My dissertation is crap

I was so sure I would be done by this point. And I get that they mean it to be encouraging and to remind me that at some point you HAVE to stop adding another article to your lit review or tweaking your tables or obsessing over whether it is perfect or not. Time with my family. My sanity on the bad days. Time spent on other research, other writing projects. Doing things for fun and not feeling guilty about it. But I do it and I try to do it well because, perhaps this is hubris, I believe my topic is important. I believe that if I do what I mean to with my dissertation, I really will be filling in a gap in the literature.

I believe that my work may actually make a difference in my field. Not just to finish something but to have made a contribution, to advance knowledge? The cliche might be helpful for the first two scenarios, but it feels grating for the third.

Topic Closed

So, what do you do when well-meaning advice starts driving you crazy? First, I would suggest that you need to have a sense of security in your process and your timeline. You also need to accept that writing a dissertation is an inherently difficult process and you WILL face frustrations, set-backs, and maybe even some missed deadlines.

This week my family is home and I am back to working on my little desk in the attic, with head phones in to block out the noise of Yo Gabba Gabba coming from the TV. Be the first to know. Get our free daily newsletter.

Advice to highly sensitive academics for avoiding burnout opinion. Study: How smooth-talking professors can lull students into thinking they've learned more than they.

Who Can Write My Dissertation for Me?

A first-generation Ph. I was waiting for one particular employer though - a fin-tech company that I had recently found out used the exact same relatively obscure tech stack as I had. I felt I was a shoo-in for a position with them - even amongst seasoned professionals in the industry, the stack I'd chosen wasn't very well known, and amongst the small tech scene in the region, I'd be surprised if they could find more than a handful of engineers a year with even passing familiarity with it.

Being able to scoop up a graduate who was already deeply familiar with the stack, at a graduate salary, it seemed like a no-brainer. I was reasonably confident that whatever else might happen, I'd have a backup option at the fin-tech company. So I was very surprised that when their delegation arrived, they spent a few disinterested minutes with me, during which I tried my best to demonstrate my knowledge of their stack, plus my more general skills, but they didn't really seem to care.

This was a major blow to my confidence, and while I did my best to engage with the other employers, some of who had far more interesting businesses, I was beginning to doubt that my chances of employment were as good as I'd anticipated. I had a few more positive experiences - one employer seemed very interested in my project and wanted to interview me as soon as possible, until he asked whether I'd be able to drive to sites around the country, and I had to admit I hadn't passed my driving test yet.

I had a very positive long conversation with another employer, who seemed impressed with my app and some of the other project I'd worked on before uni. I got on very well with him, and I felt I'd found the right match, but when I followed up afterwards for an interview, I found out the company had just gone out of business.


Another interview I attended went very well, until they revealed at the end that they didn't actually have any budget for hiring yet, and it would be a long while before they could make me an offer. Eventually, I got a message from a startup that hadn't even attended the expo, but had recently opened a second office in the same town as the university, and wanted me to do a phone interview.

I didn't really like the idea of that, as I'm much better at interacting in person than over the phone, but I wasn't going to refuse, so we scheduled a call. I prepared for the call by printing out a bunch of cheat sheets, which I taped around my desk as I sat waiting. Eventually, with 5 minutes left to the end of the window, I got a call from the CTO.

Surprisingly, he didn't ask me any tech questions, but instead seemed to be figuring out if I'd make a good cultural fit. I was invited for a follow up interview in person - I could wait a few weeks for someone to travel to the town, or I could travel to the London office. I didn't want to let the opportunity slip away, and I definitely didn't want to be seen as the kind of person who wasn't willing to put in any extra effort, so I booked the cheapest "hotel" I could find in the outskirts of London, and travelled down. It was once I got talking to the VP of Technology, who was only a year older than me and very alike, that I realised I really wanted this job.

We got on very well, and I realised there was a ton of stuff I could learn from him, plus the work itself sounded quite interesting. I ended up receiving an offer, and a choice as to whether to stay in my home town, or move to work in the London office. I ended up choosing London, partly for the opportunities and lifestyle available, but also partly due to nostalgia, as I had grown up in London before moving away as a child. Shortly after starting the job, I got my university results, and I was amazed to discover I'd scraped a first, when I'd assumed the highest grade I could possibly achieve was a This didn't really seem to matter all that much now that I'd secured a job I was happy with, but I was rather pleased that bringing myself to the brink of a mental breakdown had been worth it in the end.

Fast forward a few years, and the engineering team in the London office was shrinking down to nothing, and I'd become pretty sick of London in general. I applied for a transfer to the office in my home town, where most of the engineering team was now located, and moved back home. Several of my friends from uni were now working here, plus some colleagues I'd made friends with despite working in another office, and the employer I'd gotten on well with at the exposition had even ended up here.

thesis - What should I do with a bad dissertation from a good school? - Academia Stack Exchange

I'm still working at the same company now, and I couldn't be happier. I hadn't meant to write my whole life story here when I started out, but I do appreciate the irony of accidentally writing a wall of text about an assignment I spent weeks struggling to produce a few sentences for. My dissertation is due in just over a month. Not even started writing it yet! Have you got your research done? My degree was Contemporary Military and International History so I did mine on the British Expeditionary Force during the First World War and whether the perception that the British military leadership during the war were generally incompetent was an accurate one.

Directly referenced Blackadder Goes Forth and the character of Melchett as an example of this perception. Focussed on three battles over the course of the war, Loos in , the Somme in and Amiens in , and compared tactics and strategy in each battle to show what, if anything, had been learned from previous engagements. Wrote and researched words over the course of three days with less than a week before it was due because I'm an idiot who left absolutely everything to the very last minute I'd been known to write three full word essays in one night the day before they were due.

Somehow managed to scrape a , which wasn't bad given how little effort I put in. Sometimes I'm still amazed that I managed to come away with a degree at all. Chem eng. I got a on it. I had to do so many late nights at the end to get it done. But I did.

How I lost my dissertation files (despite 7 different backup plans)

This was jeez Fuck me I'm old. As a History graduate who left almost every essay to the night they were due High-point: smashing out 7, words of my dissertation the night it was due and somehow getting a first to be fair I'd done a hell of a lot of background reading before then - just very few words on paper. Low-point: Thinking I could combine an all-nighter with my obligations to the ale soc's comittee meetings. One thing led to another and before I know it it's and I'm back home, sloshed and staring at a blank page where words on pre-industrial economics should be.

Edit: In the unlikely event anyone is interested, my dissertation was examining the Chernobyl disaster and contrasting it with Gorbachev's pace of reforms. This behavior has one of two possible causes. Either the advisor is arrogant and egotistical and thinks his format is perfect, or the advisor is afraid to depart from a format with which he or she is familiar. In fact, I read a dissertation that had only 5 pages of text—and 50 pages of pictures of the wings of dragonflies.

The dissertation represented four years of research. I passed it. Such students often quit because they run out of money or time. A student I recently counseled had been allowed to propose collecting data by conducting personal interviews with over 1, elementary school teachers, one at a time.

She would never have completed this task before her tenure in graduate school was terminated, yet her proposal was accepted.

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They do not have the courage to tell the student that they should drop out of graduate school because they are not doing graduate-level work. When I was the graduate school editor I read an appalling dissertation from a very nice student. She had an advisor and three committee members.

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Her committee member was right. The dissertation looked like the work of a seventh-grade student. I wondered how she had gotten so far in higher education, and why she had not been stopped sooner by her advisor or the other committee members.