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Dissertation Planning Tips

A dissertation can be extremely daunting and scary, with the average student having to write around 10,000 words it’s no…

A dissertation can be extremely daunting and scary, with the average student having to write around 10,000 words it’s no easy task. The key to success is a well-thought-out, well-researched plan that’ll carry you through as stress-free as possible.

First steps

The first step to take is to ensure all of your ethics and health and safety forms are completed, or you at least know what you need to do and when the deadlines are. The sooner you can complete these the better as it’ll save you from stressing later on and prevent it from stopping you from completing your research. Along with this, make sure your deadlines are all written down, including for other modules, this way nothing will take you by surprise and you’ll ensure you can keep everything organised and handed in on time.

Create a timeline

In addition to writing down your deadlines, create a timeline of what you need to complete and when to make sure you know how all of your assignments fit together and you’re able to get everything done. Looking at timeline examples online is a great resource to see how much time you’ll need for each section. It’s important to take into account the type of dissertation you’re doing too, for example, a lab-based dissertation will depend on when the lab spaces are free, as opposed to a literature-based dissertation that can be completed anytime in the library.

Get organised

Along with this, have all of your ideas and research organised too. Dissertations often change a lot from the first idea, therefore it’s important to keep track of all of your notes so they can be easily brought together and looked over whenever you need. For example, you may have switched from your original idea, but as time goes on you may need elements from it, therefore it’s useful to have everything you need altogether. It’s therefore the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to some new stationery, a folder and notebook dedicated to your dissertation work brilliantly for organisation and show your supervisor you’re professional too.

Tips to avoid feeling overwhelmed

Finally, splitting your project into sections is a fantastic planning method to ensure your dissertation runs smoothly. This intertwines with the timeline too, having set sections or periods for your ideas, introduction, research, discussion and conclusion means you’ll be able to get through it methodically, prevent confusion and keep it all organised. As a final tip, it may also be helpful to note down when you’d like to have discussions with your supervisor, getting their input can help in keeping you accountable to deadlines.

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