I have arrived home from my summer holiday in sunny Turkey to grey skies, pouring rain and temperatures better suited to March than July. Safe to say I’m less than impressed with this prime example of English weather. On the plus side, although also the much less fun side, these gloomy days are probably more conducive to doing my dissertation research and reading than sun and blue skies.
Throughout your final year at University, dissertations are the hot topic. A dissertation is an independent research project that is supervised, but not taught, by a tutor who specialises in your topic. They are usually around 10,000 words long and are done over the course of your final year at University.
Dissertations seem to inspire a much greater level of panic and terror than anything prior to or after them, with the slight exception of not tripping over on stage at graduation! However, I’m inclined to think that a Leicester English student’s dissertation isn’t actually that daunting. Here’s why:
- You can chose whatever topic you want so it can be something you are interested in and enjoy.
- You decide your working title at the end of your second year (or third, if you’re doing a year abroad) and have a preliminary meeting with your tutor before the summer so you know what you’re doing.
- You start reading and researching over the long summer holidays so you’re already pretty clued up by the time you start your final year in October.
- You meet with your tutor, who will be an expert on your topic, every fortnight or so to discuss your ideas. They will help focus your project and keep you on track.
- Your tutor can even read up to 2000 words of a draft!
- An English dissertation is due in in January so it doesn’t dominate your whole year or distract you from your final exams and other essay deadlines in the summer.
- And easiest of all, its only 5000 words, the same length as most essays you will be writing in your final year. I predict that my biggest problem will be wanting to write much more than that!
I’m actually looking forward to my dissertation. I am geekily excited about my topic and it will be a new and different challenge.
In my next blog I’ll be explaining title so don’t forget to check back in a week!