Your are viewing a read-only archive of the old DiS boards. Please hit the Community button above to engage with the DiS !
What did you do yours on / how stressful / general advice / etc
I have 22 days and 10,000 words
and do your bibliography as you go along. Summarising other people's arguments is a good way to use up words as are chunky quotes at the start of chapters. 500 words a day is nothing mate. I done mine on the 2010 equality act. Handed it in late and unfinished and was really upset about it (but later found out I got a really high mark and it was nominated for an international award #busybragging)
as like you say it's not that much per day, and I generally have done my reading and know my stuff.
juggling it with revision for exams i'm totally not prepared for might be a problem (deadline is 5 days after one big exam, and the same day as another)
I'd be doing the exam prep now if I were you
Don't procrastinate - set yourself a daily target (500-700 words is pretty easy (a page and a half)) and stick to it.
The referencing is the really time-consuming part so do that as you go along.
Leave yourself at least a few days at the end so you can proof-read (I'd advise totally ignoring it for a couple of days once finished. Take up a new hobby. You'll read it with fresh eyes after a break.) Do you still need to get dissertations bound? Leave time for that too.
First year: can't remember the title, something about self-representation in Lord Byron's early work, focussing on his juvenalia (Fugitive Pieces) and Hours of Idleness, with a specific focus on Newstead Abbey.
In third year: "George Herbert's Lively Stones" - a study of Anglican priest and poet George Herbert's tripartite focus in The Temple on faith, the body and architecture and the way he links them.
And my masterpiece: "Nabokov's Time" - which looks at how Nabokov uses and investigates time as a preoccupation throughout his work, culminating in Ada, and what it suggests in terms of his philosophy of art and life (and death).
Was fucking dripping in firsts, they were the best things I ever did.
and have your ideas together, you should knock out 1,000 words a day no probs. Structuring it beforehand can help, paragraph by paragraph if necessary, then you're just writing it to fill the gaps.
maybe one a day, and then spend a while making it cohesive. the things i'll be writing about are all quite distinct so could work
can I read it?
Was 12,000 so did 500 words every hour for 24hrs
Je ne regrette rien
It was an analysis of manufactured consent in the Iraq War as part of a Deleuzian society of control. It was really very silly.
Anyway, what I was saying was that doing the research is the hard bit. The actual writing, while a definite 'process;, is relatively straightforward. If you know how you're going to structure it then you can knock out 10,000 words quite quickly. How far along are you?
My main advice would be to aim to finish it at least two days before the deadline - the one thing you do not want to do is let it go down to the wire. Aside from that draft and review the fuck out of it - don't just go with your first finished version. Also get people whose opinions you trust/know what they're talking about to review it for you. Also, do youhave any idea whether you're likely to go short or long on the word count? Editing down is easier than padding it out.
I remember my bachelor's dissertation feeling like such a monumental obstacle at the time but looking back it was actually a piece of piss.
challenged with a more creative approach" or something along those lines.
Got some of it put in a book or something. Basically me banging on about how important creativity is in education and that we should stop feeding children medication and be a bit more like Scandinavia. Think i bashed it all out in the two weeks prior to handing in it. When I look back now, I really wish i had tried more. But i was lazy and thus made it stressful for myself and stopped caring. Shame, coz i have great ideas.
10,000 words PLUS an actual fucking computer program. The words were fairly easy once you break it down into chunks and expand on each bit. I didn't actually get to write the program, I was far too shit, blustered my way through it somehow and still got a high 2:2. I did choose a ridiculously difficult idea though that turned out was basically not possible to write up, especially an undergraduate. So if I had managed it through being a genious coder, I would have got a first probably. So yeah, pick a hard topic and cobble something together and you will get a desmond, no worries.
and ended up leaving myself 4 days with only 2000 words written.
I'm not a very fast writer, so I didn't end up finishing till 2pm on hand in day. Accidentally binded the pages in the wrong order.
Still got a first.
Wrote it the day and night before on a caffeine and cigarette binge. Didn't sleep a wink. I did months worth of research though so wasn't too bad.
