How bad does a dissertation need to be to fail

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Cronar
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#1
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#1
I am now 7,500 words deep into my history dissertation which is due on the 18th of February. The minimum is 11,000, and I've not done the intro or conclusion yet which I reckon' I could finish in a few days at 1500 words a piece. I'm closing in, and I feel like this dissertation is fundamentally flawed.

I have enough time to edit, make sure everything is properly grammatical and consistently referenced. Furthermore, I have tons of citations, a huge chunk of primary source material, and a lot of what I'm saying hasn't really been written on before. But it's the structure I didn't get right, I feel like the chapters are quite loosely tied together, and I wonder if enough of it is relevant. Basically I'm confident this will looks good on the surface, but on closer inspection will reveal itself as awful.

I appreciate that nobody here can tell me my dissertation is good. I appreciate I have time to smudge these chapters more closely together. But if I don't at least pass this then I don't get a degree. Are there any markers, or people who got D3's who can speak to what scraping by looks like? This **** is driving me mad.
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Scotney
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#2
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#2
Do you not have a supervisor who could give it the once over?
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Ferrets
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#3
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#3
Hey, do you need help with editing, review and having a different eye to enhance the dissertation, I can help with that. Send me a message we discuss the paper. Thank you.
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ageshallnot
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#4
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#4
It would have to be appalling not to get at least a pass. It doesn't sound like it's anywhere near that bad.

I would be VERY wary of sharing your work with anyone, particularly someone who constantly offers to help out in this way.
Last edited by ageshallnot; 3 months ago
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Ferrets
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#5
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#5
ageshallnot Of what benefit would I have by having my peer fail? I only wanted to offer insights of how they can improve the paper and get a better score.
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ageshallnot
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Ferrets)
ageshallnot Of what benefit would I have by having my peer fail? I only wanted to offer insights of how they can improve the paper and get a better score.
Tbh I am suspicious of people who make such offers as frequently as you do, and over a wide range of topics.
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Scotney
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Cronar)
I am now 7,500 words deep into my history dissertation which is due on the 18th of February. The minimum is 11,000, and I've not done the intro or conclusion yet which I reckon' I could finish in a few days at 1500 words a piece. I'm closing in, and I feel like this dissertation is fundamentally flawed.

I have enough time to edit, make sure everything is properly grammatical and consistently referenced. Furthermore, I have tons of citations, a huge chunk of primary source material, and a lot of what I'm saying hasn't really been written on before. But it's the structure I didn't get right, I feel like the chapters are quite loosely tied together, and I wonder if enough of it is relevant. Basically I'm confident this will looks good on the surface, but on closer inspection will reveal itself as awful.

I appreciate that nobody here can tell me my dissertation is good. I appreciate I have time to smudge these chapters more closely together. But if I don't at least pass this then I don't get a degree. Are there any markers, or people who got D3's who can speak to what scraping by looks like? This **** is driving me mad.
TLG can you help out here.
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StriderHort
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Ferrets)
ageshallnot Of what benefit would I have by having my peer fail? I only wanted to offer insights of how they can improve the paper and get a better score.
It sounds like there would be a part where you'd expect money or potential blackmail would become apparent.

I could be wrong, but as ageshallnot said, you sound a bit suspicious.
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Scotney
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#9
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#9
gjd800 and Reality Check can you advise here re thesis problem.
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Reality Check
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Cronar)
I am now 7,500 words deep into my history dissertation which is due on the 18th of February. The minimum is 11,000, and I've not done the intro or conclusion yet which I reckon' I could finish in a few days at 1500 words a piece. I'm closing in, and I feel like this dissertation is fundamentally flawed.

I have enough time to edit, make sure everything is properly grammatical and consistently referenced. Furthermore, I have tons of citations, a huge chunk of primary source material, and a lot of what I'm saying hasn't really been written on before. But it's the structure I didn't get right, I feel like the chapters are quite loosely tied together, and I wonder if enough of it is relevant. Basically I'm confident this will looks good on the surface, but on closer inspection will reveal itself as awful.

I appreciate that nobody here can tell me my dissertation is good. I appreciate I have time to smudge these chapters more closely together. But if I don't at least pass this then I don't get a degree. Are there any markers, or people who got D3's who can speak to what scraping by looks like? This **** is driving me mad.
Thanks for the tag, Scotney

People do fail their diss, but it's unusual if you have worked diligently on it, met with your supervisor when needed and basically taken the whole thing seriously. To outright fail a diss which is of the required word-count requires some particularly shoddy work or something else like plagiarism.

So long as the 7,500 words are quality words, and don't need ruthlessly editing down to about 3,000 words, then you've still got over three weeks left before your submission date. This is heaps of time - not just enough to finish the actual writing, but to do some serious revision of a chapter if necessary. There really should be no need for you to go into survival mode at this stage, and be considering what it looks like to 'scrape a pass'.

When did you last meet with your supervisor? Questions like relevance of research/content are just the sort that s/he is well placed to advise you on.
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Cronar
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Scotney)
Do you not have a supervisor who could give it the once over?
He was only allowed to read one chapter at Christmas. He said it was promising but not perfect.
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Cronar
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Reality Check)
Thanks for the tag, Scotney

People do fail their diss, but it's unusual if you have worked diligently on it, met with your supervisor when needed and basically taken the whole thing seriously. To outright fail a diss which is of the required word-count requires some particularly shoddy work or something else like plagiarism.

So long as the 7,500 words are quality words, and don't need ruthlessly editing down to about 3,000 words, then you've still got over three weeks left before your submission date. This is heaps of time - not just enough to finish the actual writing, but to do some serious revision of a chapter if necessary. There really should be no need for you to go into survival mode at this stage, and be considering what it looks like to 'scrape a pass'.

