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Dissertation Meeting with Supervisor - so not prepared

(5 Posts)
Joy5 Fri 07-Aug-15 18:11:51

Have a meeting with my MA supervisor next week, to discuss my progress in my dissertation.

Except i'm so not prepared, have worked extra hours for over a month to earn the money i need to pay for the tuition fees. This week i've been ill for a few days, so didn't feel up to studying until today.

Have spent today supposedly studying, but in reality wasted it, just flitting from one thing to another.

Has anyone any good ideas for how i get myself sorted for next week's meeting? Am feeling totally unfocused, and don't know where to start basically.

purplemurple1 Fri 07-Aug-15 18:18:09

What have you done so far? Have you made a plan of how you intend to progress it next and a time frame for each stage?

NK5BM3 Fri 07-Aug-15 18:24:27

I presume the dissertation is due in sept sometime? At this stage. I would expect to have seen already, a draft of your proposed outline which would have been something like:
Introduction (summary, why this topic, name the theories you will be using, any hypotheses (if relevant), method.
Lit review : evaluation of the various theories or models you would have used
Method: write up of the method used to do your data collection

I assume you have done that. So next weeks meeting, I would expect you to have written a good draft of your lit review and have emailed it to me so that I can comment ready for our meeting next week.

Or your methods chapter.

Are you close to any of this?

Obviously talking about my topic area but I would imagine it would be similar?

Booboostwo Fri 07-Aug-15 19:29:57

What is your subject area? What have you done so far?

With my students in the humanities it goes like this:
They come to me with a general topic, I help them narrow it down and suggest some preliminary readings.
They go off to read and try developing a chapter outline. We work on the chapter outline until it is quite detailed.
Then they work on each chapter in turn. I provide some readings, student does a plan, I provide feedback, they do a draft of the chapter, I provide feedback.
Once all chapters are in I provide final feedback on the whole thing.

JeanneDeMontbaston Sat 08-Aug-15 10:05:56

Is it possible to reschedule?

I'd be honest with them about time pressure - you're a postgrad, it should be ok to acknowledge there are other pressures on your time, and so long as you're polite and apologise, I would think a supervisor would rather know you'd been struggling than think you'd been working at full pace and this was as far as you'd got.

I'd write an email now, explaining you are finding it difficult to know where to start, letting them know in advance of the meeting that you've had some minor timing issues, and asking if they had any quick advice for you.

The worst they can do is be irritated and write back saying it's your job to figure out where to start (which would be slightly arsey), and even then, it's still better than nothing because they will have advance warning that you've not been working as concentratedly as you intended to.

Otherwise they will just see what you've done and lower their expectations of you accordingly, and you don't really want that if there are concrete reasons why you've not made so much progress.

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