Start Your Dissertation Research Over Summer

Summer Research
June 2020 by


It’s never too early to start your dissertation research and you’ll be thanking yourself if you get it going early. Especially at the moment, you might have a lot of time on your hands, so it’s definitely a good idea to use it wisely and get ahead. If you need some help to get you started then keep on reading. We’ve listed a few ways to help you with your summer dissertation research.

Make a plan

This probably sounds obvious but you will feel a lot better if you plan out what you’re going to do. Especially if you create a schedule for your work, you’ll be far more likely to get things done. Maybe you’ve got a few books you want to finish? Select a date you want to read them by and get to it. You’re planning on doing a draft? Set yourself a deadline. You’ll feel so happy with yourself for completing these milestones and it might even build your confidence on the topic you’ve chosen. It also means you’ll walk into your third year of university feeling prepared and accomplished for everything you’ve done so far. What more could you want?

Start on your reading

Academic reading is a huge part of your dissertation and it can definitely take some time. It’s a good idea to start getting through those books and picking out bits and pieces you want to reference. It will save you skim reading at last minute when you feel like your bibliography is a bit empty and nobody likes a last-minute panic. It’s also a good idea to create a list of everything you’ve read so you can avoid forgetting. While you have so much time, you’ll be able to get through plenty of reading and you’ll feel a great relief when it comes to citing. You might even find yourself enjoying it, who knows?

It’s okay to change your mind

Once you start your dissertation, you may feel yourself navigating towards a different topic, and if so that’s okay. Doing your research will give you an idea on how the topic feels to you and if you’re not so sure about it anymore then there are always other options. You won’t be the first person to change your idea and the summer is the perfect time to decide because you’ve got plenty of time to work with. Get started on your idea and if you think about changing your project then speak to your tutor on your thoughts. They’ll be able to help you with whatever you decide.

Talk to your Tutor

Besides talking to them about topic changes, it’ll be good to talk to your tutor about any wall you hit during your project. Most tutors are reachable even during the summer holidays so if you have an issue be sure to email them. It’s likely they’ve led many dissertations so they’ll know exactly how to help you and what works best. You could even get them to review a draft to make sure it’s going in the right direction. No matter your problem, your tutors are there to help you so make the most of it!

Talk to your friends

Obviously, you’re not on your own while writing your dissertation, if you talk to your university friends they may be able to help you in the process. You are all in the same boat, after all. By getting support from your friends you might find ways to improve your own work that you hadn’t thought of. However, don’t let your friends progress deter you. Everybody will be moving at different paces and you have to do what’s right for you!

Look at the work of others

If you’re really struggling with your dissertation, it might help to look at work from previous students and see what they did. Reading their dissertations could give you a clearer idea of structure or how to develop your topic. You might find this will generate ideas for your own piece and you’ll get a stronger idea of what the final product should look like. It also might make you realise things you need to improve in your work if you’ve already written a draft. It’s likely that you haven’t read a dissertation before, so give it a go and you might even learn a thing or two.

Hopefully, any of these tips have helped you gain a good idea for tackling your dissertation this summer. It’s always a good idea to get started instead of leaving things to the last minute and now you know how. These tips are also just as helpful throughout your academic year with other work you may have so bare them in mind. Let us know your dissertation ideas below and lastly, good luck!



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