So this dissertation talk all started in January 2017 with the planning of a dissertation proposal and the guidelines on which this piece of work was based. The dissertation has changed a little bit from the original proposal but it was good to have some form of loose structure. I remember when writing this proposal I was struggling of think to write and how to analyse resources, but there was one key meeting that has stuck in my head and has helped me in other practices of my work. My tutor sat me down and asked, “Are you interested in cars?” to which I said yes. So she said “If you were analysing a car and comparing them how would you do it?” To which I replied with something along the lines of “Look at the engine size, the price, top speed etc”. I was then told to do that when writing my proposal when looking at different sources. Look at them as if they were cars, see what is useful about the sources, what is not so useful and then compare this to get a good solid analysis of the sources that I was think of using.
During the previous years when studying constellation I would tend to leave my the shorter essays as late as possible. This was mainly due to the fact they were only shorter ones, so far less strenuous and smaller work load that this dissertation and that they were on topics I wasn’t greatly interested in like fine art etc which was interesting all the same but very difficult to try and find useful links back to subject. Due to these factors I would not always be putting all of my effort into the writing aspect up until the dissertation. Because I have had relatively free reign on what my topic of choice is, I have been able to pick something that relates to my course graphic communication and most importantly something that I enjoy and take an interest in. These two changes have had big implications on how I have worked during this project. It means I have actually wanted to sit down, research and write about my findings, a complete contrast to previous years.
While writing this thesis we had to submit a draft of what we had done so far. I submitted roughly 4000 words but this was rushed and obviously not fully finished, so what I submitted was not the best piece of work I could have sent. What I have now learnt from this is that despite that submission deadline only being there for our guidance and show our tutors where we were at, if I had but more thought into it at those earlier stages I could have possibly got more out of. On the other hand I did wish to outline all of the chapters and intentions in that hand in so I could get the most guidance on them. So at that point, despite the work not being the best or most detailed I had the skeleton so from there for me I could discuss how to flesh them out into full well written and informed pieces of writing.
Overall, after writing this huge piece of work I feel very satisfied with what I have written. At the very start I remember panicking because there couldn’t possibly be anything I could write 10,000 words about. That is why at first I wished to choose the 6000 words and design an artefact option. I had the mindset that 6000 words would be far easier to accomplish and designing something would be easy because that is what I do for my degree. But as I kept writing I was soon approaching that 6000 word barrier, still having a fair few points and chapter to mention. Not only this, the previous chapters were not in the best of detail, meaning I still had more words and development to come from them. This led me to change my mind and go into greater detail for what I was writing about. Deciding upon this was a big step for me because writing long, detailed pieces of writing is not my strongest point, so just for that I am very happy and proud that I managed to actually get to that stage and actually complete the dissertation.
Looking back, to help improve myself I would do more initial research into my topic. This would having given me more structure at the start and more material to work with, probably leaving me in a better, less panicked state. Additionally it would have meant that my essay wasn’t constantly being chopped and changed with different chapters and ideas being replaced, but I think that was always going to happen to some extent. On a big piece of writing things are always going to change in some shape or form, but if I had done that bit more initial research my mindset and plan may have been clearer.
Despite the ups and downs I do rate this piece as successful. Although it does not currently have a mark, I would rate just getting it done on time but also with a bit of time to spare is a success. Instead of frantically working up until the last minute, it means I have been able to look over and analyse it and get other people’s opinions on it. That in itself, for someone who hates writing as much as me is a success and I am proud of myself that I have been able to come over this hurdle, coming out the other end more confident in my own written skills and abilities, even if it has been one of the most stressful things I have ever done.
If there was one thing I would change for constellation over the three years I have been studying here at Cardiff Metropolitan University it would be the length of essays during the first and second year. In first year the word count was only 1000 or something similar, and during second year I think my longest piece of writing was only about 2500 words. Although at the time this was very pleasing, not having to write huge pieces of work, I feel like I could have been prepared a bit better for the ordeal that was this dissertation. The jump in the amount we had to write was huge and feel that if we were assigned a longer piece of writing during our second year I would have been better prepared, and would have known what to expect, instead of getting worried about those 10,000 words, which in the end did become easier as time went on but at the start I feel my previous years could have been spent more usefully.