Not writing enough, or writing too much, are common errors.
Dissertations are usually longer essays, and many people struggle with the idea of writing 8,000 or 10,000 words, or more, on one subject. Other students find it hard to restrict their writing to the dissertation word limit, because they have so much to say.
Either way, a key to sticking to the word limit is to plan the dissertation carefully, and plan how many words you are going to put in each section. This will make sure you stick to your word limit, because you set yourself smaller word limits for each section, which are easier to manage.
2. Using the wrong format
People who ignore the required layout for the dissertation are making a serious mistake.
Quite often, people simply don’t look at the instructions for a task they have to do. You wouldn’t ignore the recipe for a meal you are cooking, so why would you ignore the guidelines for your dissertation? Read the guidelines, read them again, underline the key words, and then refer back to them as you plan and write your dissertation.
The markers are looking for your ability to follow the instruction. If you haven’t followed their format, you may be missing a vital section, such as a discussion of ethics, or a list of steps you took in your methodology, which means you will be losing marks.
3. Failing to proof read
If a dissertation is not proof read, the writer misses a range of errors, which could affect marks.
Proof reading means checking the dissertation reads well, that it makes sense, that it has all the sections it should have, and that all the citations are there. It also means checking for spelling mistakes, bad grammar, and typing errors. Some major mistakes or even missing paragraphs can be noticed when you proofread your work.
4. Not doing a plan
Failing to plan the dissertation can mean that you make any of the mistakes cited above.
A plan is the key to a good dissertation, because it helps you to pay attention to detail, and to set achievable goals and deadlines for your dissertation. A plan contains the steps of the dissertation process, a timescale, and deadlines that you set for yourself to get the work done. A plan reminds you what you need to do, what you have already done, and keeps you in line.
Leaving the dissertation until the last minute.
You know the feeling. You spend weeks telling yourself that you must get around to starting the dissertation, and perhaps you collect a few articles, write a few notes. However, you keep putting it off, thinking that you still have plenty of time. Then it’s two weeks before the deadline and you find yourself trying to start the dissertation.
It is a process of steps, from beginning to end, and following these steps is fundamental to a good dissertation. So start as soon as possible, and keep working at it, a little at a time. If you finish it earlier than your deadline, that gives you more time to check it and polish it. Don’t put it off. Start it now!