How To Plan Your Dissertation

The mere mention of the word dissertation may be enough to send some of you into a flat spin. It is after all a crucial part of your degree and from the outset can seem like a mountainous task that will take forever. It is important and it is a big job but like any challenge in life if you put in the right amount of planning and tackle it in the right way it won’t seem like so much of a huge obstacle.

Ever heard the saying “How do you eat an elephant”? Well the answer is simple – “in small pieces”. Eating an elephant isn’t such an insurmountable task if you tackle it step by step and piece by piece. If you take the same approach to planning your dissertation then it may surprise you how much more manageable it becomes.

What will be the Basis of your Dissertation?

What will the title and your approach to this be? Will you carry on with a study that has already been carried out or will you approach something with a new line of enquiry? In fact if you get the approach first the title will usually follow. You may start with a working title and end up with a completely different title. You may want to seek assurance or advice from your tutor to make sure that you are comfortable and are in fact following the right line from the outset though before you put in lots of time and effort.

How To Plan Your Dissertation

Have a Clear Plan

Start with a clear plan. Planning your dissertation is as crucial as writing it. Make a list of what you need to do the job – books, references sources etc. Set aside time for sourcing the relevant material, time to plan and time to write. It may be on day 1 you spend time thought mapping and jotting down ideas for your subject matter. On day 2 you may sit down and plan everything. Include everything in your plan from when you are going to write to when you are going to research. Set aside time slots and make sure you leave time for eating and sleeping! Plan when you will take time out to visit the library and spend time online researching for example. Don’t forget to look for helpful sources to help you with the dissertation structure and layout and not just the subject matter. You can find lots of useful help and advice and dissertation examples on sites like Oxbridge Essays.

How will you Structure you Dissertation?

Plan the dissertation structure. Start with the Introduction for example and then break this down into further subheadings. Once you can see your main headings on paper it should make it easier to write each section. Then add to your plan time to write. Try and do it at times when you have a clear head and focus – don’t leave it until late at night when you will be tired enough.

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