The final year of university is a crazy time. Not only is it crunch because you’ve got to choose a career and have a secure route into earning a decent salary after graduating rather than end up in the retail trap, but you’ve now been served with a dissertation.
Dissertations are like court summons or as our friends across the pond say, subpoenas. As if you haven’t just spent your 8-12 weeks partying and turning up, now you’re back in the deep fat fryer that is academia. I’ve been there myself, dissertations are nothing but anxiety, angst, yawns and procrastinations. You’d have a meeting with your tutor and leave feeling so much more confused than you was before as they throw all these angles at you before you’ve even got into understanding you’re question on a level where you can comfortably elaborate and explain your motive for the exploration.
A friend of mine is currently doing her dissertation, chose a fabulous and equally difficult subject to tackle for the untrained, such as myself, but enlightening once the academish has been translated into layman, and was having difficulty getting her point of focus as she kept being swept away on the tide of research resulting in her changing the narrative. Knowing I had been through the situation I advised my friend to take control and be the author or her gospel because the work of others should be used to direct and explore her personal theories and observations.
What previous thinkers documented has already been done, the whole point of a dissertation is to offer something fresh; a perspective or connection no one has observed previously and elaborate by using the research of yourself and others as the building blocks. It’s quite like building a house as an architect; you design and innovate but ultimately you must adhere to dimensions, plumbing and other technological advancements of old. Bad analogy but my point is that in order for your vision to come together you must see or know word for word what you’re trying to say and build the route of how you’ll get there.
I don’t usually write about my conversations but when I received a thank you message, my reply to that thank you message turned into what I’m writing now. Behold the prequel to why I decided to share below, and remember you can do it, just ensure its on your terms and oozes your character and reflects your personal views.
Your words of encouragement were amazing yesterday! Thanks for the inspiration.
No problemo! Dissertations are all anxiety and procrastination if you don’t take control over the direction you’re heading in. Take the words on board and comb through the research but ultimately, it’s you that’s controlling the coordinates. Writing it all down how you understand it and what you want to convey at first, and then using what you discover to bolster and dissect your point, is the best way to ensure you don’t get lost or confused in the astroid belt of research to get you past those Van Allen Radiation belts into outer space.