TheStudentHandbook (Online Edition)
Helpful hints, tips, techniques, and need to know information to get you through your dissertation and thesis writing
Welcome to Day Night Print’s student handbook!
This handbook has been made with students in mind to help give you all the assistance you may need throughout your dissertation and thesis writing journey.
We understand that dissertation writing season is incredibly stressful for the majority of students. An awful lot can rest on these grades, so the stress levels shoot through the roof!
We don’t want you to struggle alone!
As a busy student, time can be tight. Scanning through pages of blogs to find relevant information and material might not be the best use of your time! Although they’re there if you need them – or would like a bit more in depth information on any of the topics covered in this handbook – we thought it would be beneficial to you for us to compile all our best tips, tricks and need-to-know information into one handy guide!
How nice are we?
Before we start, we’ll talk you through all of the different elements included in this handbook in addition to why each element has been included. Everything has its purpose.
The last thing you want during this time is to be reading through pages upon pages of solid text. So, we’ve done what we can to break things up and try to make it a little more interesting for you.
At Day Night Print, we always strive to go above and beyond to help out our customers.
We’re much more than just a printing service!
The daynightprint Team
Using This Handbook
This version of our student handbook is specially designed for digital use.
There are multiple activities which prompt you to highlight the page or write your own notes and thoughts.
Most modern technology allows you to overlay edits onto a screen, so you can still complete these tasks. However, the majority of the prompts can also be completed on paper. You may find it useful to keep a little notebook specifically for your dissertation guide notes.
Or, if you prefer, you’ll still find this handbook packed with plenty of useful information if you’d rather take on board our top tips and leave out the bonus tasks.
However you use this, you’re sure to find it incredibly beneficial in the writing and finishing of your dissertation or thesis.
Before we go any further, here’s a simple breakdown of everything you’ll find in this book, as well as why it’s been included.
We’ve put this term in inverted commas as they’re not our usual blog style. Each of these is an adaptation of a blog we’ve published on our site. They contain the same great content, but in a more ‘book-friendly’ reader format. However, we will link to the original blogs – just in case you want to read up on them a little more. Simply click on the title to view the original blog.
You probably weren’t expecting this one. However, no matter what age you are, you sometimes need to take a little break to refresh your mind from seemingly endless typing and research. Or, perhaps you just need a little exercise to refocus your brain after a short break. Either way, these searches are designed using relevant keywords to help you refocus but still keep your train of thought relevant to the task. They may even have little tips for extra challenges to get you thinking.
Perfect Puns –
Throughout the handbook, you’ll find a selection of jokes relating dissertations. They always say that laughter is the best medicine, so hopefully these puns provide you with a little giggle. I can’t guarantee they won’t be super cringy! Although, they are still about dissertations. So, that counts as work, right?
Useful Tools –
We wondered what we could do that would be even better than just offering you the advice. So, what did we come up with? Useful tool pages throughout the book to help you plan and use the advice we offer. That way, we can help to save you planning time if you use our templates, or you at least have an example to work from!
Checkpoint Check-Up –
It’s important to assess how well you’re working and whether you’re on the right track with your goals. So, we’ve included a little check-up template at the end just to see how you’re getting on! Refer to this and use it at any point to check your progress.
Dissertation VS Thesis
There are multiple similarities and differences between dissertations and theses. However, many people can get confused between the two, so I’m going to help you understand what they are.
The majority of students in University will go through the process of writing either a thesis or dissertation at some point in their educational journey. It’s often an essential piece of work involved in obtaining your grade. Therefore it’s super important!
The terms ‘dissertation’ and ‘thesis’ will be used a lot throughout this handbook, so it’s useful to understand what the terms mean, and how they compare to one another!
Independent or Interchangeable
Although this may appear to be a minor point, it’s something important to clear up before we look at what the similarities and differences are.
You may be in the mindset that a thesis is exactly the same as a dissertation.
Don’t worry because you wouldn’t be alone in thinking this.
You just need to remember that it isn’t. Some people will use these terms interchangeably, but that technically isn’t correct.
As a result, you’ve probably heard these words used incorrectly before! For that reason, it may be best to view these points with fresh eyes and forget about where you’ve heard these terms used before.
Country Variations in Definitions
Dissertations and Theses differ in definition between countries.
Most notably, American University systems tend to use these terms oppositely to their British definitions. There are also some systems which do use the words interchangeably.
