On the Re-Write

By | 3 May 2007

I’ve been talking to a lot of people and there is hardly anyone that seems to take the re-write seriously. Most people see the writing phase as the end of the work. There’s a secret I’ve been hiding for some time now.

Re-writing gave me a twenty percent boost in grades. That’s the difference between merit and distinction. That’s the difference between a 2:1 and a distinction for the dissertation. Now take into consideration that the dissertation is worth 45 credits out of 120 for the year. That’s a large enough portion that if you create a good piece of work your grade will increase and your degree may be worth more.

I’ve been talking to people, taking an interest in their work practices and this is what I’ve found. Most people are around the 5-6 thousand word mark whilst four or five are completed. One person is up 23,000 and must cut down on what’s written. Most of these people aim to write from 1-3 thousand words a day and rarely go to see their supervisor. As a result, they’re relying on luck more than other factors.

Luck’s great but when you’re at home and your parents ask, “so how did you do?” the answer won’t be “stop asking me”. Instead, it’ll be. You’ve seen my work, you’ve seen the time and effort I’ve put into it, now let’s just wait and see whether it’s paid off or not.

Of course, pleasing your parents is always rewarding but there’s another motivation. The better the dissertation the more useful it may turn out for when you’re looking for work. Twice I’ve found work thanks to my website… don’t do much for that.

Last year I listened to a journalist and he told the students taking one course to focus their dissertation on a topic that would help them gain employment by demonstrating their in-depth knowledge of a topic, for example on conflict within one region.

It’s 0130am and I pushed myself today. I didn’t feel like writing, I forced myself. I wasted quite a bit of time but whilst I review my results section I can write the key points and write my conclusion according to that section.

Remember, people don’t want to keep flitting back and forth to understand what you mean.


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