0507
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#1
Got my proposal accepted at start of June, due to working full time [I was part time but had to do more due to the virus] I haven't made a start until now on my masters dissertation 😬

I've got six weeks today to hand in. I've got the intro written yesterday and sent to my supervisor [she's a bit confused at how i'm so behind it seems] - i've also done an essay a lot on my topic earlier in semester.

Any advice on how to structure in terms of time? Eg how many days to spend on each section etc? Just feel overwhelmed to be honest 😬
0
reply
mnot
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 months ago
#2
(Original post by LDS0507)
Got my proposal accepted at start of June, due to working full time [I was part time but had to do more due to the virus] I haven't made a start until now on my masters dissertation 😬

I've got six weeks today to hand in. I've got the intro written yesterday and sent to my supervisor [she's a bit confused at how i'm so behind it seems] - i've also done an essay a lot on my topic earlier in semester.

Any advice on how to structure in terms of time? Eg how many days to spend on each section etc? Just feel overwhelmed to be honest 😬
Well you need a plan.
Lit review.
start reading & writing - try and get this done asap in like 2-3 days (you can edit it later, just get it done)

Then the research you have to be practical, find research methods you can progress quickly.

Organise regular meetings with your supervisor (perhaps ask for twice a week, although they may not be able to accommodate this, and what if they go on holiday...).

Write as you progress, keep good notes.

Every evening make a list of what you are going to achieve the next day.
0
reply
LDS0507
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#3
(Original post by mnot)
Well you need a plan.
Lit review.
start reading & writing - try and get this done asap in like 2-3 days (you can edit it later, just get it done)

Then the research you have to be practical, find research methods you can progress quickly.

Organise regular meetings with your supervisor (perhaps ask for twice a week, although they may not be able to accommodate this, and what if they go on holiday...).

Write as you progress, keep good notes.

Every evening make a list of what you are going to achieve the next day.
Thanks. I've got my topic, objectives, my research method is case study analysis and I know what i'm going to do [study NGO reports, newspaper reports, journal articles etc] from the two case studies and compare against what the literature has previously said. I feel I just need a time frame for each stage.
0
reply
Keele University
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 months ago
#4
(Original post by LDS0507)
Got my proposal accepted at start of June, due to working full time [I was part time but had to do more due to the virus] I haven't made a start until now on my masters dissertation 😬

I've got six weeks today to hand in. I've got the intro written yesterday and sent to my supervisor [she's a bit confused at how i'm so behind it seems] - i've also done an essay a lot on my topic earlier in semester.

Any advice on how to structure in terms of time? Eg how many days to spend on each section etc? Just feel overwhelmed to be honest 😬
As mnot has said, you need to create a plan for yourself and give yourself some structure - that will help with the feeling of being overwhelmed as you'll have manageable chunks and tasks.

6 weeks is actually quite a lot of time if you break it down - for example, if you factor in roughly 7 hours work a day (which equates to 9 - 5, with an hour for lunch/breaks every day), Monday to Friday then that's 210 hours of potential work. Even if you're still working and are only able to work a few hours each day and then at weekends, you'd be surprised how many hours you have available to you - 6 weeks sounds scary but 100 or 200 hours sounds like much more time!

It's difficult to say exactly how long you'll need to write each section as this will depend on how much of your reading/research you have done already, and how quickly you write/read, which will vary from project to project and person to person. What I would say, is aim to allow AT LEAST a week (preferably two) for supervisory comments on your draft, proofreading, and editing - that will avoid a mad rush to the finish and allow you to polish your draft!

In terms of breaking down the project, think about how long the final thing has to be and then how many sections/chapters you are going to break that down into. Allocate a rough word count to each section/chapter - if you aren't sure how long to make each section, or quite how to structure your dissertation, have a chat with your supervisor and work on this together. Then pick a section and get writing! As mnot says, concentrate on getting words on the page - you can organise them and refine them later. If you're anything like me, you'll sometimes find you need to go away and do a bit more reading in order to continue writing but that's okay - once you get a rhythm, it's amazing how much you can write.

If you want some company while you write, consider signing up to a virtual writing retreat to get dedicated time and motivation for your writing, as well as support from fellow PGs. These are often aimed at PGR/PhD students but there's no reason you can't sign up as an MA, and they are usually free to join. @PhDForum on Twitter run regular ones (including on the weekend, for those who work during the week), and Keele have both writing and reading retreats coming up which are open to postgrads across the higher education sector (find out more and book a place at https://www.keele.ac.uk/kiite/confer...erschool/2020/).

