I started off the process of writing my dissertation quite apprehensive and overwhelmed, not only at the different writing options but also making a decision on what my dissertation was going to be about. Although I did briefly think about selecting the option with an artifact, out of the options on the type of dissertation I was going to write 8,000-10,000 seemed like the most logical option. I also hadn’t really contemplated writing a business plan before and didn’t have any experience in that area. I decided that this dissertation was a good opportunity to push my own writing further and a chance to explore a topic that interested me greatly.
For my dissertation proposal, I used research that I had undertaken for previous constellation essays as well as also using research that was for my own work as the starting point. The research that I had for my proposal was adequate, although I think I should have had a clearer direction when writing my proposal, it may have been a more sensible option to further build on the essays that I had done for previous constellation modules, as it meant my proposal was quite vague which left me confused when it came to writing my dissertation.
My proposal looked purely at Craftivism and my research was quite limited, which meant when I came to write my dissertation, I quickly realised that what I looked at needed to be much broader. The topic I had chosen was wider than I first thought and I soon realised that it wasn’t as simple as writing about one specific thing. I knew that giving context was going to be important in what I was writing and it was important for me to understand and explored the theories on this subject. Looking back, I wish I had undertaken more research into the theorists and their ideas at this stage as it would have given me more time to understand the concepts and apply them to my own writing to inform my argument, as this is something that I struggle with incorporating these ideas with my own. Writing the proposal was useful in order to understand how I would commence writing for my dissertation although, in hindsight, I would have benefitted more if my proposal was more focussed on what I actually wanted to write about.
Over the summer break, my previous dissertation tutor left the university, and I was assigned a new tutor. I did not find the transition to my new tutor particularly smooth as it felt that my new tutor didn’t have enough time to understand what it was that I was writing which in turn meant that I didn’t feel particularly supported. I also felt that having a deadline at the end of October, then having to wait almost 6 weeks for feedback wasn’t the best use of time, as we didn’t have much chance to reflect and work on the feedback we have received.
One of the main things I struggled with in the summer term was trying to find the correct balance between subject work and writing my dissertation. It felt as though it my focus wasn’t able to settle between the two, in hindsight I would have benefitted from setting myself a set schedule for the week in order to compartmentalise my time, which would have meant a better use of both time set aside for dissertation similarly for dissertation.
The way in which I did the majority of my reading was through the library and MetSearch. I found that being about to read from a physical book is most definitely my preferred way of reading although MetSearch and online E-Books and articles conveniently offered a huge amount of reliable resources on the topic. Although, there was a lot to be found on the general area of what I was writing about, it was trickier to find more specific reading. I regret not spending longer finding theorists who’s work supported my argument more accurately. I found that because of this, it was difficult to know where to start on each different section of my dissertation with confidence.
One of the things that I struggled with most with writing this dissertation was the stop-start feeling of the process. I think because the time in which I wrote parts of the dissertation were so far apart, my focus and direction shifted. This also made it difficult to know where to start when I did attempt to once again. I found that once I did start to write and I was in a state of flow, it was much easier to write than I had first anticipated. I do regret my poor time management whilst writing this dissertation, if I had of used my time efficiently, I could have been finished much earlier and it may have made feel more confident about what I was writing which as a consequence would have improved my final dissertation.
I hadn’t anticipated the difference from Level 5 to 6 to be as big as it was. I was expecting it to be a smooth evolution but I definitely felt overwhelmed at the start of the year, at the prospect of how important of a year it was going to be. Although I have struggled with parts of writing this dissertation, my motivation was not only a keen interest in what I was writing about but also a desire to write something that I am proud of. I have learnt a lot about myself and the way in which I work whilst writing this dissertation, which are lessons I will take forward with me.