The five emotional stages of writing a dissertation at Warwick Uni

If I have to suffer, then so do you

It’s come to this. All my procrastination has finally caught up to me and it’s time to actually sit down and write my Dissertation. This is a struggle that plenty of you will know all about.

For those of you who don’t yet understand what it’s like to tackle such an exhausting project, I’ve prepared this handy-dandy little guide, covering the five stages that YOU WILL go through when writing your dissertation. Second years, don’t laugh. This is your future.

1. The beginning

Look at that happy smile-yeah, that won’t last long. This stage usually takes place during the initial planning for your dissertation. Maybe you’ve settled on a title. You might even have taken out a couple of book from the library, just to do a bit of light research into your chosen subject. Nothing too heavy, after all, it’s still early days and your dissertation isn’t due for MONTHS. Nothing to worry about. Right?

2. The Exhaustion Sets In

You’ve wasted three whole nights just working on an introduction to your Dissertation. A pile of unread books sit on your desk, gathering dust. Your eyelids feel like bags of sand and you’ve still got nearly three whole chapters to write. It’s been a whole term and you haven’t made any progress but that wasn’t your fault – you’ve been busy. Still, it’s probably nothing to worry about. You’ll use the Christmas Hols to really make a good start into your project. No need to panic. Right?

3. You Turn To The Bottle

Despair has started to set in. You’re still only a couple of paragraphs into your dissertation and even they aren’t any good. Everyone else is ahead of you. Some people have even finished their dissertation! How do they find the time? Alright, maybe it was a bad idea to go circling three weeks in a row-but you were invited. Still, the second term is drawing to a close and you know what you have to do. You make a promise to yourself, to knuckle down and to really start taking this project seriously.

4. Who Even Are You?

You stare into the mirror and one thought crosses your mind: What’s the point? Seriously, what even is the point? It’s over. Your dissertation was doomed for the start. All you have left to give your life meaning is watching the highlights from the last season of Love Island and your increasingly frequent trips to the Duck.

5. You Actually Write Your Dissertation

Well. I guess you couldn’t put it off any more, could you? Yep, it’s time to calm down, tie yourself to a desk-any desk-and get on with writing your dissertation.

Don’t panic, don’t let yourself get too overworked or stressed. Stay away from energy drinks and all-nighters! You quickly work through chapter after chapter, at long last, the words that you’re looking for actually make it onto Word. Things are looking up for you. Will it be good enough? Well, only time will tell.

So there you have it. The five main stages of writing your Dissertation. I might have skipped one or two minor steps here and there. The helpful meetings with your Dissertation Supervisor, that moment you nearly end up with a library fine for forgetting to renew a one of the dozen or so books you’ve borrowed and the endless chats with your housemates that inevitably start with “I think I’ve finally decided what I’m going to do my Dissertation on!”

Still, what I’ve listed above tends to describe the five main stages or categories of writing for Diss, which incorporates all these smaller, though still significant moments. Anyway, now that I’ve written this, I suppose its time to start planning my own Dissertation. Wish me luck – I’m gonna need it.