10 tips for getting through your dissertation
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Breathe. Do some star jumps. Read these tips. Take regular breaks. An obvious one, but essential all the same. You know how your body works best when you eat and exercise little and often? Your brain is the same. Don’t think ten hours powering through is going to do you any good – do two hours, then have an hour off to do something entirely un-dissertation related. Repeat. And, repeat... Maintain focus on your overall point. Speaking from an arts perspective. We don’t know whether this rule will apply to you science bods – but we like to think so. Every time you finish a chapter, paragraph, hell, even just a train of thought – make sure it relates back to the one overall argument that your dissertation is trying to make. Do this successfully and your point will be so drummed in by the end of chapter three that you might even have started to believe it yourself. Maybe. Don’t think about how much there is still left to write. And probably don’t update your Facebook status every time you manage ano0ther 70 words in the hope that you’ll be inundated with likes confirming that you’re doing SO SO WELL. Because let’s be honest - that’s not really going to help anyone, is it? Go to sleep. Sometimes. Not all the time. Not in library. And not with your head on the keyboard, unless you want to delete the 2,400 words that you just spent half a week painfully constructing. We’re not speaking from experience. Not at all. In the same vein... Don’t work late into the night unless you absolutely have to. Unless you’re riding on a wave of scientific/linguistic brilliance, of course. If this is the case, by all means carry on until the sun comes up. If not though, getting away from your desk before 8pm is more often than not going to allow you some relaxation time and thus help keep your sanity relatively intact. Try not to lose interest.
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