During the dissertation hand-in day, all students feel stressed out about the achievement of these important papers that have resulted from an exhausting crusade of researching, structuring and writing.
For me, more than one year has passed after my first encounter with the Undergraduate Dissertation Handbook and I still remember how I felt my heart trembling with the thought of the massive amount of work that was in front of me.
Now that that stressful episode of my life has passed, I am beginning to identify the things that would be very beneficial for me if I was aware of them back then.
This article will provide useful tips to those who are currently working on their dissertations or will start working on them soon.
1. You need the best supervisor!
If you have been assigned to work with a supervisor who doesn’t provide effective recommendations or is unresponsive, you need to make a change. Don’t be afraid to ask for a change because if you don’t get the right advice—you won’t use your best potential and you will deliver mediocre work.
There should be a valid reason for making a switch and the request should be made early in the process.
You don’t have to look for the best expert on the topic you are developing. What you need is a supervisor who will always be reassuring, reliable, approachable and detailed in their feedback.
During the process of developing your dissertation, you will have some weird questions that will require email correspondence. Your supervisor should always be there for you, no matter how important those questions are.
2. Prepare for an unimpressed environment.
When you start preparing yourself for the dissertation, your friends, family and all known and unknown people will start asking what you will be writing about. When it comes to dissertations, people always expect impressive answers and you won’t be able to impress the environment in the early stage of the process.
You should be prepared for some discouraging looks of disappointment and confusion, but you must not be affected by that kind of feedback. You should be aware that most people expect some dramatic answers when they ask about the topic of your dissertation, such as genocide, war and revolutionary ideas. After all, they are not the ones working on the dissertation and if you feel confident about your topic and you are interested in developing it further, make sure to stay positive about it.
Never ask your friends about the amount of work they have done. This would only stress you out and make you paranoid, or it would make them paranoid. Arrange your time effectively according to your own research and writing abilities, not according to others’ schedules.
3. Prepare for the freak-out phase.
During the dissertation development process, you will certainly experience a phase during which you will doubt the entire thesis and you will wish to leave everything behind and start from zero point. This usually occurs a couple of months before the ultimate deadline.
The decision to start over is justified only if your mentor recommends you to do so because of some serious flaws in your work (which is a highly improbable scenario).
You have to be aware that it is normal to panic, but you must keep focused and that stage of insecurity will pass.
4. Staying focused: Final tips.
Don’t be disappointed by the fact that a lot of the early material will have to be edited out from the final version of the dissertation. Don’t be inclined to include all possible ideas that you have, because that would disturb the flow of the dissertation and make it look pointless.
Be prepared for a lot of printing! This may take a large portion of your weekly budget, so make sure to print only the necessary files and try using the free services of your friends and relatives during this process.
Writing a dissertation is a serious process that requires an immense amount of work and devotion, which means that you will have to put it on the first place, in front of other essay demands, sport commitments and social life in general. Even if you are extremely organized, you will have to go a step further and make more detailed plans of your time, without leaving any space for deadline panicking attacks!
Don’t be afraid of all the work in front of you, because finishing your dissertation will definitely be one of the best experiences in your life.
Every single atom of effort is worth for this important piece of work, so make sure to do everything in order to make yourself proud at the end of the process.
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Assistant Ed: Terri Tremblett/Ed: Bryonie Wise
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