Dissertation Stress Support

How to keep motivated when writing your dissertation

Is your Easter going to be filled with research or writing up? Motivation for a long-term project can be challenging to maintain, especially over what is supposed to be a break. So we’ve put together our top tips on keeping motivated when writing your dissertation.

Write something every (work)day

On the days when you plan to work, aim to write a set number of words a day without fail. Giving yourself this target will do wonders to keep yourself motivated, slowly seeing yourself finishing up section after section while nearing the word count will give you an immense sense of progress. You can always go back and edit, but getting the words down is often the hardest part.

Plan your working hours throughout the day

Doing a 10 hour shift without any objective may seem like a productive session because of all the hours you’ve done but in reality it isn’t. Instead, work out what you want to achieve each day and break your day down into sessions. Give yourself a time in which you’ll get a certain task done. Depending what you want to achieve that day you might have one session, or you might have three if you’re really busy.

Forcing yourself to work in designated time slots with specific aims will help you be more productive (and give you time to do other things too).

Take a proper break/ do other things

Taking a break could be the best thing to get your motivation back.

A day trip or short break might help you regain that focus you once had.  If you’re staying on campus this Easter, our Content Ambassadors have some great ways to get out there and see the city.  Take a look at Mickey’s guide to Manchester Art Gallery, or Lina’s street art tour of the city, or if that’s not your thing, how about a trip to the Trafford Centre? Fancy further afield? See Meredith’s top day trips and Frances’ favourite places to explore in Greater Manchester. Even if you need a break on campus, you can explore the ultimate campus blue plaque tour.

Find study partners

In many cases, having a study partner(s) will keep you motivated and accountable to each other to keep going. Additionally, having someone else read your work could help identify any mistakes you missed.

Partnering up with someone who is committed as you will also make your study sessions go faster.

Create a progress chart

One of the most demotivating things is the feeling of putting the hard work in without seeing any return.

By tracking your efforts, the progress chart will remind you of where you are doing well and where you need to focus more. It could be a visual reminder that you are moving in the right direction. Do this however suits you – tick off a to do list, something bright and colourful – whatever will make you feel that sense of achievement as you progress.

However, it is important to track it daily if it’s going to help you!

Take a look at our pieces on MLE resourceswriting productively,  and proofreading for more advice.