Turner Leod February 5, 2021 Dissertation
One of the most important things you can do to stop yourself feeling completely overwhelmed and drown out by the task of completing a dissertation is to spend a decent amount of time planning your dissertation. If you have a robust study plan in place with key milestones in terms of your research, drafting your work and finalizing your dissertation piece you will find that the task in hand becomes more manageable as you are able to break it down into individual activities that can almost be completed independently of each other.
It may be helpful to extend on your masters thesis for your dissertation topic. If you are acquainted with the subject and no one else has published a dissertation on that topic, then this most likely could be your dissertation topic. It might save you a tremendous about of time and research if you already have a lot of the content structured.
Next remember that your plan will have to change as you start working on your dissertation. So keep flexibility in mind at all times. Now come up with a list of all of the tasks you need to complete to ensure that your dissertation is finalised. This could include for example, carry out internet search, produce list of research questions, consult text books on research methodologies, draw up questionnaire, etc.
A smaller essay for another module that has an earlier deadline cannot take priority over your dissertation all of the time because the level of work required to complete your dissertation successfully will be significantly greater than the time needed to finalise your smaller essay. So look at the hours available to you each day between now and your dissertation deadline. Factor in the time needed for other activities and other academic assignments or commitments and see what you have left. Now block out the time available to you as dissertation time. By doing this visually, i.e. on a calendar, you are more likely to stick to this timetable of action.
Firstly think about your time availability. Realistically how much time do you have available to you for the completion of this dissertation? An academic term can seem like a lifetime but in reality it is probably about 12 weeks. There are 168 hours in a week. Take away the time you need for sleeping, eating and other elements of daily living and see what time you have left. It will probably be between 6 and 8 hours. Now think about the other demands on your time. You may find that you have other assignments to complete for your other modules, other lectures to attend and seminars to participate in. With a dissertation you cannot simply decide to priorities by deadline.
Writing a dissertation can be a hugely daunting task. Dissertations are often used by Universities as a means of assessing how well you know a particular area of the subject that you are studying at degree level. Often a dissertation can be worth an entire years University points for one of your study modules, and if you find that you have to complete a dissertation for more than one of your study modules, the prospect of a year spent focusing on what is ultimately one long essay can not only be daunting, it can also feel exhausting before you have even begun.