As dissertation submission deadlines are rapidly approaching, many students will be constructing their essays and going over them repeatedly in order to try and produce the perfect document. To save you a bit of time (and stress), we thought it would be a good idea to outline a dissertation checklist – a quick overview of how to get the main structure and essential elements just right.
A chance to shine
Writing a dissertation is an opportunity to showcase your skills. It is your chance to address an important issue, so be prepared to be different! It is ok to use prejudice or humour if it can help to support your argument – in fact strong viewpoints will make your essay stand out.
To avoid pressure and stress building up, create a weekly timetable of dissertation goals, and then make sure you stick to them. This will ensure that you have sufficient time to concentrate on the crucial elements of the document structure.
The main check when proofreading text is not really for typos (although be sure to fix those you will see), but rather for clarity.
You should have:
• A general introduction, and general conclusion
• An introduction, and conclusion of each chapter
• Summary/abstract – is one included? (Sometimes they are written in a 10 minute haze, in which case it’s worth checking over)
Figures/Tables and Captions
• Check if figures/tables have captions
• Check if the figure/table numbers are correct
• Do the figures/tables match the captions?
Margins and Page numbers
• Are your pages numbered?
• Check if the page numbers continue if the document is divided into different sections.
Headings, Titles, and Subheadings
Check that correct heading styles are applied to chapters, sections, and subsections:
• Heading 1 (level 1) headers are for chapter titles
• Heading 2 (level 2) headers are for major subdivisions of a chapter
• Heading 3 (Level 3) headers are for subsections within level 2 sections
Consult your university style guide. Are you using the correct referencing format? Make sure that any referenced names, books, or papers use the correct spelling!
Have you included any interview questions/questionnaires and data-sets in the appendices?
• What is the required word count for the dissertation?
• Where and when should you submit the document?
By following these tips, the dissertation will soon be looking much more professional and your argument will have a stronger foundation. Small details have a great deal of importance when it comes to achieving good grades, so do not leave anything to chance.
Lastly, allocate plenty of time to edit and proofread your essay, and also have others look over it too. If the stress is reaching the breaking point and you need a helping hand to submit your document on time, take a look at our dissertation services. Our experienced team will be glad to help you make the deadline!
With student stress increasing in the UK, there is a definite need for studying guidelines to avoid students becoming overworked and depressed. Our ‘always on’ society makes it hard to truly switch off, and combined with the pressures of university, it can often become an emotionally overwhelming lifestyle.
With that in mind, we thought that some simple and easy-to-implement studying tips were in order. Here are our top 5 ideas to avoid student stress:
This is the most obvious suggestion, but also the most important. Never has the old adage ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ been more true than while studying at university.
Sensible planning can lead to a much-improved work and social schedule, while better grades and
less pressure are possible by organising your study structure in advance:
- Don’t overwork. 45 minutes on, 15 off is a good schedule.
- Stick to your planned work times to avoid creating a backlog.
- Switch off your phone during study periods.
- Walk, eat, or check your phone during breaks to relax.
While ignoring your phone may be hard at first, it soon becomes a habit! Get past the first few days
and you will find it easier.
Too much tech-time can be a distraction, but it is also possible to use smartphone apps to benefit your student life. There are a couple of well-rated applications that should enhance your planning and help to schedule your uni routines:
Wunderlist is free and can be used to set due dates for specific tasks. It’s ‘reminder’ feature helps to avoid missing deadlines. Previously voted app of the year, wunderlist is a favourite among well organised students.
The Google Docs app is more practical but very useful. It allows documents to be uploaded, created, shared and edited. It’s Microsoft Word integration also means essays and reports can be edited ‘on the fly’. A must-have for university.
Forgetting to make time to relax will mean stress, anxiety and depression are much more likely to occur.
Introducing meditation once or twice a day will help to avoid this, and it could also aid your academic performance. Mediation has been shown to help reduce stress and depression by as much as 50%, while regular mindfulness sessions improved students memory and reading comprehension.
Another perk of starting to use meditation while at university is that it will give you a great coping tool for future life challenges too.
Exercise To Stay Well
The benefits of exercise are multiple, and all students who can exercise should be doing so – not only will it boost your self-esteem, but your physical and mental well-being will be much improved.
Previous studies have shown the positive impact exercise has on depression and anxiety. In fact, it is comparable to prescribed medication, without the side-effects. Even if you have a condition that prevents you from strenuous exercise, walking in parks or the countryside can help enhance mood and create a better life-balance.
Divide Large Tasks
Trying to tackle an assignment or large task in one go can be overwhelming. Spending hours fuelled by caffeine while trying to make an assignment deadline is not a good idea.
Instead, divide it into manageable chunks for each day. These act as stepping stones towards the bigger goal and make things easier and more structured.
Again, for this method to be successful, it is important that you stick to any plans you have made. Missing sessions will soon put you back into a stressful situation