Let’s face it, there is nothing more motivating than an impending deadline. The threat of missing a submission date could turn even the biggest procrastinator into a diligent student.

But what if the project that you are supposed to submit by a specific date is just too huge? Does writing a dissertation become ‘mission impossible’? Well, no. If you do things right, producing a well-researched piece of academic writing in a very short amount of time is entirely possible. Want to know the secret? Below, we summarise our best practices for writing a dissertation in a short amount of time.

Having a Solid Research Plan

If you have a short deadline, the majority of research methods and strategies go straight out the window. Nobody can gather valid questionnaire or interview data in a week, much less analyse this information and present it in a dissertation format.

Instead, stick to what is feasible. Use only secondary data from reputable sources to cut down on data collection time. Have a brief outline of the topics you want to cover in your literature review before you actually write it. Try to have at least one or two interesting conclusions in your head and discuss your findings, aiming to hit these particular outcomes.

The more preparatory work you do before diving headfirst into the writing process. Deviating from your original plan means losing time which is simply not sustainable when facing a looming submission date.

writing a dissertation

Aiming for a Particular Academic Standard

Attaining a first-class standard for hastily written work might be one of the most challenging things for any student. Try to avoid setting such unsustainable goals and, instead, focus on attaining a merit grade. Sure, it is not as prestigious as the coveted first but it is still indicative of solid academic work.

Many universities have significantly relaxed merit criteria compared to first-class work, such as not requiring the use of SPSS or not having to run any reliability/validity tests. If you keep these benchmarks in mind, it is going to be much easier to quickly turn out a piece of decent academic writing that fits your supervisor’s expectations. This will also alleviate some pressure on yourself, which will enable you to focus on the work a lot better.

Alternatively, you can always rely on dissertation proofreading services to rapidly improve the quality of your work. Simply send the work that has already been completed, outline the priority areas of improvement, and we will do the rest!

Knowing How to Read Academic Articles

Empirical articles from peer-reviewed journals are an absolute must in the reference list of any dissertation. However, reading these articles in detail could take a huge chunk of your time.  

Luckily, you do not have to read the articles in their entirety. The majority of all articles are structured and reported in very similar ways. Having a quick look at the focus of the study, the research hypotheses and the findings should tell you all you need to know for writing a couple of sentences about a particular piece of work.

Alternatively, if you are particularly strapped for time, focus on just the abstract. Remember though, many articles do not have detailed abstracts, meaning that this practice is of very limited merit to writing a dissertation.

Properly Critiquing Other Works

Nearly every dissertation is absolutely required to be critical in their evaluations of others’ findings and even their own conclusions. But what exactly does this mean? Simply describing what others have said on a particular topic is a tempting option for a literature review but it is simply not going to cut in the academic world.

Instead, try to learn a couple of patterns for providing solid critiques. If an empirical article focuses on a specific country, try to mention that its findings are inapplicable to any other locale. When another author only used chi-square analysis to interpret the data, suggest that an ANOVA analysis could have been a better choice. Alternatively, if an academic framework focuses on just three concepts, try to reference other constructs that could have been included in this model.

The same goes for your own study. Don’t be afraid to briefly acknowledge the limitations of the dissertation.

To conclude

Writing a dissertation in just two weeks seems like a very scary task. However, if you keep the above recommendations in mind, it should be feasible. You will be able to meet all your deadlines while still producing a decent piece of academic work. Don’t despair if something goes wrong and remember, we are always here to help!