Remember that this piece is specifically focusing on the British usage of these terms.
Therefore, these points may differ from any other information you may have read because they might have focused on American usage.
Similarities and Differences
To be honest, there aren’t as many points as you’d expect to focus on here. However, the points that are covered are super important!
Although it’s likely that you’re already aware of some of the following points, it’s always beneficial to secure your knowledge.
Differences are marked by an ❌ and similarities by a ✔️.
❌ – Definitions
This is the most obvious, yet most significant, difference. What makes the work a dissertation, and what makes it a thesis?
A dissertation is generally a piece of work in which you compile research on a specific subject before reviewing and analysing what you’ve found. It basically shows an understanding of your field of research and shows that you’re able to derive opinions or judgements that are backed by research.
A thesis refers more to a body of work in which you complete research and test ideas to produce original work. The word thesis is of Greek origin, in which it regards placing a proposition or putting forth an idea.
Put simply, one demonstrates an understanding, whereas the other uses your knowledge to progress.
Perhaps one of the most important similarities is that the work must achieve certain standards in regards to original work.
Regardless of the content, length, and any other differences – plagiarism will not be tolerated.
Any work used from alternate sources must be cited correctly, and any direct quotes must be formatted correctly in quote marks and must also include direct citations.
A little tip to bear in mind though – try and avoid the use of quotes or at least keep them to a minimum. The assessor wants to read your work, not someone else’s.
❌ – Length
A thesis is longer in length than a dissertation.
On average, a thesis will consist of approximately 80,000 words. On the flip side, a dissertation roughly reaches 20,000 words.
A huge difference when considering that 20,000 words will fall within the region of 40 pages, making a thesis around 160 pages long!
✔️– The Finished Product – Printing and Binding
Irrespective of what the piece of work is, you need to be able to present it well to give the best possible first impression to the assessor.
Thesis binding is very similar to dissertation binding. However, the decision you make may be affected by the length of your piece.
Don’t forget, theses are often longer and contain more pages, so they may require a sturdier binding type than a dissertation.
Ensure you find a reputable company – such as ourselves – that offers high-quality dissertation and thesis binding to ensure that you receive the best service around.
Dissertation and Thesis Writing
All the words included in this puzzle relate to the writing of a dissertation or thesis. Not all of the words may be relevant to you specifically as requirements can vary according to subject and course. However, it could help jog your memory with the ones that are!
Top Tip: Why not identify the words relevant to your work by colour coding or circling them on the list when you’ve finished? You can then check it against your work to make sure you’ve included everything you need to!
The Importance of Mindset
Let’s look at how to get yourself in the right mindset by following the 5 W’s.
This technique can be used to get yourself in the right mindset to do the task.
We’re sharing this technique with you to improve your mind-frame motivation when it comes to some of the incredibly taxing and most important work of your life – dissertation and thesis writing.
The diagram below gives a quick look at the points.
You probably won’t quite understand it at first, but you will once you’ve read through the whole piece.
You’ll find more in-depth detail about each of these sections next to/below the diagram.
However, once you have the details memorised, you can refer back to this diagram to quickly jog your memory when you need a little reminder.
First of all, you need to ask yourself who you’re doing the work for.
By this, I don’t mean your tutors!
Think more deeply than the technicality of who you’re submitting the piece to.
In the majority of cases, everyone will have the same answer to this.
When you think of your dissertation and thesis writing as a document to get assessed, it becomes a chore. However, think about it in terms of doing it for yourself (and, more specifically, your future).
Then it becomes an easier task.
People are often more motivated by selfish intent.
Don’t worry. I don’t mean that negatively!
It means that you’re more willing and enthusiastic about completing work that provides a benefit to you.
Don’t go into writing your dissertation or thesis with the sole thought of handing it to an assessor. Keep in mind that you’re writing it for you.
This W leads nicely from the last point.
Remembering why you’re doing the work can give you a huge boost when you’re feeling the mid-dissertation or thesis slug or writer’s block.
All too often, it’s easy to think of the deadline as being the finishing line. But, we all know that isn’t true.
Handing in your dissertation or thesis is simply a checkpoint in the marathon.
Before you start writing, take some time to yourself to sit and think about why you’re writing.
Think beyond this single piece of work and into where it’s going to get you.
Are you completing a degree to achieve your dream career? Do you want to extend your knowledge and understanding of a subject? Perhaps you want to follow in the footsteps of someone inspirational?
