What does a Dissertation look like?
When writing your dissertation, avoiding the following pitfalls will go a long way to help you enjoy a much smoother ride on your journey – and is a sure way of improving your chances of getting a good grade.
Assume you’ve covered everything in your dissertation without checking
If you’ve familiarised yourself with the details of your dissertation guidelines, checking them with your supervisor at each stage of your writing you’re sure of getting done everything you’ve been asked to do. Ignoring your dissertation guidelines and following you own sweet path is inevitably going to make a difference to your overall grade.
Students sometimes realise at the last minute that they’ve forgotten to do an important part of their dissertation such as the abstract or bibliography, so it pays to keep checking as you go along. And your final check is just as important. When you’re near to your submission date, check that you’ve got any last-minute issues sorted.
Add heaps of dissertation appendixes
Don’t assume that you’re going to get extra marks for including all your research notes and photocopies of your favourite journal articles in the appendixes simply because you can’t bear to leave the material out, and want the examiner to see how hard you’ve been working. You won’t get extra marks – you’re going to get marks deducted.
Only include in your appendixes material that sheds a useful light on your research methodologies or background to your arguments. Your examiner is looking for succinct, tight argument, not examples of everything you’ve collected over the past year, making your dissertation the equivalent of an overstuffed shoe box!
Don’t forget there’s a difference between producing meaningful data, and churning out irrelevant data.
Rubbish your dissertation references
Producing an accurate record of all the references you’ve cited in your dissertation may not be your idea of a grand day out. Putting together your ‘Bibliography’ or ‘List of References’ can be long-winded, repetitive and fiddly. But the end result can be a wonderful way of gaining you easy marks.