Last year I was exactly where you are now; the poor, desperate MA Marketing student who’s been banging his head against the wall for three months to get his dissertation completed in time.
I am going to keep the intro short and give you some valuable tips that will help you dramatically in finishing that dissertation.
Make mistakes. YES you heard me, make mistakes. Let me tell you what exactly I mean. Most probably this is your first Masters degree, but guess what; your supervisors have been dealing with student like yourself year after year. They already KNOW for a fact that no one gets it right the first time and that is absolutely fine. So stop wasting time by trying to get every detail right before you show your supervisor your draft.
Start early and make mistakes early. Once you see your supervisor really LISTEN to their critical feed back. They don’t hate you (usually) they’re trying to help so if you don’t get what they’re saying then it’s really that you are not understanding them yet. But that’s fine because once you really GET IT, all their feedback starts making so much more sense and you could finish a decent dissertation within 3 weeks!
After your first meeting you might think to yourself ‘ Ha! I got it I am all-good and I will get it done this time. WRONG, the chances are you may partially improve or maybe even completely misunderstand the feedback you’ve received and will make similar mistakes.
The point here is that you should change your frame of mind and in fact WELCOME MAKING MISTAKES EARLY ON, how else would you learn and improve? No one gets it the first time. Think about it as like learning a new skill.
It’s not an essay, it’s a literature review- after writing about 100 essays during the term, you might think a literature review is the same as writing an essay. WRONG.
The lit review is the most important part of your dissertation so I say start early. Here are some tips that will help you with your lit review:
When you’re reading a journal article focus more on how the researcher did their research and not their literature review. You must note:
1) What was the finding of their research?
2) How did HE/SHE find it?
3) What were the research limitations?
Once you’ve got yourself a decent lit review then you can start working on your research methods and findings. Your introduction and conclusion should come last.
Ever seen the Oscars? You know how the presenter comes on and tells you what is about to happen? Well, he can do that because he ALREADY KNOWS what’s about to happen. Once you know what your lit review and your research is all about, you can introduce it in your introduction. There’s obviously more to writing an introduction than my limited description but I hope you get the point.
Lastly comes your conclusion and your final tuning. Leave a week for that. Trust me you don’t want to have silly mistakes in there and it takes time to make your work presentable.
I hope this helps and good luck to you all!