How to get 100 Instagram likes on your dissertation hand-in pic, by people who’ve done it

We asked the experts


It's term three and it means dissertation season is upon us. Your course mates won't stop talking about how stressed they are about their fifteenth draft, but you haven't even started writing an introduction.

Yet there is light at the end of the tunnel. Finishing your dissertation means there is that sweet reward of a 100 like pic on your Insta. All your mates will congratulate you because they witnessed you break down in the library 24 hours before the deadline.

But with all those dissertation hand-in pics clogging up your Insta, how do you ensure that yours stands out? Do you make a pun on the word "diss"? Should you stand outside of your department?

There are many important questions, so we've asked the people with more than a 100 likes on their pictures to give us their best tips:

Isabel Quah, Language Culture and Communication, University of Warwick

Number of likes: 549

Dissertation title: The effects of cultural attributes on English swear word severity perception.

Angles are really important because you have to know what you look the most flattering in. Since I'm on the short side, I prefer photos taken from a lower angle to elongate my legs and also by adding elements of motion in picture – e.g arm bent or leg a bit forward so you don't look stiff.

My favourite part of posing on Instagram is definitely thinking of witty captions. I like using puns relating to whatever the picture is about, but I usually don't hashtag much.

Millie, International Relations, Royal Holloway

Number of likes: 287

Dissertation title: Colonialism and Gender: Investigating whether there is a colonial legacy within gender hierarchies in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Image may contain: Person, People, Human

Probably timing is important. I normally upload 7:30pm onwards. I think it is also down to follower ratio and the number of people who would engage with the picture.

But a dissertation pic is always going to bang because people are going to congratulate.

Jamie Shuttleworth, Media and Communication, University of Glasgow

Number of likes: 154

Dissertation Title: Gender Inequalities in the Reporting of English Premier League Football from November to December 2017

So happy to finally have this handed in📝👋🏼

A post shared by Jamie Shuttleworth (@jamieshuttleworth) on

To be honest, I think it’s just because people were dead chuffed for me. I left school with pretty much no qualifications so it was a big achievement getting my dissertation handed in.

I didn’t know what to do for the pose: I’m not basic enough for a boomerang dissertation picture and I didn’t want to do the cliché “diss was…” caption.

I felt that the picture was enough to get attention. I handed it in a few days early so my timeline was inundated with dissy pics, which might’ve helped as people weren’t jaded with it yet (although I noticed a few people in my course didn’t like it.)

Diyora, History of Art, University of Warwick

Likes: 230

Dissertation title: Tracing and exploring the development of the window in religious and secular buildings of Medieval England from the eleventh to the sixteenth century.

8,000 words of FAKE NEWS

A post shared by diyora (@thediyora) on

Everything matters. The composition, the caption and the timing. I noticed loads of people were making puns with the word diss and honestly it was tiring.

I think saying something different will make you stand out. Also the term "fake news" was pretty popular at the time, so I thought it would be funny.

Peter, Economics, University of Warwick

Likes: 186

Dissertation title: Studying the effect of higher education on crime.

Image may contain: Brick, Person, People, Human

Timing is definitely important, everyone is so bored with revision at the moment that they're probably sat on Instagram all day.

Caption has to play a role too. Engage as many people in your dissertation journey as possible. The likes are just an added bonus.

Celine, Events Management, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Likes: 161

Dissertation title: People's motives for attending charity events.

Over diss 👋🏼🎊

A post shared by Celine Orgill (@celineorgill) on

Prime time is key otherwise the picture will just flop. Good angles also help.

Chelsea, Law, University of Winchester

Likes: 130

Dissertation Title: A review of the legal framework governing the use of electroconvulsive therapy.

Dissertation completed⭐️

A post shared by Chelsea Collins (@chelseacollinsxx) on

A lot of my friends knew what a huge task it was and were happy for me to get it finished.

I normally try to post at a time where I think people will be on the app, so late afternoon/early evening is normally a good shout.

Ellie Mae, Law, Sunderland University

Likes: 100

Dissertation title: Should space debris remediation be considered rather than mere means of mitigation?

A lot of my friends that liked the photo are from the same university as me so we have all been in the same situation.

Be sociable at university and timing definitely matters as you get more likes in the evening.

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