Keep your eyes on the goal and keep running towards that.
Don’t trip or slow down just because you’ve reached a checkpoint.
Think about what you’re actually writing. I know it may sound silly, but hear me out.
I can almost guarantee that you’ve said, “What am I even supposed to do?” when working at some point. Or, in not, then words to that effect.
Even if it’s in jest, it’s likely there’s still truth in it and that there’s an undertone of genuine confusion.
Don’t dive in without a plan of what to write.
You probably have a million ideas floating around in your head, and you want to get them all crammed in there before they disappear. However, this can lead to your job being more difficult later when you have to cut half of it out.
Make notes or plans before you begin, then pull out the most relevant points you need to include.
Think to yourself, “What is the relevance and importance of this information?”.
It will help you have a clearer view of the piece of writing as a whole, and how it will all tie together.
You’ll find you have a better understanding of what you’re trying to say before you start writing, thus knowing what your purpose is.
Consider when it is that you’ve reached this point. How have you reached this point, and how long has it taken you? How much hard work have you put in to reach this point?
Think of the when as timeline analysis.
I know that might initially sound a bit scary, so let me try and explain it as simply as I can.
Past – The time it’s taken you to get to this point and when you knew it was the right time to take this path.
Present – Appreciate the ‘Right now!’. When you were younger, did you have a plan to be here now? When did you think you’d reach this time of your life? How does that compare to where you are now?
Future – When do you see this piece of work paying off? Think as far forward as you can. Is it going to help you get your dream career? Will it lead to you being where you always wanted to be?
All these questions will get you thinking about the reasons you’re doing it, and consequently, will motivate you to do well.
This W focuses more on the completion of the work in a literal sense as opposed to motivational reasons.
Having the perfect plan and combining all of these previous steps won’t yield the best results if you aren’t in a suitable working environment.
You have to find a place where you’re able to have full concentration and get into the headspace of the work.
For example, here are some places where students work on their dissertation or thesis, which aren’t necessarily great choices:
- Sat or lying on the bed
- On the sofa in your living room
- In a crowded, noisy place
For the first two, these are places your body associates with sleep or rest. As a result, you won’t be able to provide full focus as your brain automatically thinks you should be resting. The third is just because you aren’t able to lend the work your full attention.
Carefully consider where you’re going to work to be in the best space to think clearly and stay in the working mind-frame.
Focus and Motivation
It can be tricky to get the hang of this way of thinking initially, but once you do, you can massively improve your productivity and quality of work.
Take time before your work sessions to answer the 5 W’s, and you should feel better prepared mentally to tackle your writing.
Why not make a little note of your 5 W’s on a piece of paper or in a little notebook to help you focus?
I went to a wedding between a printed dissertation and a glue binding cover.
It was perfect!
What do they have to say?
Past students have bared all online to share their tips and advice when it comes to dissertation writing.
We’re going to look at some recurring points that have emerged to leave you feeling more confident (and better prepared) to submit a stellar thesis.
So, whether you’re lacking confidence, feeling overwhelmed, or simply need a few little pointers – this is a must-read! Check out what helped these students through the stressful situation of dissertation writing and submitting.
Your life will change, learn to deal with it
Think you can carry on the rest of your life as normal whilst your dissertation writing happily runs on the side-lines?
I hate to break it to you, but you’d be wrong!
Any student who tells you they successfully balanced their social life, outside commitments, and all other university work during dissertation writing season is either:
- Lying – sorry to put it so bluntly, but it’s simply not possible.
- Not bothered about passing their course whatsoever or…
- Superman (We know you wish this was true, but you need to accept that you’re not fated to be a superhero.)
The first step to ensuring you can ace your dissertation writing is to learn to live with the fact that the rest of your life will basically be put on hold!
You will live and breathe your dissertation, and your entire existence will become solely purposed to focus on its completion.
Despite this, it’s really not as scary as it seems! It’s a few months of your life that will fly by in a hurricane of words, and the result at the end will make it all worthwhile.
The only person to compare yourself to is you
Would we be wrong is assuming that the majority of you have at some point asked your friends something along the lines of, “How much have you done?”?
Don’t even answer that, we know you have.
Everyone works at different paces and will have different systems and plans when it comes to approaching dissertation writing. So, just because one of your friends has already completed double the amount you have, it doesn’t mean you’re not doing good enough.
