In the last semester, I identified my research interest and looked for specific research questions that I wanted to write my dissertation about. Looking for evidence to back up my assertions by browsing through identification of key journals, library resources, previous dissertations on the topic, bookshelves in libraries made it quite daunting. As a masters student, we are expected to produce new research and ideas while taking up courses. And now, it’s about writing the dissertation. Working on a dissertation project can easily become crushing. This reminds me of a saying by Stevel Maraboli, “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”
Plan and set a deadline – Based on the project, I divided the dissertation report into sections and set a realistic target to finish each section in discussion with my supervisor.
Literature review and Research methodology – First two steps, literature review and research methodology, are the foundational steps to dissertation writing. Putting them in order creates the flow to the writing.
Developing a routine – It’s important to plan a day in advance. I normally work out my to-do-list for the next day to build a momentum. This helps me to focus on the task.
Clarity of thought – I make sure that the sentence make sense and express my ideas clearly before moving on to the next one.
Target and consistency – I have 3 months to write 15,000 words. I therefore broke down the targets for each topic. I kept a target of minimum 500 words on each day. This is easy to achieve without stressing too much and gives a sense of progressing after the end of each day.
Supervisor – I am really grateful to my supervisor, Dr. Rory for helping me to keep track of my progress. It is very important to communicate effectively with your supervisor.
Stress management – Whenever I feel stuck dealing with a research issue, I take a break and walk around the campus. I also meet my friends and discuss the issue and understand their perspective. I took time to give it some thought and do a bit of mind mapping to deal with the problem.
Last, but not least, It is good to keep a track of the bibliography to avoid plagiarism.
Stay focused but do not miss out on enjoyment during your dissertation time by keeping in touch with friends and having parties. After all, this is the end to your most desired school life. Have fun J