VIDEO: 10 steps to a dissertation

LAURA IDDLES brings you the 10 stages that every student goes through while writing their dissertation.

Looking for that final piece of procrastination before you succumb to writing your dissertation? Look no further! Skip to the video by Lucy Baker and Lisie Beeley if you’re really short on time, but if you’ve hit a creative wall, read on!

1) The preparation phase

You fully intend to start work in 15 minutes time, but for now you must create the perfect atmosphere for a relaxed but productive working zone. Tidy your room, neatly lay out all of your stationary, arrange the cushions on your bed so that they are aesthetically pleasing and finally make a beautifully calm iTunes playlist to accompany what are undoubtedly going to be some very productive hours of work.

Water bottle filled, bladder emptied, time to begin…

2) Planning

Of course, you’ve got to write a plan before you tackle the main beast. This plan is going to make everything else 100 times easier in the long run, guiding you through your dissertation and delivering you safely at the other side. Remember, you are nobody without a great plan.

Fail to plan, plan to fail…

3) Facebook

So you’ve locked yourself in your room for an hour now when it suddenly occurs to you: what if something dramatic and exciting has happened outside and you haven’t been there to witness it?! You’d better check Facebook just to make sure you aren’t missing out, if only to regain your social sanity for a few moments. It only takes a minute or two to check down your newsfeed, right?!

...30 minutes later

4) Bullshitting

You’re sure there was a point that you wanted to argue a few hours ago and you know your lecturer would love to hear your excellently crafted argument of said point. The catch is that your point is so original that no one’s actually even touched upon it before, so there aren’t any papers on the bloody topic. Your only choice is to make up some pseudo-criticism and hope that if your argument is convincing enough the marker probably won’t check the reference to see if it’s legit.

Tense shoulders

5) Desperation

You’ve calculated that you have 72 hours until you hand in your dissertation. Where did the last 4 weeks go?! Your feelings of nausea increase when you realise you’ll need 8 hours sleep a night to properly function, 3 hours a day for meals, half an hour for showers, an hour to call your various relatives to let them know how it’s all going, an hour to walk to and from Billy B…before you know it you’ve got 7 hours left to write 12,000 words! HELP!

Caffeine, anyone?

6) In the zone

You’ve cracked out 1,000 words in the last hour: you’re on a roll. You’re not sure if it’s the coffee you’ve been gulping down or the Pro Plus pulsing through your veins, but if you carry on like this you’ll have that dissertation finished days before the deadline. You’re a fucking machine. You can do anything.

Easy to get complacent

7) The 2am Recharge

Be honest, your productivity was never going to last. You’ve broken down into tears over your keyboard, provoking some token sympathetic looks from fellow sufferers. You’ve hit your dissertation wall, but now is not the time to give up. Scrape that hair away from your face, make yourself an incredibly strong coffee and get back to business girl.


8) Procrastination

You’re so nearly finished! You don’t even need to be working at 100% anymore, so you might as well spend some time now doing something fun to boost up your mood for when crunch time comes around. Sure, you’ll probably regret it in the mad dash closer to the deadline, but for now you deserve a reward.

Odd methods of procrastination

9) Thus far…

300 words to go, but why are these taking the longest to write? It feels like you’re writing a word a minute as the minutes turn to hours and it’s starting to get light…POWER THROUGH.

So close!

10) To conclude

Last. Sentence. DONE!!  Quick, go downstairs and reveal yourself to the rest of the house as the almighty champion who’s finished her dissertation with hours to spare! The only problem is the rest of your house are still finishing theirs in the library, so you don’t have anyone to celebrate with. Best just go on Facebook and post a cocky status about it, or maybe even make a fun video?!

Get your glad rags on, you’re going out out!