Forgotten the exact title, but it was on the subjectivity of war journalism and whether it could be classified as fiction due to the circumstances. Main focus was 'Dispatches' by Michael Herr and Hemingway's reporting from the Spanish Civil War. Did quite a bit on Martha Gellhorn too. Lots of stuff about the blur between fiction/ non-fiction, and lots on Vietnam. Really enjoyed the subject actually, and got a 1st in the end (though I fucked up the rest of my degree and my second year so got a 2:2. Top work).
despite being rooted in sound ideology (conservatism and ecologism are highly compatible)
-did anyone write about relatively contemporary things and struggle to make conclusions
-my tutor/marker did the major text on what i'm writing about. gonna feel weird citing it quite extensively
It's not a test of whether you can predict the near future, it's your ability to present a reasoned argument supported by relevant sources.
The second point - hmm, tricky. Maybe try to quote it tooo extensively in that case? Definitely don't call it shit.
Conclusion was fine for the dissertation, but the essay I was doing at the time (also fairly contemporary) completely lacked a conclusion. I essentially said "it could be this, it could be that. I don't know". Lost a lot of marks because of it, comments from the marker were something like "you were right to explain the ambiguity and multiple possible conclusions, but you still need to tie all those possibilities together into some sort of argument".
Sorry that's probably not very helpful, what exactly are you worried about?
(euromaidan), as opposed to more tangibly a thing that happened and had repercussions that were plain to see over time
But that is very useful / cheers
I see what you mean. Maybe best to ask your supervisor/tutor if they're the helpful sort?
I would assume though you'll have to make some sort of conclusion along the lines of "there are/aren't these parallels, so therefore one could expect this to happen because of reasons". (That's an oversimplification obviously but still). Anyway, your tutor will be the best person to ask.
It was pre-election so no-one really knew whether Cameron was a real green or not. I made a prediction and basically said 'soz that's my interpretation of that facts but who knows lol'
Postgrad: Folksonomies and music recommendation: are users satisfied?
They were both fine. Went massively over the word count on both (10,000 and 15,000 respectfully, I think) and for the first I had a dead good supervisor who gave me loads of help. You have loads of time though, don't sweat it.
my third year 'dissertation' equivalent was... i wrote a computer programme that sees how the distribution of electrons in graphene is effected by an electric field.
the programme worked fine and i got a first but it didn't really predict anything interesting?
pro-tip: if you want to include any figures, data etc use latex instead of word
their really boring, simple topic, sound intellectual.
*put in to making
As you can see, I put no effort into my post.
Still, apparently this level of competence is all it takes to get a 2.1 and and an MA in the British higher education system.
It wouldn't be tolerated in China.
I'm thinking about doing it on the Heygate Estate in London and/or post-1997 urban regeneration policies. Based on the presentation we had it has to include a qualitative/quantitative research element, which seems all kinds of terrifying.
As long as you're donig some work/analysis on the data, I don't see why the raw data can't come from official figures.
had a choice between that and extra exams. took the exams without a seconds thought
Why put yourself at the whims of the questions and how you're feeling on the day when you can just make every call on it instead?
sorry, I read the replies and just thought this was where people were coming to brag/show off.
so just get dis to do it - rough draft will be done in a couple of hours
That was enough to get it done, fuck around watching Neighbours and eating for two or three hours, and then still have about five hours left before having a decent amount of time to go out and booze every day. However you arrange your schedule, just make sure you do it. If you know how you're going to spend your time, there's a surprisingly large amount of it in a day.
Wrote mine about sex, sexual deviancy and culture in post-Weimar Berlin. Can't remember a single word of it.
Left it late to do with a hefty amount of research, but just spent time at the start structuring it well and getting the rough bones of it, then set aside a target of however many words a day and began fleshing it out. As everyone has said, best to handle citations/bibliography as you go along. Provided you've picked a topic you like, it needn't be stressful. Enjoy it!
(All that said, I had another essay due at the same time and that suffered. One of the worst things I ever wrote)
Title was "Fear of the Machine: Human Identity in the face of the Technological Singularity" and explored literary manifestations of the threat posed to human identity by the posthuman and android subjects.
I talked about ph in my last social theory essay (and got a 21, i love the marking scheme here).
"Fabricating and Fabulating the Posthuman Body: gendered narratives of hybridity and animality in Angela Carter's 'The Passion of New Eve' and 'Nights at the Circus'"
i got one point away from full marks, which in my university's weird 22-point marking scale is the equivalent of roughly 95%. i will continue to brag about this for the rest of my life as it was probably the peak of anything i am ever going to achieve.
currently i have precisely 2 weeks to think up a topic for my masters dissertation. somebody give me a topic. it can be anything to do with books. anything at all.