When did you last meet with your supervisor? Questions like relevance of research/content are just the sort that s/he is well placed to advise you on.
My last meeting was just before Christmas break. He seemed to think there was promise but they're told to keep a wide birth. It's hard to know if he's just being encouraging or honest.
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Cronar
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Ferrets)
Hey, do you need help with editing, review and having a different eye to enhance the dissertation, I can help with that. Send me a message we discuss the paper. Thank you.
I appreciate your offer but I'm wary of the paper showing up on plagiarism software if I start sharing it around the web. I don't need that anxiety as well xD
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Reality Check
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Cronar)
My last meeting was just before Christmas break. He seemed to think there was promise but they're told to keep a wide birth. It's hard to know if he's just being encouraging or honest.
If he had serious concerns about what he'd reviewed, he'd have told you. Don't think that he's 'just being nice' - there would be no point in that.

You've now got just over two weeks...
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Ferrets
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#15
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#15
(Original post by Cronar)
I appreciate your offer but I'm wary of the paper showing up on plagiarism software if I start sharing it around the web. I don't need that anxiety as well xD
Welcome anytime
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BlueChicken
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#16
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#16
(Original post by Cronar)
I am now 7,500 words deep into my history dissertation which is due on the 18th of February. The minimum is 11,000, and I've not done the intro or conclusion yet which I reckon' I could finish in a few days at 1500 words a piece. I'm closing in, and I feel like this dissertation is fundamentally flawed.

I have enough time to edit, make sure everything is properly grammatical and consistently referenced. Furthermore, I have tons of citations, a huge chunk of primary source material, and a lot of what I'm saying hasn't really been written on before. But it's the structure I didn't get right, I feel like the chapters are quite loosely tied together, and I wonder if enough of it is relevant. Basically I'm confident this will looks good on the surface, but on closer inspection will reveal itself as awful.

I appreciate that nobody here can tell me my dissertation is good. I appreciate I have time to smudge these chapters more closely together. But if I don't at least pass this then I don't get a degree. Are there any markers, or people who got D3's who can speak to what scraping by looks like? This **** is driving me mad.
You seem like you've thought about this, so I doubt a fail is on the cards. You have over two weeks to edit it into shape. Also, your conclusion will be important in terms of the overall dissertation, so maybe start on that and it might help you get the rest into the structure you want. It can be hard with your own work, but you need to take a step back and look at it objectively. What is the story you want to tell? (I don't mean fiction, I mean in terms of structure and flow). Do you already have analysis/conclusion? Literally sketch the structure on a piece of paper of what you want to say and the evidence for it and then compare with what you have.

I also agree with RC that your supervisor wouldn't just be nice - there is no point in that.

I repeat, you have time to get it right. Also, bear in mind, that is rare that anyone is completely happy with their work, particularly in a time pressured situation, as you always feel you could have done more - when you read it later on, there is always something else you could have added, a different way you could have structured it etc. (Hindsight is a wonderful thing!). You can do this. Good luck!
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Cronar
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#17
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#17
(Original post by BlueChicken)
You seem like you've thought about this, so I doubt a fail is on the cards. You have over two weeks to edit it into shape. Also, your conclusion will be important in terms of the overall dissertation, so maybe start on that and it might help you get the rest into the structure you want. It can be hard with your own work, but you need to take a step back and look at it objectively. What is the story you want to tell? (I don't mean fiction, I mean in terms of structure and flow). Do you already have analysis/conclusion? Literally sketch the structure on a piece of paper of what you want to say and the evidence for it and then compare with what you have.

I also agree with RC that your supervisor wouldn't just be nice - there is no point in that.

I repeat, you have time to get it right. Also, bear in mind, that is rare that anyone is completely happy with their work, particularly in a time pressured situation, as you always feel you could have done more - when you read it later on, there is always something else you could have added, a different way you could have structured it etc. (Hindsight is a wonderful thing!). You can do this. Good luck!
Thanks for your encouragement, I'm currently at 9,500 words. I haven't written my conclusion yet but I've got a pretty good idea of what I want to say. One of my chapters needs bulking up and restructured, and there are some trimmings to add on to the other two. Initially I was aiming for the minimum but it looks like I'll be closer to the maximum of 12,000. I'm aiming to get to 10k tonight, and then I'll spend the next two days adding trimmings and restructuring. Then, hopefully, I can write my conclusion in a day or so. So I'll have roughly ten days to read over the whole thing and edit. I'll never feel like this is a great piece of work, but I can at least say it is presentable and technically fine.
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Cronar
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Reality Check)
If he had serious concerns about what he'd reviewed, he'd have told you. Don't think that he's 'just being nice' - there would be no point in that.

You've now got just over two weeks...
Thanks dude, you've offered some reassurance
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Scotney
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Cronar)
Thanks for your encouragement, I'm currently at 9,500 words. I haven't written my conclusion yet but I've got a pretty good idea of what I want to say. One of my chapters needs bulking up and restructured, and there are some trimmings to add on to the other two. Initially I was aiming for the minimum but it looks like I'll be closer to the maximum of 12,000. I'm aiming to get to 10k tonight, and then I'll spend the next two days adding trimmings and restructuring. Then, hopefully, I can write my conclusion in a day or so. So I'll have roughly ten days to read over the whole thing and edit. I'll never feel like this is a great piece of work, but I can at least say it is presentable and technically fine.
Yes just keep going you know where the bodies are buried so are over critical. Everyone feels the same at this stage.
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Reality Check
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#20
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#20
(Original post by Cronar)
Thanks dude, you've offered some reassurance
Good, I'm glad As Scotney says, everyone feels like this at some point, but you've got reason to feel confident that you're on the right track. Just kick on with it and you should be fine.
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