03/08 Dissertation Progress: a great big monolith

3 Aug

  • I read this really encouraging post online entitled How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dissertation. Read it!
  • After blogging last night I actually got to grips with my dissertation structure. I made separate Word documents for each large chunk of my thesis, and wrote out a dissertation outline and stuck it on my wall right above my desk.
  • I also had a good look at style and practical notes written in our MA handbook – I wrote out an A4’s worth of important notes, e.g. single quotation marks, double-spaced, numbers under one hundred should be written in words, etc.
  • I jotted down some notes in relation to my “British policy” chapter on a piece of paper, in list form. I do like lists.
  • I finished going through an “easier”, general history book about the period I’m tackling. It helped with my more general context.
  • I found a couple of books on Google Books.
  • I started a Word document called “Bibliography”, so now I have a place to dump all my references. Yay!
  • One of the library books I got a couple of days ago is proving really relevant. I’m hoping to finish it tonight. Only a few pages left, so that should be good.
  • Yeah, I’m not doing a lot of constructive writing (which is what I should be doing), but at least I’m forming ideas and jotting down my own thoughts and strands of text which might make it to the final draft. Hopefully. Yes.

8 Responses to “03/08 Dissertation Progress: a great big monolith”

  1. Laura Jane August 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Oh my, I only have 3 months left of labwork before I have to start writing my MSc thesis… I definitely need to start getting organised!

    Good luck with the writing!

    • clairecommando August 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

      Thanks! Best of luck to you too! Mine has to be ready in 4 weeks aaaaaaaaaaa.

  2. annmucc August 4, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    One tip: use some kind of software to organise your references/bibliography: EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley. Do NOT attempt to do it manually. It is too painful.

    • clairecommando August 4, 2012 at 11:57 am #

      That is a very useful tip. And I should start using one of those as soon as I start working on the actual document? Would I be able to cut-and-paste into other documents later on? Or would I have to stick to one document? (I’m still rather clueless about this whole software thing!)

      • annmucc August 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

        I would have started using one at the very beginning! I have only used EndNote (but you need to pay for that). I have also used the inbuilt Word Bibliography facility for small documents now, which is OK. Typically when you copy from one document to the other, the references are copied as well once you update the reference list. However, you would have to find the software that you feel most comfortable. I am VERY surprised that you weren’t guided to use these software programmes and given courses in them at your university!!!

        • clairecommando August 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

          Yes, I’m quite surprised too. Particularly because my uni seems to be quite good at most “preparing students” stuff. I’m giving the software a try!

  3. Larissa Micallef August 5, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    I used to use a website called Neil’s Toolbox (http://www.neilstoolbox.com/bibliography-creator/) It has a reference generator, you enter the details and then copy and paste the reference where you want it. It also has some other tools such as plagerism tester.

    • clairecommando August 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

      Thanks Larissa. I had heard of this ages ago. I don’t think the reference style is compatible with my department’s style (that really sucks), but it looks very useful.

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