Of course, there is an exception. That is if you get to like an hour before the deadline, and you’re 10,000 words behind… on a 10,000 word dissertation!
Joking aside, all comparing yourself to others will do is cause you to panic, and probably start to have a bit of a nuclear meltdown.
For all you know, you may have written 3,000 words with perfect grammar and compelling research, whereas your friend may have written 6,000 words of absolute twaddle.
The best solution when completing your dissertation writing is to simply focus on your own work, set your own goals, and keep your eye on the finish line.
Don’t get distracted by the runner who’s showboating in the next lane. They’re the ones most likely to trip and fall at the last hurdle.
Don’t be too precious about your research
Word counts will become the bane of your existence.
The library will suddenly become this magical cavern; full of treasures beyond your imagination! Bound between the glorious covers of each book are pages upon pages of golden ink, which sits upon parchment that’s been crafted by the very gods themselves!
You take all the gold you physically can, only to find that you can only keep a minuscule amount of the treasure you’ve unearthed.
The pain is too much. The Earth is crumbling around you. How will you ever decide?
Do we sound a little ridiculous? Of course we do.
Is this how many students act when it comes to cutting elements of their research? Yes. Yes it is.
You will find tonnes of research on your chosen subject. Sieve through to find the most relevant or interesting pieces, then cut the rest. You’ll never be able to sufficiently explain your point if you’re just cramming research upon research into your dissertation writing.
Save your word count. Be smart when it comes to finding the most relevant information. There’s plenty of gold out there, you just need to find the hidden diamonds instead.
We get it, you don’t want to ask for help for fear of appearing ‘dumb’.
You’re in university, so surely you should know what you’re doing, shouldn’t you?
If you go to ask for help with your dissertation writing, your tutor might laugh in your face. You’ve reached such a huge point in your education that if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you’re doing something wrong.
What absolute nonsense.
After high school, you may feel ashamed to admit that you’re struggling. You might think that you’ll appear ‘stupid’ for asking questions.
Don’t ever feel that way!
If you knew everything, you wouldn’t still be in education. If you were already perfect, you’d be out in the big wide world earning your fortune.
Nobody is ever so confident in themselves that they don’t feel like they’d want to ask even a single question.
Your tutors have had hundreds (maybe even thousands) of students in the same situation before. They want to help you with your dissertation writing. It’s their job.
Feel free to ask questions, and never feel ashamed to admit it if you get confused and need help!
Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes.
Be proud of every aspect of your dissertation
You may be super impressed by your writing, but that doesn’t mean that you’re finished with making your dissertation the best it can be.
You need to also be able to focus on how you present your dissertation, as this is what gives the markers the best first impressions of your work. For example, a professionally printed and bound dissertation is going to have much more of an initial impact than one that looks super messy and rushed.
So, to get the best out of how you present your dissertation, we recommend that you use a quality, highly reputable company to assist you.
If it looks good, the assessor will know that you’ve taken pride in your work, therefore making it a more compelling read.
Show confidence and pride in your work, and it will reflect in your grades.
So there you have it, some top pointers that have emerged from the toils of fellow students.
Try to remember your favourite tips and make notes of any tips you’d give to future students.
When you’ve finished, why not head on over to the original blog to leave your words of wisdom for those who will be in your position in the future?
Did you hear about the attack on the finished dissertation?
Eye-witnesses claim that it was punched repeatedly before being bound and sent away!
It would be pretty impossible to write your dissertation without a solid base of research.
With that in mind, you must collect the best quality research you can.
There are some fairly common mistakes made by students during the research phase, which can impact the credibility and effectiveness of the final piece of writing.
Remember this as we dive into our biggest dos and don’ts for carrying out your dissertation research!
✔️ – Collect Your Information from a Range of Sources
Quite simply, the more resources you use, the more thorough your research.
It’s easy for students to fall into the trap of collecting all their research online.
After all, it means you don’t have to move. And it’s all at the click of the button!
While it’s possible, it’s certainly not recommended.
Remember, all of the sources you’ve referred to or cited in your final piece will get compiled into a reference list.
Which of the following do you think is going to impress an assessor more?
- A reference list comprising solely of web links.
- One which shows a range of sources, from web pages to textbooks and academic writing.
Of course, it would be the latter.
Using a variety of sources shows the assessor that you’ve taken the time and effort to find the most in-depth and relevant information you can.
