Time to put the winter coats, heavy jumpers and wool scarves away, daylight savings time is nearing and thus, the spring season is upon us. For final year university students, this signals the onset of late nights, lengthy library sessions and the high probability of procrastination – but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Now is the time to focus your energy on finding unique solutions and valuable writing strategies that work for you. The writing process can be intimidating (we’re not about to pretend it’s easy) and so let this post be a vote of confidence from us and a boost of confidence for you as you begin writing. We’ve put together three useful pieces of advice, along with a few online tools to help you succeed and exceed your expectations for your upcoming dissertation writing.
First, get a Dropbox account and save your writing files and research to the cloud. There have been one too many horror stories that read: “I deleted my paper”. So, use Dropbox to ensure your files are not only accessible from anywhere, but that they are synced and saved. This will streamline where you save your documents and hopefully, save you from sleepless nights due to lost work. Ultimately, Dropbox lets you create folders and has a user-friendly interface that will keep your work organised.
Second, you have to start somewhere. Begin researching, start writing. “It’s enough to begin,” writes Gretchen Rubin (2016) in her most recent book, Better than Before, on forming positive, long-lasting habits. The key to building momentum and starting your dissertation is forming remarkable habits early on. Scheduling time to research, write, edit and take breaks, are all key pillars of habit formation (Rubin, 2016). To organise your thoughts, brainstorm ideas and schedule your working habits, Evernote is a great space to collect your thoughts and daily notes. Not only does the tool allow you to sync across devices, but it allows you freedom to write little bits or, long paragraphs and organise your work a smarter way – there’s no right or wrong way to use it.
Third, RefME is the anchor in the relay race you’re about to embark on. It’s the world’s leading citation management tool. It’s automated, accurate, and simple to use. A common struggle within dissertation writing is the entire citation journey that accompanies quality research and writing. From the early stages of identifying a resource to incorporating a quote and giving credit to the author – it can be very confusing. RefME creates citations and bibliographies in over 7,500 styles from the UK, US and Worldwide site. Don’t let the citation process limit the breadth of your research – RefME enables users to easily cite unique sources such as YouTube videos, tweets, PDFs, websites, etc. from our multi-platform tool.
The final throes of writing your dissertation may be a repetitive, drawn out process of steps such as, write, edit, review, rewrite, (repeat); so, don’t forget to make time to celebrate your achievement, after all, you’ve earned it. Good luck!
Houston, T. (2012) The Verge at work: Backing up your brain. Available at: http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/10/3743350/verge-at-work-backing-up-your-brain-evernote (Accessed: 22 March 2016).
Rubin, G. (2016) Better than before: What I learned about making and breaking habits to sleep more, quit sugar, procrastinate less, and generally build a happier life. Available at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Better-Than-Before-Procrastinate-Generally/dp/1444769014 (Accessed: 22 March 2016).