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Top tips to remember when writing your master’s dissertation

23 August 2018

4 mins

Are you in the middle of writing your master’s dissertation? Here are some top tips to get your through it! Remember the deadline for 2018/19 full-time students to submit their dissertation is 10 September 2019.

#1 Rest well and eat well

Our minds and bodies work together. If you neglect sleep and indulge in an unhealthy diet, you may find it difficult to find the energy to complete your dissertation. You will likely out-do yourself, feel exhausted and have a lack of concentration; making you more prone to not seeing mistakes and can also reduce your quality of writing.

Instead, try and get around 7-9 hours of sleep. The next few weeks are the most crucial for your dissertation; therefore good sleep can improve concentration, productivity and the overall performance of your work. As well as this, a well-balanced diet can have a powerful influence on your energy levels.

#2 Manage your time effectively

When writing your dissertation, it is important to manage your time effectively. By managing your time well, you will be able to accomplish more in a shorter period of time. This will help you feel more confident and will feel like you are making more progress, enabling you to maintain focus for a longer period of time. You will also have more free time to relax!

#3 Take time off and relax

When you are spending a long period of time on a piece of work, it is very important to take time off for yourself. This could be seeing your friends, seeing a movie or however you wish to relax. By taking time off, you will come back to your work with a fresh outlook and a re-energised mind.

As well as this, by taking time off and having breaks, you will have something to look forward to during focus periods of study, which can encourage you to work harder and improve your quality of work.

#4 Set goals

Setting achievable goals will enable you to complete your dissertation within the specified deadline, and help to manage any last-minute worries or pressure.

It is important to ensure that your goals are flexible. Some goals may be unachievable in the time period that you have set yourself, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t achieve everything that you wanted to in a given time.

By setting goals, this will also provide some structure to your day and to your week. This will help you to stay organised and maintain a steady rate of progress right up to your hand-in date.

#5 Proof-read

Make sure to proof-read your work several times, or even ask someone else to read your work for you. Having a fresh set of eyes on your work is a great way of ensuring that your work effectively communicates the message you were intending. As well as this, proof-reading is important to ensure there are no errors in your spelling, grammar and punctuation – all of which build the foundation of a good dissertation.

#6 Remember – you are not alone

If you are having a hard time, remember that you are not on your own. You can contact your supervisor(s) if you have a question relating to the content of your dissertation, or you can get in touch with the Student Support Team if you have a concern about your health or wellbeing.

It’s normal to feel under pressure when writing a dissertation, but try and plan in time to socialise with others and switch off. As well as helping you to relax, it will help your peers to unwind who are likely to be feeling the same as you! You are not alone in this and remember that you can do it!

By following these simple tips, you should hopefully complete your dissertation feeling calm, confident and worry-free. Believe in yourself – you’ve got this!

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