This may be a little similar to a previous post we just did, except things just got a whole lot more serious and tricky.
Dissertation’s are a pain in the backside, seriously. However if you have the right mind-set and tools followed by the right advice and tips, there’s nothing stopping you.
To make things easier we will separate the advice into different sections: the proposal stage, the actual write up and approaching the submission phase.
Writing your proposal:
This is the most crucial part as its best to make all your major mistakes now rather than later. Also if you work hard now, you’ll get a rough indication of your potential. So what’s the advice you should take when you are doing your proposal?
Choosing the right question: Make sure you check this with your tutor and get this verified. Your question needs to be direct and regarding a specific matter however it needs to be something you can research on. For example, something that allows comparison or analysis.
SMART objectives: The acronym as most of you may already know stands for “Specific, Measurable, Attainable. Realistic, and Time Based”. You need to ensure that the objectives you set your dissertation in your proposal meet these five requirements.
Start early and manage your time well: I can’t emphasise the importance of managing your time well. The earlier you start the more feedback prior to submission you can receive. Many of us underestimate how hard the first part actually is. Personally, I just couldn’t get the objectives spot on. This could have been avoided if I had started early, that way I could have showed it to my tutor earlier. Starting early also means you don’t stress out when you have other deadlines.
Start collecting information for the actual write up: Having references and information from a variety of sources beforehand makes writing it up easy. You don’t have to end up using random websites when you’re under pressure.
Actual write up:
Use a perfect but simple structure: Structure is just so so SO important. When the flow is sensible, your objectives and your findings based on that make sense. Also your teachers have so many dissertations to mark, one that makes no sense because of the messy structure will just make it 10 times harder. The typical structure is as follows: Title page, Abstract, Acknowledgements, Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Results and Discussion, Conclusion, Bibliography and References and Appendices.
Be factual: No one wants to read something that is based on flimsy comments that lack evidence. Use charts and statistics where you can (however don’t go overboard), it just makes you sound smart to be honest and gives you that extra credibility. It needs to be relevant though, if you create a random chart for no reason in the hope of appearing smart, you might just end up sounding like a douche-bag. It’s a bit like making odd jokes at odd times. Doesn’t work.
Write as you go: Don’t expect your mind to store up any information you come across. If you think of something or have a source that needs analysis, do it without waiting. Also, don’t keep off your dissertation for long periods of time. It is very important to regularly add something on it.
Analysis and Scrutiny: You get a lot of marks for analysing your findings and drawing conclusions from it. Similarly, we advice you to scrutinise your own work regularly so you can find any mistakes or room for improvement.
Reference a long the way: Don’t leave your references last minute. It will get frustrating.
Conclusion: Your conclusion should be a summary of your findings and what has been drawn from the findings. Lastly a bunch of recommendations you would give, based on your topic it could simply be something you’d change about your own approach for example “what methodology would you use?”.
Improvisations and Proof Reading: You should strive to produce the best work. Thus before your deadline you NEED to proof read to find shorter but more concise ways of phrasing things. You may need to cut down on the waffling to meet the word-count. This is also your last chance to add in any additional information, this could be classed as an improvisation.
Re-Read Submission Details: Sometimes under stressful conditions we tend to forget what we need to do precisely. Reading the submission detail/briefs may refresh your memory in case you are forgetting something (The date of submission itself, HAHA). Or on a slightly lighter note maybe something small like what kind of details need to go on the title page. Whatever it is, big or small. It is definitely worth doing.
So that’s that guys, seriously had to sit down and think hard before writing this post. Wanted to make it as helpful as possible, detailed but not too long, interesting but not patronising. Hope this has been helpful. Do share it with those that would appreciate it. Certainly check out other tips and advices out there on the internet, prospects is an excellent website!
Anything else do get in touch with us on our email firstname.lastname@example.org, we will be happy to answer any of your questions or take on your recommendations regarding what you’d like to hear from us next.
Good luck with your dissos! Better get started ASAP…
Arifa & Team