7 hacks for writing your Master’s dissertation
29 May 2019
With exams almost over, get off to a flying start by accessing support from UCL and beyond
A dissertation is a great opportunity to bring all the knowledge you’ve been developing together with your skills of analysis and critical thinking.
A strong dissertation could be the springboard for a doctoral study, and it will be an important indicator of your aptitude for research. If you’re not thinking of further postgraduate study, this in-depth exploration of your chosen subject could be a great topic of conversation at job interviews and help you to follow a specialist pathway in your career.
As exams are almost over, here are seven ways to kick-start your dissertation:
- Speak to your teaching team to find out what resources and activities your department offers to support you through your dissertation.
- Check out the study skills pages on the Current Students website: Research and writing for dissertations and projects is a series of online modules – from project management techniques to structuring the argument - that will help your research, and writing.
- Get face-to-face training from Subject Liaison and Site librarians in UCL Library Services, who can point you to a very rich range of resources. In some departments, training sessions are organised for students as part of teaching: where this is not the case, you are welcome to contact your subject liaison or site librarian (see the full list) to arrange a session (either individual or group sessions for students on the same programme). They also give support and training on using reference management softwares – Endnote and Mendeley.
- Access UCL Library Services range of guides for independent learning (see Reference Management). From here you can also access self-guided training materials on other areas such as searching for resources.
- Spruce up your academic writing: sign up for 30 minute one-to-one academic writing tutorials with UCL Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE); get support from the UCL Writing Lab or the Students' Union Writing and Language Support programme for non-native English speaking students. The Academic Phrasebank is a general online resource for academic writers and The Internet Grammar of English is a free online course in English grammar written primarily for university undergraduates.
- Get in touch with the UCL Digital Skills Development team who offer one-to-one help and run IT-related courses.
- Log into LinkedIn Learning (formerly lynda.com) with your UCL ID and access free online video tutorials, ranging from research design, to digital tools that support long-form writing projects, to statistical software for running quantitative tests.