Dissertations!

Hey everyone! Long time no blog, as I have been in somewhat of a dissertation-induced hibernation (i.e. only leaving my laptop to go to work and then straight back home again).

This dissertation has been my baby for the past year and now it has finally flown the nest! Yay! I have now completed the entirety of my four year English degree at Dundee.  That’s it.  Done.  Just like that.  So here’s a celebratory pic of me posing with said dissertation:

Now, dissertation is a word that frequently sends a shiver of fear into students so I thought I’d give a couple of tips that might make it a little less frightening for some of you!

  1. The prospect is waaay scarier than the reality, trust me.  It’s not something to be feared, in fact, think of it as an opportunity to spend a whole semester studying and researching whatever interest you.
  2. If you’re studying a Humanities-based subject like I was, then think of a particular module that interested you in third year or one you’ve chosen to study in fourth year prior to your dissertation semester and a particular theme/author/issue/trend that you’d like to explore further.
  3. It’s never too early to plan.  It was around this time last year that I made my first appointment with my tutor to get the ball rolling and allow me to do a bit of reading over the summer break.
  4. That being said, your ideas will almost definitely change before you finally decide on a specific question! Don’t stress about having something set in stone, your interest will change with the more reading you do and something that you had never previously considered might become more appealing.
  5. Make it manageable! It’s the longest piece of coursework you’ll have been tasked with and there’s a reason you have a whole semester dedicated to it.  Little and often is key, your brain will be fried if you attempt too long stints at it!
  6. But RELAX! It’s just a long essay, or, really, a couple of essays joined together once you have them marked into chapters.  And it can be fun! This is the subject you have chosen to study and you are forming the argument that you wish to make.  It’s a nice level of freedom with the right guidance to keep you on track.

If you have any questions about dissertations or life as an English student then please leave them in the comments!

Author: Eilidh

My name’s Eilidh and I’m from Glasgow originally, but this year I will be going into my fourth and final year of my English degree!

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