Not only that, but you can often find information in one source that you can’t in another.
For example, there may be a highly relevant study that you can find in print in your institution’s library. But it, might not be available online.
Show pride in your work, and prove that you haven’t just tried to take the easy road.
❌ – Trust all Web Information Without Cross-Checking it First
Not cross-checking is possibly the biggest trap students fall into.
DO NOT TRUST WIKIPEDIA ALONE!
Although Wikipedia isn’t the only site this applies to, it’s probably the biggest.
Anyone can edit that information without it needing to be confirmed before it’s published.
For example, as a general member of the public, I could go onto a page about horses and say that they’re descendants of prehistoric unicorns.
You know that isn’t true (as far as we’re aware), but I could post it anyway.
Now, consider that someone has posted believable false information regarding the topic you’re researching.
It could seriously impact the credibility of your dissertation.
As a general rule, try and confirm your information by cross-checking it with at least one other source.
For example, if you find a piece of information in a book, perhaps try and find the same information online to check it’s reliability.
When using websites, you may be able to find links to the sources they used for their information.
For example, if you scroll to the bottom of a Wikipedia page, you can find links that the users gathered their research from to enable you to cross-check.
Where possible, try and find at least two unlinked sources.
So, if you can only find one other source besides the one you found and one of them references the other, you may want to question its credibility.
✔️ – Take Note of Where You Found Your Research
There’s nothing worse than coming round to using a vital piece of research, only to find that you have no idea where you found it.
Of course, you don’t need to write out full citations at this point, but it’ll help to make a note of where you found the information.
If you found a particularly useful study, write down its title and the name of the publisher or author.
Or, if you find a quote or specific snippet of information, copy the weblink next to it in your research. If it’s from a textbook, write down the book name, author, and page number.
Giving yourself directions to the research will come in especially useful during writing.
Always make a note of what sources match what information.
Then, you won’t waste time scouring through your source list to find what you want.
❌ – Try and Tailor Your Research to a Detailed Plan
You may have an idea in your head of how you’re going to structure your dissertation.
Although you might think finding research explicitly matching what you have mentally planned for each paragraph will help you, you’ll most likely find it hinders you.
You could miss a golden piece of research that could completely change your dissertation, and consequently, your grade.
The majority of students don’t stick to their original plan. So, if your research is too tailored, you could end up in a bit of a sticky situation.
Keep an open mind.
Complete broad research, and then start to narrow down your points.
At least then, you’ll always have extra information or alternative options if things don’t quite go to plan.
✔️ – Ask For Guidance
Don’t be scared to ask for help!
If you’re struggling with your research, speak to a tutor or a suitable member of the academic staff.
They should be able to help guide you and possibly direct you to the best resources for your topic.
Even if they aren’t very knowledgeable about the subject of your dissertation writing, they should at least be able to assist you in figuring out how to find the information.
For example, a library assistant could help you to locate a specific book, or they could show you how to check what books are available to you.
On the other hand, a tutor may be able to recommend a relevant book or direct you to a trustworthy online source.
Of course, the work does have to be your own. But that doesn’t prevent you from seeking advice if you need a little boost!
❌ – Spend Too Much Time on Researching
While it’s imperative to have thorough and comprehensive research, you also need to leave yourself plenty of time to write the dissertation itself.
Don’t forget, a large chunk of your initial research is likely to be disregarded as you narrow your work down to more specific points.
Yes, you need to have plenty of information available for you to use, but you don’t want to spend so much time finding it that you compromise your ability to write the dissertation.
Remember, it’s the final product that’s going to provide you with your marks.
Make a plan, and find the right balance between researching and writing.
Ready to Research
Using these tips will help allow you to avoid some common mistakes made by students when completing their research.
If there’s any of these do’s and don’ts that you feel you’re likely to forget or struggle with, try writing them down so that you can easily refer to the points you need to focus on without re-reading the whole blog.
Although, the more you read through this advice, the easier it will be to remember.
Why Are You Behind?
Procrastination is pretty much unavoidable with students. No matter how focused and prepared you are, it’s likely you’ll procrastinate at some point. This can leave you behind with your work. It’s important to understand why you’re putting off working to help you remedy the situation and get back on track. This wordsearch may help you to discover what your reasons are.
Sometimes, you may be behind for reasons other than procrastination. For example, it may be that you’re slow at typing. As a result, you may not be able to complete the work as quickly as you hoped.
