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Tackling the Masters Dissertation

As the summer months are approaching, attention is on the dissertation and for me the CIPD report which is part of my CIPD qualification. As this year's dissertation involves not conducting primary research ourselves, I thought that I would take the chance to give some tips on the dissertation.

  1. Don't worry about having a narrowed down dissertation title right at the beginning. Once you do research, you start to edit the title and change what you may and may not include. Although, the dissertation title is necessary to keep focus on the structure of the dissertation, don't worry about it being too specific in the beginning.
  2. Have a plan and work in short bursts. It's no good looking at your topic in general as this will become overwhelming and ineffective. Devise a timetable that includes what sections you will look at on certain days. My dissertation is about the emotional labour of healthcare workers in the NHS, so some days I will look at the consequences of emotional labour and some days I will look at other sections such as the management of emotional labour.
  3. Ask for help from your supervisor. My supervisor has been my greatest resource for my dissertation as they have sent me articles, pointed me in the right direction with the structure and arranged zoom meetings with me where I can ask them questions and they can help with anything I am unsure on. Most supervisors will also allow you to send them a brief draft of different sections of your dissertation to check that you are on the right track. Don't leave this until the last minute. The earlier you do this then the earlier those mistakes can be flagged up and changed. All the improvement feedback on your final dissertation could be sorted beforehand if you give your supervisor a draft.
  4. Read widely. Look at newspapers and TV shows. Sometimes you can easily lose focus if you are just reading articles all day but if you find YouTube clips or TV shows on your topic then it may give you a different angle to look at.
  5. Finally – choose a topic that interests you not the topic that you feel you are best at but don't like. It is such a time consuming process that if you are not interested in the topic then you will most definitely not produce the best piece of work that you could do.