Hope that helps and good luck!

Amy
Last edited by Keele University; 5 months ago
1
reply
LDS0507
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#5
(Original post by Keele University)
As mnot has said, you need to create a plan for yourself and give yourself some structure - that will help with the feeling of being overwhelmed as you'll have manageable chunks and tasks.

6 weeks is actually quite a lot of time if you break it down - for example, if you factor in roughly 7 hours work a day (which equates to 9 - 5, with an hour for lunch/breaks every day), Monday to Friday then that's 210 hours of potential work. Even if you're still working and are only able to work a few hours each day and then at weekends, you'd be surprised how many hours you have available to you - 6 weeks sounds scary but 100 or 200 hours sounds like much more time!

It's difficult to say exactly how long you'll need to write each section as this will depend on how much of your reading/research you have done already, and how quickly you write/read, which will vary from project to project and person to person. What I would say, is aim to allow AT LEAST a week (preferably two) for supervisory comments on your draft, proofreading, and editing - that will avoid a mad rush to the finish and allow you to polish your draft!

In terms of breaking down the project, think about how long the final thing has to be and then how many sections/chapters you are going to break that down into. Allocate a rough word count to each section/chapter - if you aren't sure how long to make each section, or quite how to structure your dissertation, have a chat with your supervisor and work on this together. Then pick a section and get writing! As mnot says, concentrate on getting words on the page - you can organise them and refine them later. If you're anything like me, you'll sometimes find you need to go away and do a bit more reading in order to continue writing but that's okay - once you get a rhythm, it's amazing how much you can write.

If you want some company while you write, consider signing up to a virtual writing retreat to get dedicated time and motivation for your writing, as well as support from fellow PGs. These are often aimed at PGR/PhD students but there's no reason you can't sign up as an MA, and they are usually free to join. @PhDForum on Twitter run regular ones (including on the weekend, for those who work during the week), and Keele have both writing and reading retreats coming up which are open to postgrads across the higher education sector (find out more and book a place at https://www.keele.ac.uk/kiite/confer...erschool/2020/).

Hope that helps and good luck!

Amy
Thank you very much for all that, very helpful! I will definitely look at that writing retreat!

Mine is a 15,000 word dissertation (+/- 10% so in my case going to be looking at 13,500) with 1 aim, and 3 objectives. Structured as an introduction, lit review, methodology, results, analysis, and conclusion/recommendations. I managed to get the intro done and sent to my supervisor in one day [1000 words] And i'm aiming to get the lit review and methodology done before 9th August - which is a month to my deadline 😬 i'm pretty quick at writing when i'm confident I know what i'm putting down; I think a month will be good for digging through documents and collating data and then getting it written? Leaving a week at the end for proof reading etc.
1
reply
Keele University
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 months ago
#6
(Original post by LDS0507)
Thank you very much for all that, very helpful! I will definitely look at that writing retreat!

Mine is a 15,000 word dissertation (+/- 10% so in my case going to be looking at 13,500) with 1 aim, and 3 objectives. Structured as an introduction, lit review, methodology, results, analysis, and conclusion/recommendations. I managed to get the intro done and sent to my supervisor in one day [1000 words] And i'm aiming to get the lit review and methodology done before 9th August - which is a month to my deadline 😬 i'm pretty quick at writing when i'm confident I know what i'm putting down; I think a month will be good for digging through documents and collating data and then getting it written? Leaving a week at the end for proof reading etc.
No problem!

It sounds as if you're doing all the right things and you've got a good structure for the dissertation in place. You would be really surprised how much you can get done when you sit down and put your mind to it!

I find writing retreats to be such a help - writing in short, targeted bursts alongside other students just really helps my motivation. I'm writing a chapter draft for my PhD progression at the moment so I have 10,000 words, plus a thesis plan, statement of research context, and annotated bibliography to submit on 07 August - writing retreats have saved me, particularly with regards to writing the chapter. Hopefully see you in one of the PhDForum ones or the Research Summer School retreat!

All the best with the writing!