(minus the typos)
by far the most fun bit of all academic work
'The exhibitionist, the narcissist and the voyeur: representing deviant desire across the fin de siècle'
now that is a fucking TITLE.
sometimes i take a moment to pity all the poor, neglected essays that don't get a colon in their title :'(
Our main library is closed for 4 of those days. My supervisor told me yesterday to do some 'major restructuring'. And yet I'm still fucking around on DiS.
It's about the artist Richard Long, with some John Cage thrown because fuck knows why . God, how I would have done extra exams if I had the choice.
good luck Nestor! Sure you'll be fine
as i literally can't remember how i went about it or how late i left it, must have entered some kind of fugue state to protect my future self from the trauma of recollection. but i can be reasonably certain that i left most of the writing to an appallingly last-minute stage, because that's what i do.
did about 60 hours of statistical research, was about half way through so made the rest up. did the reading and writing (10,000) over three weeks.
to christianity in Britain 300 - 600AD. 14,000 words, 6 weeks. Thought that was a struggle tbh.
Six weeks in Greece, for literally nothing.
Could have been this *insert woolly evidence* could have been that *reel off vague unrelated statistics*…we just don’t know. If someone was ADAMANT something was definitely *this*, you’d get a load of old bearded men making it their lifes work to prove them wrong and leave it all unexplained again.
so it wasn't that much of a struggle to get it done, gave myself enough time to write it as well so yeah go me for being organised.
It was on the impact of the French Revolution on British political radicals and religious non conformists. It wasn't as boring as it sounds but still a bit boring after a while, i can't remember any of it now and it was 2 years ago.
challenging behaviour and other stressors in support workers and for MSc did some stuff on sleep and cancer
Be organised, esp with references/writing down points to back to later, and leave some time at the end so you can read it back. Also get someone else to go over it too
Mine was hard, I did well but I had a miserable time writing it, especially with gathering statistics
Hons experience: no stress at all. Handed it in a week early. Most enjoyable year of scholarly life.
General advice: treat it like a full-time job**, putting in 40 hours weeks from the beginning, and you'll be fine.
**NB: in my part of the world, Honours is a one-year full-time course, of which 50% is the production of a 15K+ dissertation, and the other 50% is coursework directly related to the production of the dissertation.
PhD topic: Derrida (and Foucault)
PhD experience: thoroughly enjoyable most of the time.
General advice: Don't do one.
I'd love to do one but I have absolutely no idea what to do it on.
I do English Literature. Feel free to provide me with essay titles (please).
not doing a dissertation because i'm dual honours but from people i know who do them i'd give yourself scope to argue across more than one medium. something on the new york school, for example, would be pretty good cause you've got loads of opportunites for genuinely interesting soujourns from poetry and prose into visual art/film/photography/sculpture and into the political climate that fuelled the whole scene (new deal/nascient modern feminism/cold war paranoia etc.) obviously you wouldn't be able to look at all this stuff but the fact that it's all relevant means you'd never get into the stage of trying to bulk up you dissertation without having anything else to say (which a lot of my friends are currently in).
who wants me to make me sound like a bellend with a title that means, but is better than;
Discuss parallels between the protest movements of Euromaidan and The Orange Revolution
Title is... Progressive Rock (and a Progressive Britain?), 1967-1979.
I disagree that research is always the trickiest bit. It's the most time consuming but if you do good research then being concise enough to express all you want to say in 10,000 words (which isn't actually very many) is quite tricky.
It's due in a week tomorrow so have acres of time but need to properly arrange bibliography, which I've been putting off. It's history (believe it or not) so I'm not used to citing pieces of music, song lyrics, etc. It's taking me some time to get used to the formatting.
Kind of ignoring them. It's kind of hard to focus on something when the submission date is over a year away. But I know research etc etc etc oh god. We start having dissertation sessions soon. It's like, I can barely do this in English okay, you're not getting me studying this shit in Japanese :-(
I'll probably do it on the HB. Kinda anyhow. He's not significant enough to do a dissertation just on him though. Probably on cliques / backgrounds & the development of the movement or whatever I don't care really.
I fucked this up both times. it takes much longer tahn you would expect to actually read 10, 000 words through carefully
srsly important. write more than 500 words a day and leave 2 or 3 days to do it leisurely.
but last time I had a day to proof-read/final edit on 25, 000 words and it was a fucking nightmare, even with friends helping
Did one on the mathematical modelling of a Nigerian river.
