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Dissertation... :(

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hey all, ok, this is another uni related question that should by all rights be in student, but no-one visits there, ever... (well, hardly ever).

Anyway, I'm hoping some post-graduates, or even 4th year uni students, can help me. I'm doing a dissertation (10,000 words), and I have all of term 3 to write it. Only problem is that is when we actually get an advisor to help us out etc. I want to make a decent headstart on it so I can do a decent dissertaton, but I don't know where to start! Any pointers, tips, hints etc? :confused: Muchos thankos! :D

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do lots of research about your subject! Talk to as many people involved in the area as you can and get some good quotes and info from them - ie, mine was on fashion so I interviewed people from the fashion dept. at the V&A museum, Selfridges, Harvey Nicholls etc. You need primary (things that you've got yourself) and secondary (things other people have sourced ie from books) research in your dissertation and I found that the more research you do before hand the easier it is to start writing it!!

    Good Luck.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Choose a topic, then set yourself a question, break that question up into components and proceed to answer those subquestions using arguments and counter arguments.

    It's no different from a normal essay, surely? You just need to make the question complex enough to research and analyse several different areas.

    Of course, I'm only a lowly high school grad, so I might've got completely the wrong end of the stick.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That makes sense, only problem is I can't think of a question that would be sufficiently complex enough to write 10,000 words on it. I roughly know what area of my subject I'm going to look at, it's just getting the damn question...
    And it is like another essay, but way more detailed. I can write a 3000 words essay no problem, just gives me the heebie jeebies thinking about another 7000 words on top of that... :nervous:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe you could try planning what you would do for a series of "mini" essays first, i.e. three 3000 words ones, and come up with a thesis for each, and then think about one over-riding thesis to explain why they represent a unified topic.

    *shrugs*

    Never had to do a dissertation before...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lol, 3000 sensible words, and then 7000 words of waffle. Sounds like an awful lot of writing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Erm well what's your subject? I mean I did a techy course so I included pages and pages of source code for web pages in the dissertation to fatten it out nicely. Noone's going to count the words, so as long as you hand in a reasonably fat thing it doesn't matter that much.

    Don't try to deal with it all in one go, you need to split it into sections and write a certain number of words for each section, so that you're not thinking hell I have to write 10000 words. But to be honest it's not a lot. You've probably already been doing essasys around 3000 or so you just stick a few of them together and it's done.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Mist
    Don't try to deal with it all in one go, you need to split it into sections and write a certain number of words for each section, so that you're not thinking hell I have to write 10000 words. But to be honest it's not a lot. You've probably already been doing essasys around 3000 or so you just stick a few of them together and it's done.

    Id agree with this aswell. If you set yourself mini word counts for individual section, introduction, background, conclusions etc it all mounts up quickly.
    And as Mist said, 10 000 words isnt all that much in the grand scheme of things. Last year for my AS geology coursework i managed 7500 words and that was just on the deformation of plasticine!
    Its all in the planning and research. If you do both well the words just come naturally. But make sure you set yourself a decent area to study because it will seem an awful lot harder work if the subject area makes you fall asleep! (sadly i get no choice so this year my coursework will be a hell of a lot shorter. "The building stones of a CBD". fun huh ;))

    Good luck!

    PS: Having never done a dissertation you are quite free to ignore this post!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i'm in the middle of my dissertation so i know how you feel. what's your general subject area? i mean, what are you likely to be writing about?

    the hardest thing for me was actually picking a topic in the first place. I do languages, which means I am free to write about virtually anything i like, as long as it has a controversial angle and i can get interviews.

    but sometimes i wish i didn't have quite so much choice, i keep changing my mind about things.

    now i've got a rough plan worked out though, i'm working through it, one section at a time. i'll read a few relevant things out of the vast number of books i've managed to acquire, then come up with something for each section. it can always be changed later if i find anything more relevant.

    one tip i got off a lecturer last year was really helpful. he said when you're doing you're dissertation, or extended essay or whatever, don't try and do ALL your research before you start writing it - otherwise you'll never stop looking for books or websites (i.e. there'll always be something else you could read about). He said I should try and start writing something as soon as I've got a plan and read a couple of articles. It might change completely by the time I hand it in, but it gets you going and into the editing and selecting process straight away.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You should have headed it..."Dissertation? What's that?!?!?!?!"
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your subject area would really help.

    Ask some of your tutors (preferably in areas that you're interested in) to suggest topics. They might have areas of papers or something that they could give you to work on, and that would help be successful: they want it to work as much as you do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by HunnyPot
    You should have headed it..."Dissertation? What's that?!?!?!?!"
    :lol:
    Too true!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Damn, I never actually though about that. And I see the mods have shifted it from the anything goes forum without telling me... Damn them! :D Yeah, I suppose it makes sense to break it down, I just need to give some major thought to my subject area, probably History of Scots. Meh, I dunno...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    dissertation advise

    Your dissertation is a real pain to write, as there is always something better to do- even cleaning the kitchen seems like more fun!
    My key advice is to pick a subject that you already know a lot about, don't try and be clever -like i did and do something really strange! Also make it as simple as possible, the title i mean , as it just makes your life easier.
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