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Basically, I've had an absolutely rubbish start to 2014. I found out my Mum was having an affair, then my parents announced that they were separating and to top it all off, we found out my Nan had cancer. I've had a pretty hard time concentrating, particularly because I live at home so I can't escape it all and, somehow, I have managed to get to April with not a single word of my dissertation on paper. The hand in day is in 4 weeks.
To provide a bit of detail, my dissertation is analysing British newspapers representations of male/female co-offending - particularly sex offending against children - in relation to academic theories of offending and societal stereotypes. As well as looking at techniques of neutralisation by the media. I need to do a 2,500 word literature review, a 1000 methodology, 2x 2,500 word chapters and a 2,000 word discussion. I have done a bit of background reading and have selected all 30 of my articles, but because I'm coding all of the articles, I feel like the whole thing is impossible to do in such a short space of time
There isn't much my uni can do now either. I've missed the final deadline for tutors to look at any of our drafts and my friend, who was recently diagnosed with depression, didn't get any help or extensions for her work. So I think that's out of the question.
I'm just looking for people to tell me that it is possible and for words of advice from other students who left their dissertations until last minute If I manage to get 2:1s (60%) in my final two essays then I'd only need 40% in my dissertation to get a 2:1 overall. But looking at the marking criteria, even getting 40% seems impossible at the moment :/
By the end of the first week finish the word literature review and the methodology, by the end of the second week finish the 2 chapters, and in the third week finish your 2000 word discussion. If people can write 3/4000 word essays in 2 days, you can definitely finish 11,000 in 4 weeks. In the final week edit and re-edit constantly. You'll be fine. Focus on one task at a time when you start, don't think about how much work you have left to do, just get excited. Be strict with yourself, early mornings, strict meal times, early bed, 1 day of rest a week. If you work hard then 4 weeks is more than enough time to complete your dissertation.
On R is My Friend, as a way to procrastinate on his own dissertation, beckmw took a look at dissertation length via the digital archives at the University of Minnesota.
I’ve selected the top fifty majors with the highest number of dissertations and created boxplots to show relative distributions. Not many differences are observed among the majors, although some exceptions are apparent. Economics, mathematics, and biostatistics had the lowest median page lengths, whereas anthropology, history, and political science had the highest median page lengths. This distinction makes sense given the nature of the disciplines.
I was on the long end of the statistics distribution, around 180 pages. Probably because I had a lot of pictures.
As I was working on my dissertation, people often asked me how many pages I had written and how many pages I had left to write. I never had a good answer, because there’s no page limit or required page count. It’s just whenever you (and your adviser) feel like there’s enough to get a point across. Sometimes that takes 50 pages. Other times it takes 200.
So for those who get that dreaded page-count question, you can wave your finger at this chart and tell people you’re somewhere in the distribution.