Dissertation Starts Now!

Today saw the first of term two constellation lectures. The subject: Dissertation.

We are to begin thinking of dissertation ideas and to start roughing out some possible questions that we want to ask ourselves. We have about a week in which to come up with a good set of ideas that we think will lead to a doable dissertation on something we are interested and passionate about.  In about a weeks time we then have a 15 minute tutorial with a tutor (for myself Jon Clarkson) in which we will talk through the ideas and themes I have come up with. This session is to home in on what it is exactly I am to start with – my question, theme or idea. This is then used to fill out a dissertation pre proposal form (handed in electronically and hard copy a week later) which is used to allocate me an appropriate tutor who is best suited for helping me with my proposed dissertation subject.

So to be absolutely clear and have no wrong ideas about what I am doing here, what exactly is a dissertation? A dissertation is a body of work that you have researched, using the work of others – based on your own idea. It should demonstrate a process of thinking and working out of ideas through sections or chapters. It is a chance to explore your passion and write well about it. This year (2nd) is about exploring the work of others research and ideas and how those relate to your ideas.

Initially, before the lecture I felt a bit apprehensive about the dissertation – being not entirely sure what was to be expected having little idea of how it worked. Although I read a lot I am not particularly confident at academic writing, whilst I have enjoyed it sometimes, I mostly find it a little stressful mainly due to lack of organisation and poor self motivation. However over the last year at university my self motivation problems have been brought to the foreground and I have worked on them quite a bit. After the lecture I felt a lot better about the whole thing – a little excited even, suddenly eager to get on with it now that it had been demystified and layout clear.

So the next week I shall try to spend at least an hour or two a day researching ideas that I want to talk about and what form I would like my dissertation to take.


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