When writing dissertations there is always going to be something that goes wrong. What matters is that you are aware of what can go wrong and that you have enough time to resolve it when it does. Avoid these dissertation mistakes!
The single biggest mistake made by students doing a dissertation is to not talk or communicate with their tutors. This is really, really important; your tutors will know exactly what they want to see in a dissertation. The best way to convince yourself that it’s important to see your tutor is to remember that they are the ones who will be marking it, and that you want that high grade.
Make sure that you play to your own strengths. Dissertation writing is hard, that’s why it is the most important part of a student’s university life, so make it easier for yourself. You can do this by sitting down and highlighting the areas you have done better in throughout your years at university. If you are particularly skilled in researching and primary research, then go ahead and base your dissertation around that! A big mistake students don’t realise they are making is picking a dissertation topic which doesn’t play to their best attributes.
The library and librarians are your friends. Often people keep their distance from the library for fear of gaining the social stigma which is associated with it. The library is where you will find the things to help you pass and the librarians are the people who will help you find them. Do not make the mistake of trying to do a dissertation without any library resources, the books are there for a reason, because each one of them relates to something on someone’s university degree. They are not a random collection of books. They have been carefully selected by module tutors because they are important. Get in there and get reading.
Don’t leave it to the last minute. I know it is very easy to let things get out of hand. However, it is essential to plan, and plan for mistakes too! There is more than enough time given to you to undertake your dissertation, so use all of it and not just the last 2 weeks! There is no need to put yourself under such enormous pressure. Make a plan, even if this is just a simple idea to do 1 hour a day, do it! You must stick to it though; you have the free time, so do not make excuses for yourself!
And finally – for the sake of your whole dissertation and your sanity to boot, do NOT leave your computer unattended with your work open in the library. There will always be some joker, friend or foe who will think it is hilarious to replace ‘Pope’ with ‘Poop’ or some equally dreadful autocorrect option.
You will be exhausted, tired eyes and tired minds make mistakes but if you are sensible and give yourself appropriate editing time you will do great!