1) Start early
I learned the hard way so trust me when I say that the earlier you make a start the better. On my course, we were supposed to start in the September with the final hand in date in May and at that point, it seems like it is so far away and that there are other more important priorities which come first. However, the time will fly by and in order to give yourself the best chance of getting a really good mark you need to have the time to work on it.
2) Attend all appointments with your dissertation tutor
These are really important appointments which you should attend as you really need to make the most of them. Even if you have not managed to progress since your last meeting you should still attend as to start with it keeps you accountable for your workload and also because just having someone to talk to who understands the process and topic of what you are working on can really help you to get some of your thoughts out of your head and into a plan.
3) Have a good recording system for your references.
This is essential to keeping your sanity! The last thing you need as the deadline looms is to not be able to find references for information which you are using in your work. There are many ways that you can set up a record of your references but you need to do what works for you. Some people use a notebook which they take with them everywhere, others use referencing programmes on their laptops.
I made a powerpoint and labelled each slide A, B etc. Then every time I read something relevant I added the reference to the relevant slide. If I then used it in my work, I put a star by it so at the end it was just a case of copying and pasting all of the references which had a star by them over to my references page.
4) Cut the task down into bite-sized chunks.
When faced with writing a dissertation, it can feel overwhelming, there is a huge amount of research to complete and a large word count. I found that it really helped me to cut the task into smaller chunks and then just focus on one step at a time.
Making a good plan really helped me with this as I could break down each section into smaller ones and I felt that I was making progress as I checked them off.
5) Keep going back to your title and objectives to stay focused