5 things to help with your dissertation

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For postgraduates and undergraduates in their final year means final projects and dissertations have been looming for a while. You’ve reached the stage where you can no longer pretend this monstrous essay isn’t about to take over your life for the next month or two so you might as well embrace it, learn as much as you can from it and be as organised and efficient as possible.

We’ve all heard the stories about people writing theirs in a day and getting a 2:1 or other crazy tales but, although this may be possible, it is the worst and most stressful way of tackling it.

Here are a few tips to make the whole thing less daunting and should help keep your sanity intact.

1. Break it up
The bigger it is the scarier it will seem so don’t sit in front of a computer trying to force yourself to write the 8-10,000 words. Set yourself smaller tasks with big rewards – give yourself a week to finish the introduction and write a few hundred words a day. Be kind to yourself and feel proud for every accomplishment, no matter how small it seems. Promise yourself a night out or your favourite meal for every milestone you reach.

2. Go easy on those vices
It’s boring but the healthier you eat the clearer your mind will be. Ignore friends that tell you that 5 cans of Relentless energy drinks or regular cigarette breaks will see you through – you’ll end up feeling crankier and have less energy. Be kind to your body during this stressful period and eat healthy stuff so you’ll feel even better when it’s all over, and you can relax over the summer holidays.

3. Give yourself at least a day to print
Trust me. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Sweating it out in a queue while frantically checking your watch in case you miss the deadline sucks and causes unnecessary stress so don’t be that person.

4. Listen to your tutor
They may seem like they’re ruining your life by being overly picky or demanding but they wouldn’t have been assigned to help you if they didn’t know what they’re talking about. Ignore their criticism, suck it up and deal with it. They’re there to help you get better marks so make the most of them while you can.

5. Stay positive
It’s easy to throw your books aside and exasperatedly announce that you hate the topic or question you’ve chosen. Yes it sucks but there must have been a reason that you chose it so try to hold on to that original spark of interest and don’t let negativity take over the subject your passionate about. If that doesn’t work just remember that you can boast about your specialist knowledge for years to come.

So good luck and power on through it. It’s hard but there is plenty of support and help that can be found and it will be so worth it when it’s finally all over.

Liberty Living provides student accommodation in 17 university cities across the UK, including student accommodation in London, student accommodation in Manchester, student accommodation in Preston plus many more.

Posted on 21st May 2015 by Elinore Court.

Elinore Court lives at Liberty House in London, she is studying a masters degree in Magazine Journalism at City University.

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