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11 answers to your questions about dissertations

While you’re at university your dissertation is going to be the most vital assignment you undertake.

It’s that important.

But dissertations are confusing aren’t they?  – How long should they be? What topics should it cover? Do you need to do one?

These are all questions that pretty much every student will wonder. But finding the answers can sometimes be a drag. You lecturer is busy, the web isn’t helping you, you’re stuck.

Don’t worry. Here at Essay Writing Services we’re all about making writing dissertations and essays easier. That’s why we have answered 11 of the most common questions asked about dissertations.

You can thank us later…

How do I choose my dissertation topic?

The first stage of your dissertation will be to decide on a topic. This is your chance to research and explore in real depth a subject that you’re genuinely interested in. But do make sure it’s a topic you enjoy, because you’re going to be spending a serious amount of time working on it.

Settling on a topic is often the hardest part. There are so many factors to take into consideration. Ask yourself questions about the last three years – ‘what topics have really spoken to me?’, ‘what do I want to explore in greater detail that I have studied this year?’

Don’t be afraid to talk to your tutors or fellow students. Use the reading list provided to explore ideas. Let your imagination go. The best dissertations are often the ones a little ‘outside of the box’.

Check out a great guide on choosing a topic here.

Why is my dissertation important?

It is the culmination of your three or more years at university. It’s your chance to show that you can explore ideas in a chosen subject in a way unique to you, with a firm rooted understanding of the topic at hand.

It often plays a big role in deciding your final grade too. And of course, you want a final good grade, don’t you?

Do I have to do a dissertation?

The simple answer is – it depends on your course.

Your time at university will be made up of modules. These modules are assessed in different ways and you may, rather than have to do a dissertation option in your final year, have other options.

Extended essays, short dissertations, film modules – these are all common alternatives. The options available to you depend on your university and your course. Speak to your tutor to find out what kind of options are going to be available to you.

When should I start writing my dissertation?

You should start work on it as soon as you have selected it as your final module. We aren’t talking about diving right in the deep end here, but get going working through ideas and potential topics. As we said, this is often the longest, hardest part of the whole process, so the sooner you start the better.

Once you’ve decided on a topic, get to work. There’s no point in waiting around. The longer you take on it, the better it’ll be.

There’s a great piece by the Guardian on ‘Ten things I wish I’d known before starting my dissertation’ and it might just push you into starting sooner rather than later.

Do I write my dissertation in 1st/2nd/3rd person?

This, it seems, is a point of some contention.

The best option is to present your argument in a way that will best fit the topic you’re writing about. When referring to academics or studies, name them. Avoid wishy-washy statements like “there are some that believe that…” or “Academics believe that…”.

How many words should my dissertation be?

The length of dissertations varies from university to university, so there isn’t one correct answer here. The general consensus seems to be around 10,000 – 15,000 words. But some courses and universities require less than 10,000.

Just don’t take this consensus as gospel. If you are unsure of the required length of your dissertation, then ask you tutors.

What tools help write my dissertation?

While many students just put a trusty old word document to use when writing their dissertation, others like to employ some other useful tools.

The tools that you use depend on your workflow. But we have found that these are often the most popular:

  • ScrivenerRather than putting it all down into a word document, Scrivener allows you to collate, compose, and structure long and difficult documents.
  • EvernoteWhen researching your dissertation topic you’re going to come across a huge range of documents, links, pictures, and articles you’ll want to use. Evernote will help you store and organise them digitally, so when you need them you can pull them open in no time.
  • NoisliStudent houses and libraries are busy, loud places. Not ideal when you’re trying to write the most important piece of your life. Noisli will help you block out the pitter patter with calming ambient noises.
  • DictionaryBecause if you misspell or misuse words throughout your dissertation, it’ll damage your final grade.

When is my dissertation due?

That’s all down to your university, but it is probably going to be the final assignment you hand in. So if you are nearing the end of your year and not even started… well. Good luck!

Can I get my dissertation published?

Yes, it is possible to have your undergraduate dissertation published! You must make sure that the piece has been submitted and graded before sending it off for publication though. Otherwise it could pick up some copyright problems along the way.

And do be prepared for a couple of rejections. Some of the most famous papers ever were rejected first!

Where should I put my dissertation on my CV?

Including your dissertation on your CV is entirely up to you. If it was published it’s definitely worth a mention. Otherwise, we don’t think it’s that important. Unless the topic had something to do with the job you’re applying for. If this is the case detail it in your cover letter.

You should normally just put your degree subject and classification (1st, 2:1 etc)

There’s a great guide and template on writing your undergrad CV here.

Should I buy my dissertation?

If you are struggling to find time to write your dissertation then you can hire help. We have a team of professional dissertation writers who provide work that is 100% custom created for you.

That means its plagiarism free. To guarantee this you’ll receive a free plagiarism report with your dissertation. To find out more you can contact us on 0203 0110 100. Or you can make your order straight away here