Dissertations can be very overwhelming projects. For most students, their dissertation is the longest and most in-depth piece of work they’ve ever had to do. The research has to be extensive as well as high quality. You need to come up with an original idea and expand into completely new territory. They aren’t as structured as a normal module, so procrastination can be a real hindrance. Plus, there’s the added pressure of how you do determining whether you get your degree. But, if you’re stressed out doing your diss, don’t worry — here are some tips to stay motivated doing a dissertation so you can finish on time.
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One of the most common pitfalls students face with dissertations is going in with the answer already formulated. Instead of starting with the results you think you’ll get, focus instead on your question. Explore the potential different outcomes and keep an open mind to discovering something new. Also, be sure to consider the limitations you might face. By staying curious, you will enjoy the process much more, and end with a more authentic result.
Treat It Like A Module
One great way to stay motivated doing a dissertation is to treat it like another one of your classes. Since dissertations are substantial projects, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer scope of what you’re doing. However, try not to focus on the end result you’re supposed to achieve. Instead, break it up into manageable chunks and give yourself a daily or weekly page goal. Put the same amount of time into it as you do your modules, dedicating several hours out of your week to reading, researching or writing.
If you find yourself stuck, you don’t have to face the project on your own. Your advisor is there to help you along the way. They are likely to be quite experienced in guiding students with their projects, so they can provide useful advice over email or in a face to face meeting. It can also be helpful to run your project past a friend or family member. Even if they have no knowledge on your topic, simply talking it out with someone can help you make new connections.
Remember Why You Chose Your Topic
Another way to stay motivated doing a dissertation is to remember your reasons for selecting what you’re writing on. The great thing about dissertations is the freedom you get to dive into a topic of choosing. So, whenever you get stressed about your project, take a step back and reconnect to the passion that led you to choose your subject.
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