Writing a dissertation is a big challenge even under normal circumstances.  Right now however, we are all living through the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that your dissertation and the way you write it might also baffected.   

This blog post gives some advice for those of you researching and writing your dissertations this summer 

At the moment we can’t open our library buildings on campus.  We will of course be opening them up as soon as it is safe, but we know that you might be worried about not being able to get the printed books that you’d like to use.  Over the lockdown we have bought many more electronic books which have been made available through Library Search.  Although we can’t promise that we have exactly what you want online, you should use Library Search to dig into our electronic collections.   

When staff are able go back onto campus, one of the first things that the Library will do is to enable you to order printed books to collect from one of our libraries.  We don’t have a date for this yet, but you can look out for news about this over the summer on the Library website or Library Twitter feed 

Due to the restrictions brought about by the pandemic, some of you may need to alter the research methods that you want to use to research your dissertation.  It is vital that you discuss these changes in detail with your supervisor. We also recommend that you use Sage Research Methods to help you to make decisions about any changes to your research methods.  You can find out more about this in our recent blog post on Sage Research Methods 

Most students would normally have regular face-to-face meetings with their dissertation supervisor.  With these meetings shifting online, it is more important than ever that you are well prepared for these discussions. Make sure that you have a list of questions and thoughts about your current work to ask your supervisor.  It’s also a good idea to be prepared to note down actions for yourself to follow up after the meeting.   

Good luck with your dissertation and remember that you can book a 1-2-1 Skills@Library appointment throughout the summer on a range of topics including writing, statistics and maths.