How to get success

Manage your time. Be realistic of what you can achieve within any given time break down the sections, make lists, plan schedules. Always plan backwards from the date that the dissertation needs to be submitted. Your plan needs to acknowledge the following stages.

  • The literature review as this is the backbone of your work.
  • The methodology. Start by producing a rough draft and progression of ideas. Build on you methodology piece by piece, keep a methodology diary that you continually add to.
  • Organise your work. Keep copies and notes so as they are at hand if your need to re-read or refer to them. Again write work up as you go along. Any notes you keep will be useful as they enable you to cite work correctly.

  • Continually read through your work and if you re-draft one part of it make sure that you read through all of your work rather than just the part you have redrafted.
  • Ideally set aside one day a week that you devote just to working on your dissertation. Set yourself specific tasks to do on those days as this will help give you focus.

Difficult tasks.

  • If you find one particular type of task of writing difficult then ideally choose to do that type of task for a time when you work at your best (morning, afternoon or evening).
  • It is important to realise that tasks such as Referencing (Bibliography) take a lot longer than you can anticipate. So if you think that the task will only take you 4 hours, double that time and then add some more.
  • However well prepared you are, sometimes electrical and IT issues can cause problems which will cost you time and stretch your patience to the limits. When you are planning time management always factor in a bit of extra time for the unexpected.
  • Proofreading. Remember that you have spent a long time with work so you may be unable to see mistakes that you have made. Also if you continually make a typo error, your spellchecker may decide that your typo is the correct way to spell that particular word. This is not good for your dissertation. In this situation it is a really good idea to get a proof reader. For a task of this size and importance it is not a good idea for you to approach a friend to ‘read through your work’. You really need to get a professional proof reader (and editor), you will have to pay for this service but it will be well worth the cost.

When you have completed all of the tasks set and ticked all of the boxes, get your tutor/supervisor to read through you work again. Academic work can never be rushed but that does not mean that you should be complacent as to how long the task will take or the amount of effort that you need to put into it. Great tricks for writing a dissertation