If you believe that you’re putting off work due to a lack of energy and motivation, you may wish to consider seeking help from student support services or your GP. Experiencing some stress is natural, but if you suspect you’re over-stressed – or if you’re struggling with your mental health – don’t be afraid to seek help.
Lack of Energy
New Netflix Show
This Word Search
Why shouldn’t you get your dissertation printed at the same place as Snow White?
Because she’s still waiting for her prints to come!
Dissertation Dodgers – This is What Can Happen When You Start Procrastinating Too Much (and How to Avoid It)
Procrastination is a highly common occurrence amongst students, and it can have serious consequences – whether that’s on the work itself or your mental health/stress levels.
We want to try and help any students out there who’re struggling with procrastination during their dissertation writing. So, we’re going to look at the impacts of putting off your work.
Results of Procrastination
Increase in Stress Levels
Mental health and stress are some of the toughest challenges facing students today.
While putting off your dissertation can be a result of mental health struggles – such as depression or overwhelming stress or anxiety – it can also cause further emotional stress.
It’s tricky to find a balance.
I understand that it may be hard to find the drive to work, but it’s also crucial to find some form of motivation before you end up in an even more difficult situation.
If you experience intense stress or a decline in your mental health, we recommend discussing with your GP or a suitable member of staff at your institution.
For advice on finding the drive to work, refer back to the mind-frame motivation blog.
Lower Quality of Work
By rushing your work to get it completed in time for the deadline, you’ll end up producing a final piece of a much lower quality than your ability should allow.
This quality dip could be due to a variety of reasons:
- Forgetting to include vital points
- Not spending enough time on proof-reading
- Writing ‘easier’ sections as opposed to the most relevant and thought-provoking
- Lack of focus due to rushing, or if you’re staying up late to complete your dissertation, tiredness.
Whatever the reason, there’s a high possibility of receiving lower marks, or even grades if you’re less lucky.
In the very worst situation, you might not even manage to finish your work!
Imagine the last-minute rush of making your dissertation look completed, even if you know you’ve missed out on some vital points you know you wanted to include.
Yes, maybe you can make it appear as though you finished it, but you’ll know.
You’ll be kicking yourself for ages over it!
It would also inevitably impact the quality of the work.
Consequently, you’d also experience the implications described above.
How To Avoid It
Set Rewards at Specific Goals
This only works if you manage to stick to it.
Set yourself various ‘checkpoints’ and reward yourself for each one you reach.
For example, you get to take a 10-minute break for every 500 words you write.
Or, you can use alternative rewards, such as putting £1 in a jar for every hour you spend on your work. Once you’ve submitted your dissertation, you can use the money you’ve earned to treat yourself to something you want, not something you need.
If you have a printed draft copy of your dissertation, you could put a chocolate bar or other sweet treat between every five pages or so. Once you’ve finished reviewing those pages, you get the reward.
Giving yourself something to look forward to at the end of each section will encourage you to push through to get the reward.
If you work better against time constraints, give yourself ‘deadlines’ for different elements.
Make yourself a time plan and stick to it.
For example, set timers of alternating times and give a goal for them. Here is an example:
- 20 Minutes – 500 Words
- 10 Minutes – Break
- 15 Minutes – 400 Words
- 10 Minutes – Review
- 5 Minutes – Break
Focus on reaching the goals at the set times and sticking to it as strictly as possible.
If you manage to keep to the timers, you may find that you feel as though you complete the work faster.
In addition to this, breaking the work into smaller chunks makes it feel less daunting.
Would you prefer to be asked to write one 8,000 word essay in a month or a 500-word essay every two days for a month?
The smaller chunks seem to make it a much more achievable task, which is why this method is effective.
Invest in a Phone Jail
I understand why this can sound like an odd solution that you shouldn’t need as an adult, but if it works, then why not?
I can guarantee that the majority of students who’ve ever procrastinated have done so by using their phones at one time or another.
It’s easy to have just a quick look, which then turns into a lengthy spell of scrolling, watching, and playing games.
The easiest solution?
Just lock the phone away!
Either purchase a timed phone jail or hand the key to someone trustworthy if it’s a locked one.
You can’t be distracted by a screen that you can’t even access.
Have Another Reliable Person in The Room
Do you feel as though no matter how you try and motivate yourself, you can’t stay focused?
Have another person in the room with you to keep you on track.
