living and learning

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Dissertation - don't panic

We met up for another dissertation tutorial on Monday. Mass confusion ensued: some of us were floundering around without a clear idea of what to do, some had got so far only to hit a dead end, and a general sense of uncertainty just hung over the group like smoke.

'There have been rumours floating around,' Nicky muttered darkly, 'Jess tells me her students have been going on about them for a while.' We looked at one another. Nicky waved at the air in a no-nonsense kind of way and told us not to panic. It's very normal, she said, to go from having your stuff together one minute to totally losing it the next, like this:

If anything, it proves you're moving forward. The rumours? They're just rumours:
  1. Questionnaires are the way to go? 'Pfft. Questionnaires are useless if you don't intend to analyse the data afterwards.'

  2. Mixed methods > qual or quant? 'Don't listen to the rumours.'

  3. Start writing the proposal now? 'DON'T. Actually don't even attempt it until a week before it's due. You won't know what to write anyway before you've got the details sorted out.'
Thus 11/2hours later - amidst calls of 'tell Amy not to panic!!' - we trooped out the seminar room feeling much more confident about the whole thing.


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