Did one on *buzzword alert!*... urban sustainability.
Didn't do one on conference centre design. (Did design a conference centre.)
I did one on the ethics of porn. I really enjoyed it, but only once I had a proper plan in place..there were times when I just tried to write and it didn't happen, much easier to flesh out a good plan that you have made. And yeah definitely leave time to read it through with fresh eyes. Good look!
14,000 words. Think it got a high first (about 80). I remember spending an inordinate amount of time formatting the contents page.
Standard wanky title: The 2011 Riots - Criminality, pure and simple?
Bibliography was 15 pages long. Still well proud/smug of it, probably because it was the first/last time in my academic career that I really applied myself.
Best advice I can offer is to be flexible. I was rewriting my introduction until the due date and the chapter headings I originally planned changed a lot as I found better ways of linking disparate sources to one another etc. Last time I read it back I remember being struck by how repetitive the arguments are over such a long body of text but really that's the point - if your research topic is focused and clear you should be backing up your conclusions all the way through.
Most important thing for me was getting the supervisor I wanted. Peter Joyce is a bit of a legend in criminologist circles and having someone to set deadlines and discuss it with was really useful.
Just thought you ought to know
He was one of very few tutors who were up to scratch on my course, truth be told, but doing my diss with him was really rewarding and actually made my third year feel more worthwhile. He is THE man for protests and police since 1950.
1) Did mine in 2 days without sleep
2) Was 6000 words but needed to be 8000-10000
3) Re-read it after uni and it was pretty good but had the word cunt in it! Still can't work out how.
4) Got a 2:1 for it.
Moral of the story: No-one reads them.
had stuff like (including the most major peice of work in 2nd year, which was like a mini-dissertation) FUCKtwatASODIASODIJAOSJDaSJDJJJJjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjAJJJJAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA written as an attempt to remind me to find the reference
it didn't go unnoticed
did it in 5 days with little to no sleep. It was about the process of adapting Heart Of Darkness in to Apocalypse Now, so I had Apocalypse Now on a loop on DVD the whole time, only stopping when I had to watch a scene from another film for a reference. In that time I read Heart Of Darkness, a lot of The Golden Bough, excerpts of From Ritual To Romance, a bunch of TS Eliot poems (my standard wanky title came from one, I called it "The Hollow Men") and some textbooks about Greek mythology in a series of increasingly mental, bleary-eyed night time trips to the library (night time because the sleep deprivation and constant, war based visual stimulation made me pretty jumpy and weird and I didn't want to freak anyone out unduly) as my chapters became more and more esoteric. I became a pack-a-day smoker and ate nothing but pizza. Even though this was 2007, my laptop had Windows 95 and no internet access so I couldn't even plagiarise bits. Ended up with 90%. Proudest, stupidest moment of University. So, yeah. Use big words, have a nice chapter layout, probably no one will even notice what it's about.
There is no god: This negation must be understood solely to affect a creative Deity. The hypothesis of a pervading Spirit co-eternal with the universe remains unshaken. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
i did mine on the role of women throughout the bronze age in northern europe. it was something i was dead interested in but i was pretty mentally ill through a lot of it and fucked it up. FUN.
protip - don't be mentally ill
but seriously, the idea of writing different essays and mashing them up a bit at the end is quite good, it'll help you keep what you're talking about on topic and structure it so it floooooows. also, try not to do stupid 'staying up all nightttttt' things because you'll end up wasting days and feeling bad. GOOD LUCK NESTOR. whats it on etc?
something about the oppressive power of positivist notions of truth, and how we should approach truth as a concept and a practice (i guess) democratically except i hadnt even read any habermas lol. Still havent actually, so i dont really know if that sentence makes sense.
I saw my supervisor once at the start, and basically started the reading and finished the whole thing in the space of about a month i think. It was crap, i wouldnt go anywhere near that sort of subject matter these days. Also it's really not best to do a dissertation like that in a politics department. They're literally all positivists, if they even know what philosophy is.
Reckon if i was to do one again i'd do it on something like a conceptualisation of corruption as the self-destruction or self-harm of a system or structure caused by its internal dialectic or something. Either that or an analysis of football matches from something like a critical theory standpoint.