Amy
0
reply
trapking
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#7
Report 5 months ago
#7
It's possible with some hard work. I think I did mine in a similar time frame maybe even slightly less time than 6 weeks because I had to leave the country!

I basically spent every single day in the lab (even late evenings...I'm talking like 11pm to Midnight) when nobody was in there. I managed to get it done with about 6-7 days to spare but wowee it was not fun to do! I was so relieved when it was finished didn't even want to look at it anymore
0
reply
LDS0507
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#8
H

(Original post by trapking)
It's possible with some hard work. I think I did mine in a similar time frame maybe even slightly less time than 6 weeks because I had to leave the country!

I basically spent every single day in the lab (even late evenings...I'm talking like 11pm to Midnight) when nobody was in there. I managed to get it done with about 6-7 days to spare but wowee it was not fun to do! I was so relieved when it was finished didn't even want to look at it anymore
Haha yeah i'm already sick of my topic so long way to go 😂 what did you do yours on? Did you plan out how long you were going to spend on each task etc?
1
reply
trapking
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#9
Report 5 months ago
#9
(Original post by LDS0507)
Haha yeah i'm already sick of my topic so long way to go 😂 what did you do yours on? Did you plan out how long you were going to spend on each task etc?
I know the feeling, looking back it was kinda a waste of time to do an MSc tbh but hey ho 😂

My MSc thesis was on "Slamming Effects of Various Hull Form Structures for Design Optimisation". The aim of my research was to study the effect of slamming on ship bow structures so I could optimise the design for use on Life Boats in the offshore industry.

I got 78% for it so all those days spent in the lab were worth it. I didn't really have a plan as such but I just knew what I had to cover to get a good grade after countless meetings with my supervisor. My original supervisor actually retired mid way and he was the only expert in my field so I was given another supervisor who helped me a tonne!

What's yours on?
Last edited by trapking; 5 months ago
0
reply
LDS0507
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#10
(Original post by trapking)
I know the feeling, looking back it was kinda a waste of time to do an MSc tbh but hey ho 😂

My MSc thesis was on "Slamming Effects of Various Hull Form Structures for Design Optimisation". The aim of my research was to study the effect of slamming on ship bow structures so I could optimise the design for use on Life Boats in the offshore industry.

I got 78% for it so all those days spent in the lab were worth it. I didn't really have a plan as such but I just knew what I had to cover to get a good grade after countless meetings with my supervisor. My original supervisor actually retired mid way and he was the only expert in my field so I was given another supervisor who helped me a tonne!

What's yours on?
Very different field; mine's on 'To explore the responses of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in post-disaster contexts, and how the responses can be optimised for the sustained benefit of communities'. Supervisor is and has always been an issue for me. I'm still waiting for her to send me comments on my draft intro [sent week ago], another student hasn't heard off her for two months now [albeit he hasn't got in contact with her but thought she'd of least asked him how he's getting on]. Bit concerning but long as I get a pass 😬
0
reply
trapking
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#11
Report 5 months ago
#11
(Original post by LDS0507)
Very different field; mine's on 'To explore the responses of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in post-disaster contexts, and how the responses can be optimised for the sustained benefit of communities'. Supervisor is and has always been an issue for me. I'm still waiting for her to send me comments on my draft intro [sent week ago], another student hasn't heard off her for two months now [albeit he hasn't got in contact with her but thought she'd of least asked him how he's getting on]. Bit concerning but long as I get a pass 😬
Nice, what MSc is that?

My first supervisor was like that, biggest tip I can give you is go there in person to see them saves you so much time. Although I've just remembered the pandemic has affected things so this might be an issue...
0
reply
LDS0507
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#12
(Original post by trapking)
Nice, what MSc is that?

My first supervisor was like that, biggest tip I can give you is go there in person to see them saves you so much time. Although I've just remembered the pandemic has affected things so this might be an issue...
Haha yes potential issue 😂 i've got in contact with some TA's to brown nose [Phd students who helped on my courses, tutorials etc] to see if they can sort of help me out and then I may ask REALLY nicely if they would mind reading over a chapter. I know it's not going to be my finest bit of work, but like you i'm not really sure why i've bothered with the MSC now 😂
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Do you have the space and resources you need to succeed in home learning?

Yes I have everything I need (420)
56.6%
I don't have everything I need (322)
43.4%

Watched Threads

View All