5 Things to Avoid When Writing Your Dissertation

Picture the scene: you’re a student, you’re in your final year at university, it’s almost February, and you still haven’t started your dissertation.  Sounds a bit stupid right?

HELLO – it’s you I’m talking about.

So turn off your tablet, step away from Twitter, and spend the next five minutes reading our invaluable guide to dissertations.

And then get on with it!

Don’t put it off any longer

It’s not going to go away, and it’s not going to get any easier.  The best way to start your dissertation once you have decided on your question is to open a blank word document and just start typing.  Don’t try to edit as you go along, just write whatever comes into your mind and edit it later.

The psychological benefits of having started cannot be underestimated and you’ll feel so much more motivated, even if 90% of what you’ve just written is utter drivel.

Don’t ask friends how much they’ve done. 

They’ll probably lie and you’ll only feel worse. Either way, you don’t have time for it.

Don’t panic

At some point in the not too distant future – probably when you’re about half way through completion – you will have a complete crisis of confidence and just want to delete everything you’ve written so far, so you can start again.

Don’t do this.  It’s completely normal.  It will pass.

Don’t try to have a life

As of today, and for the next five months, your life is not your own.  It belongs completely and entirely to your dissertation.  You will go to sleep thinking about it, dream about it, and it will be the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning.  There’s no more time to party or socialise, and even eating will seem a waste of time.  Stock up on URBAN eat sandwiches and pastries to help you through these stressed times.

Your dissertation is a selfish beast.

Don’t expect your family to understand

Your non-university friends and family will try to be supportive, and may even get as far as asking you what your dissertation topic is.  You will explain it to them in great detail, at which point you’ll probably notice a distant faraway look in their eyes as you explain.

This will be the last time they’ll ever ask you about your dissertation again.  They’re not being rude, they still love you, it’s just not very interesting for them.