Interview, Manchester

Meet the Manchester student who banged out her dissertation a week before it was due

1 2004

By Amber Ghei

Dissertation? Completed it, mate!

A final year MMU student chose to leave her 10,000 word dissertation until roughly eight days before it was due! You’re probably wondering how she did it, so we decided to speak to her about why she left it so late, her struggles, and more.

Why did you choose to start your dissertation so late?

“I wouldn’t say I chose to, it kind of just got lost in the mix of things I had on. I started my research quite early on but by that I mean looked up which texts I wanted to use – as for the actual research part, that came later.” (laughs)

Did you plan?

(laughs) “Plan? I left my 10,000 word dissertation until a week before the deadline – I’ll let you figure that one out on your own!”

Three top tips for those crazy enough to leave it until the last minute?

“One, set yourself daily word limits, or, let’s be real, hourly word limits, because time really wasn’t on my side. Two, invest in a comfy chair, because chances are you’re going to be glued to your seat for most of the day and night. Three, I would say make sure you have all the information you need. Researching on the go just slows you down.”

How did you stay motivated?

“I bought myself a pair of Jimmy Choos and sat them on my desk as I worked. I told the girls in the group chat to keep me focused. Their reply: “If you don’t get working, the Jimmy Choos are never going to make it to grad!””

Well, that’s an expensive bit of motivation you’ve got there! Anything else that you found motivating?

“One of my texts was Mean Girls, so I guess you could class that as a form of motivation – at least my sources weren’t boring! I know one person who chose to do classical literature, so I am glad I dodged that!”

Do you always leave work this late?

“I do have a track record for leaving things to the last minute. My personal best was leaving a Shakespeare essay until twelve hours before the deadline, and somehow I managed to get a 2:1, so maybe I work better when I’m stressed? Either way, it seems to have worked out so far!”

Risky move! Is caffeine the answer?

“Coffee isn’t for me, so I guess I can’t give much advice on that one. An alternative would be chocolate – lots and lots of it. Got to keep those energy levels up!”

Music or silence?

“Silence. I spend way too much time belting out a song rather than actually writing. I prefer to have some background noise like a Netflix show – something lighthearted, like Friends. I’ve re-watched it a total of 1636382 times, so I already know what’s happening, which means my attention can be kept on work.”

Did you struggle to reach the word count?

“This was hands down the hardest part of the dissertation. When in doubt, make it extra wordy! Probably not the best advice but, hey ho, we’ve got to make shortcuts if we are ever going to finish!”

Any final words before you get your result?

“I never want to hear the word d-i-s-s-e-r-t-a-t-i-o-n EVER again, and I certainly don’t plan on reading mine any time soon!”

She is expecting to graduate with a 2:1 in her English degree. We have everything crossed for you gal! If you know someone who was crazy enough to write their whole dissertation days before the deadline, let us know in the comments below.

About the author / 

Amber Ghei

1 Comment

  1. Ben Thompson 8th July 2019 at 7:59 pm -  Reply

    This article gave me second hand anxiety!

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