Thousands of students across the country enjoy all aspects of University life and all it offers. There is, though, one main aim to their student experience – the qualification in the subject that they have chosen to study. For many, that involves the composition, production and presentation of a dissertation – the final evidence of all their work and studying.

This is an important document and it can be a stressful time when putting it together.

Here is our rough survival guide and some tips as to how best approach what can sometimes seem a daunting task:

The Planning

  • Plan – Establish an overall plan for your dissertation writing process – when you’re going to write, when you’re going to research etc.
    Work Backwards – You’re working to a definitive deadline – it has to be completed and submitted by a certain date. Work backwards from that date and assign a timescale to each aspect of the process – When are you handing it in? How long do you need for printing your dissertation, as well as binding and presentation? How long will it take to fully proof read it? Set your own personal deadlines for each required stage.
    Contingency – Things rarely go completely to plan – something may happen along the way that will interfere with, or derail, your carefully structured timescale. So, build in some contingency time for unexpected occurrences – expecting the unexpected will buy you more working time and prove less stressful when it happens!
    Expectations – Your dissertation has other elements to it as well as the actual content – presentation requirements, format and layout and printing of the documentation – ensure you are clear on these from the outset (fonts, word count, margins and such aspects).

Work Little & Often

  • Think Small – Major projects can be quite daunting if you look at them as a whole – so, break it down into ‘workable’ chunks. Divide it into smaller, achievable tasks – it will be less intimidating and will provide you with regular ‘wins’ you can plot your progress with – remember the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!
  • Consistency – The way to best complete your dissertation is by setting yourself achievable targets – so set a daily writing target – so many words or so many paragraphs, pages – whichever is easier for you to manage and achieve. This little and often approach will ensure steady progress.
  • Utilise Yourself – You know the author better than anybody – you know when, and under what conditions, you work best, so plan your tasks around that! Set aside the easier tasks for when you’re not going be at your most productive – that will free you up to tackle the more difficult stuff when you know you’ll be at the top of your game!

The subject is your choice – enjoy it

  • It’s Your Choice – Enjoy It! – You chose the subject – so it will be something (hopefully!) that you are genuinely interested in and something you are keen to know more about! Being genuinely interested in your dissertation topic should make the research and investigations into it easier and enjoyable. You’ll be doing it because you’re interested – not because you have to!
  • Organic – Follow the process – don’t look for shortcuts or ‘easy options’ – they invariably unravel and result in things taking longer overall!

Look after yourself

  • Talk – You should be surrounded by people with a common interest – other people on your course, your tutors, friends and family – make use of them. Other people’s opinions, feedback, suggestions can all be a helpful addition to completing your work.
  • Don’t Talk – Constructive conversations are fine – direct comparisons are not! You’re not in competition with anybody else – it’s only YOUR work that matters – so don’t compare what you’ve done with other students. You’ve constructed your approach and plan – stick to it and don’t be swayed by what others are doing – who says they’re right??
  • Belief – Look after yourself throughout the process – remember personal welfare is just as important as the work, so eat healthily, take your leisure time and trust yourself to get it all done in time without compromising all the other aspects of your life!

Writing time

  • Outline – Back to planning – identify exactly what you want to include in your dissertation and where it goes.
  • Get Started – Often the most difficult part – getting it underway! It doesn’t matter if what you first write doesn’t end up in the finished piece – in fact, it often doesn’t – but get something written – if it needs changing later then that’s okay, but you’ll have started the process.
  • Simplicity – Be clear and concise. It may be that someone unfamiliar with the topic will have to read your work – so don’t assume that just because you’re knowledgeable on the subject that all your readers will be. Use short sentences, correct punctuation and grammar, and convey your message simply and clearly.
  • Number – Make copies as you go along and ensure you log the different versions properly.

The printing

  • Proof Read – A vital part of the process – you will write, and therefore proof read, A LOT! This is a process made much easier by having printed copies – you can use your own printer of course, but there will be times when you get sick of loading reams and reams of paper, or that it sticks/jams – or just doesn’t work at all! Consider using a printing company to make regular copies – their professional documents will be easier to read – and mark all the inevitable alterations on – and will provide an encouraging insight into what the finished product may look like!
  • Presentation – You will want your finished product to look as professional and sleek as possible – you’ve worked really hard at it and you want the final presentation to do all that work justice. Use a reputable, professional printing company for your dissertation printing – they will offer a high-class dissertation binding service, as well as the dissertation printing itself and all other student printing needs, to produce a beautiful, professional looking document that will be worthy of your efforts and impress all who see your finished masterpiece!

John E Wright

If you’re looking for a company to assist with your dissertation printing, binding and design requirements then John E Wright are your perfect partner. We can produce a durable book, with black hard back covers and gold blocked lettering on both the cover and spine to meet all your dissertation printing requirements.

Our investment in the latest state-of-the-art digital imaging, printing, finishing and copying equipment, as well as our outstanding service, makes us a “one-stop shop” for all your print and design needs!

To speak to our team please don’t hesitate to contact us or find your local branch.