Dissertation Diaries: Chapter One

Hello! My inspiration to blog has sort of wavered recently, as I’ve got uni and other things to focus my time on, so I apologise if my content is lacking a little recently.

Anyway, I hope you’ve all had a pleasant weekend. I went on another (fancy gin fuelled) date where I more than likely did something to embarrass myself (so, again Date, I can only apologise πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ) and spent my Sunday shopping with just a little bit of uni work sprinkled in (completely forgot I had reading to do for Monday, which is always great).

(Catch up with my Dissertation Diaries posts: Entry One| Entry Two| Entry Three| Entry Four| Entry Five)

I’m happy to report that I’m now well over 1,000 words into my dissertation! A 2,000 word draft chapter is due next month and, compared to in my earlier posts, this actually doesn’t make me feel terrified beyond belief!

Of course, I know this is by no means my final outcome, there’s going to be a lot of tweaking and changing before I’m happy with it (and it abides by pesky “English Style Guide” regulations) but I’m incredibly happy with how it’s going so far.

This wouldn’t be a Dissertation Diaries entry without me giving some advice, though.

1. Reading: Read all the time. Read as you work, read when you’re not working, read around your subject. It’s boring and annoying at times but, who knows, you might find that breakthrough idea you’ve been looking for.

2. Sources: Harvard Referencing is a bitch. If there’s one thing I’ve hated all the way through this course it’s the constant need for every source to be referenced correctly. I know it’s so undeniably simple, but I’ve found referencing so difficult. So, here’s some ways to get around it. Keep a note of sources as you go along (with names, titles of the work, year, publisher, place of publication and page numbers) so, when you get to the dreaded Bibliography, it’s less of a nightmare. If, like me, you are shaken to your very core by the idea of referencing: get someone else to do it. I’m not saying pay someone else (although that’s tempting), but there are plenty of websites that will do the hard work for you…I won’t tell if you don’t!

3. Take breaks: The temptation with any assignment is to cram the word count into a given time frame then smash it out in one go. Though it’s incredibly tempting to cram, don’t. Yes, your proposal and actual project have to be in at a certain date, I get that. Just respect that you need time to do other stuff, too.

4. Say it, out loud: I’m not asking you to out your vampire lover with this one, don’t worry. This is just some advice I’ve fully taken on board after a dissertation presentation. Reading aloud is horrible, I get that. Of course, looking at your work in this way is good, to see how it flows and for picking up any errors you definitely miss from scanning over. If reading aloud isn’t your thing, print out your work and skim over it. Sometimes seeing it off screen you pick up those glaring errors we all miss.

5. The library is lovely: Libraries are disgusting. Not very good phone signal, busy and no food/drinks allowed in some parts, sounds like a nightmare! I think every student (or maybe even every person who’s had to go to one of these in their lifetime) has thought this about the library. I mean, yes, it’s not always the ideal place but the library is full of resources, can be quiet at times and (more often than not) you end up actually being productive. So, libraries are lovely, really. If they really aren’t your cup of tea though, coffee shops or book shops are perfectly fine too. Just find the best study environment for you…(it can even be your bed πŸ˜‚).

That wraps up today’s entry. I don’t really know what the other content on my blog is going to be so…if anyone has any clue what they’d like me to write about, let me know! I know this blog is for me, but it’s also a space for me to talk about things people actually want to read.

2 thoughts on “Dissertation Diaries: Chapter One

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