My top 5 dissertation writing tips

I can’t really fathom that after 4 years in Dundee, I nearly done. I still remember my first day it as if it was yesterday, arriving in Dundee filled with excitement and anticipation for what the ext 4 years would bring. Now I’ve nearly made it, the end-line is within reach and although graduation is cancelled, and with it many other last-year experiences I was looking forward to, I am about to graduate! I juuuust have to write a dissertation first…

When it comes to big challenge, its a love/hate relationship for me. I love being challenged, pushed to the limit and just forcing those brain-cells to work at the highest. But as Im doing it, struggling and throwing things at the wall in frustration it is not always equally fun. I do have to admit that writing a dissertation is pretty cool though. Getting to really get into a topic Ive picked myself and work on it for so long I know Ill be able to give it my very best, is pretty cool. That being said, I have some tricks and tips I do try to follow and I wanted to share them here!

  1. Work on it a little everyday. It doesn’t matter if it is only half an hour research, 200 words or even talking to a friend about it. My goal through the entire thing has been to simply make sure I would work on it at least a little bit, every day. Some days Ive written 2000 words, some days I simply edited a paragraph. But I have done something, every day.
  2. Give yourself some breaks. Sometimes a wee break can do wonders, even more than keep pushing yourself even when you have no energy or concentration left. Ive found it that getting a bit of distance, perhaps some fresh air or a nice snack will leave me refreshed and clear minded to continue afterwards. Sometimes the break lasts all the way until the next day, and that is okay too. If it means I will return with new energy, it is worth it. And we need breaks and space to breath once in a while, even in the midst of a dissertation!
  3. Send it to whoever is up for it. When you’re working on something for as long as you’re working on a dissertation, your bound to overlook quite a few mistakes now and then. At least if you’re anything like me, who once she’s stared at something too much can’t tell any grammar rules or simple syntaxes from each other because you’re so consumed with the material itself. Getting a fresh pair of eyes to read it over for you can be so incredible helpful. because they’re not as close to the material as you are so they’re most likely going to be able to pick up on those small, annoying mistakes you somehow overlooked yourself.
  4. When you feel a strike of inspiration, go for it. Dont think about being precise, the grammar or word count, if you suddenly get a lightbulb blinking, I’d say go for it. Its in those moments you might surprise yourself and actually get a good deal done, and you can always go back and edit it later on. To me, editing is a lot easier than writing it up the first time around.
  5. Give it your very best, and believe that is enough. When it comes to the end of the day, as long as you’re giving it your very best, there’s not a lot else you can do. You should be proud of yourself for fighting for something for so long and the fact that you’ve made it to the finish line. After that, whatever grade or feedback you get shouldn’t be the important thing, it should be the effort you out into the work: if you’re proud of what you’ve created, that is a big win in itself.
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