Tips On Writing Your Dissertation This Summer
June 10, 2020
We won’t sugarcoat this: the task of dissertation writing is a long, tiring and arduous one. Students set out on this journey with a lot of enthusiasm, but somewhere down the line, it might fade or deplete. The topic you were so interested in may no longer hold the same charm that it did when you first began reading relevant literature for your thesis. If you are doing this research work, nose-deep into books and journals, during the summer time, then it is even easier to get frustrated.
We have been there and we can tell you that dissertation writing is as rewarding, in the end, as it is grueling in the process. Here are some tips to help you nail this dissertation business:
Make a schedule
The one move that can define the timely completion of your research is a time-table or a schedule. Planning for your research will include tracking down your sources, doing literature-based research , interviewing and transcribing those interviews, procuring company reports and analysing them, among other action items.
It is important to create a plan – whether weekly, daily or fortnightly – with deadlines. Often your supervisor will give these deadlines, but feel free to talk to them to amend these deadlines according to your needs. In order to stick to the schedule, chalk out an everyday routine for yourself. What would a typical productive day look like? Ask yourself and act according to the set routine. That way, you will be able to maintain that elusive work-life balance.
When working on your undergraduate or Masters’ thesis, you are racing against time. There are so many working parts to research and you have to compile it all in a way that makes sense, in a way that contributes to the academic field. But if you keep working without pausing to reflect, you might suffer a burnout. This is where time management techniques come in handy. We are big fans of the Pomodoro technique. What is it, you ask?
According to this tried-and-tested technique, you set up a timer for say, 25 minutes and do not get up until you have worked on the task for 25 minutes. Then the timer goes off and you can take a break.
This way you can take breaks, keep a refreshed perspective on the research and avoid burnout!
Writing and researching books, journals and the internet all day long can be an incredibly solitary pursuit. We suggest you reward yourself with a shopping trip, a Netflix session or by going out with friends.
It will give you positive motivation to get the work done, not get distracted and check it off your list. Then you have fully deserved the change of scene.
Tapping away at the computer can also create an imbalance: you could be mentally exhausted while not having moved physically at all. It is imperative that you include exercise as an essential part of the routine you chalk out for yourself. Working out – whether hitting the gym, doing yoga or going for a run – can be incredibly good for your physical and mental health.
Keep ample time for the editing process
No one tells you this and by the time you realise it, it could be too late. Unlike the editing we normally subject our assignments and/or online words to, your dissertation has to be edited and proofread, professionally and to a fault. So make sure you keep enough margin within your deadlines to edit and proofread your final thesis. Discuss any cricks in the research with your supervisor, sit with the final output on a new day and edit like your degree depends on it, because it does.