Don’t choose someone who you know you’ll be able to distract because you’ll end up talking and defeating the whole purpose of having someone there.
Have someone you know will be strict with you and not allow you to procrastinate.
You may feel like you’re back in high school, but if that’s what it takes, that’s what you have to do.
Take These Tips
If you’re reading this, it’s most likely because you already are procrastinating, and you want to prove to yourself you shouldn’t be.
Either that, or you’re trying to prevent yourself from slipping into the habit of procrastination.
Get yourself focused on your dissertation, and go and start getting in the zone.
Don’t worry. You’ve got this!
Deadline Timer Plan
Following on from the section discussing the use of timers in the last blog, we wanted to provide you with the following tables to help you get started.
We’ve included two sets of tables:
– A pre-filled example which you can use as a prompt for creating your own. Or, you can use it as a trial table which you can continue to use if it works for you.
– A blank table for you to create your own timer plan. Don’t forget to include plenty of breaks!
Why are students always cold during the dissertation writing season?
There are drafts everywhere!
This is How to Help Yourself Cope When Faced With Your Looming Dissertation Submission (Deadline Distress)
Every student understands the stress you feel nearing the deadline for that all-important dissertation.
You become a bit (or a lot) flustered, consequently causing you to struggle and not think straight.
So, we’re here to share a few simple tips that will help you feel more organised and relaxed.
As a result, you’ll be able to keep a clear mind and cope better with the stress.
Without further ado, let’s look at the first tip!
Plan Your Time Out
No matter how organised you are, it’s essential to have a plan during your dissertation writing.
Set reasonable targets and be sensible in the amount of work you can do.
Do not plan your work hourly from 8 am to 10 pm with two breaks because that’s not feasible! All it will do is cause you to fall behind, resulting in yet more stress.
Give yourself plenty of breaks. Leave time to eat and relax, and set achievable goals.
It’s always better to over-achieve than fall behind.
If you need help, there’s plenty of ready to use templates available for students to download online.
Alternatively, you can use the example base we’ve provided for you.
It pays to prepare.
Be aware of everything you need in advance.
The last thing you want is to think you’ve got everything covered, only to end up spending hours researching things later, thus putting you behind schedule.
For example, have a reliable dissertation binding service in mind before you get to the point where you need to get your work printed and bound.
Research the company before choosing them to discover their advantages.
Are they well-reviewed? Do they offer dissertation binding online to save you time and effort? Can they complete your dissertation binding in hours just in case you run close to the deadline?
These are the sorts of considerations that can make or break your ability to cope under pressure.
Imagine trying to research answers to all this after you’re exhausted from hours of writing, but you’re desperate to find the perfect 24-hour service.
Make a Checklist
Checklists can be much more efficient than you realise!
You might have an extraordinary memory with your mental list stored in it, but stress can do crazy things to our brains.
Trying to remember so many things at once, it’s no surprise that you’d unwittingly let something slip through.
Checklists are a great way to jot down everything you need, and they’re easy to add to if you forget something when writing it!
Make sure you remember to include every detail, including things such as below:
- Proof Read
- Check Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation
- Double Check References
- Print and Revise a Draft Copy of the Dissertation
- Choose Binding Style
- Find a Printing and Binding Company
- Check All Required Information is on the Cover
These are a select few, but they’re the ones that slip through most often.
Yes, proofreading and spelling may seem obvious, but under deadline pressure, it can easily get overlooked.
Stay organised, and experience the satisfaction of crossing off the last point at the end!
Have Regular Breaks
Despite what you may think, working solidly for hours on end won’t make you finish any faster.
The longer you work without a break, the less productive you become. As a result, you become slower, and your writing becomes sloppy or filled with mistakes you’ll have to rectify later.
Take regular breaks where you’re completely away from the screen to help refresh your brain, so you’ll work much better when you return.
How often you should take a break varies from person to person. However, on average, it’s recommended that you take a short interval of approximately 10-20 minutes every hour.
Shorter breaks taken regularly are proven to be more effective than infrequent longer breaks. They give your brain the opportunity it needs to refocus after the point hits that you begin to experience a productivity slump.
So, don’t feel like you need to work continuously throughout your every waking hour.
Timetable plenty of breaks into your work plan, and make sure you leave enough space for some you time as well.
Set a Good Working Environment
You won’t work well somewhere that is full of distractions.
Get rid of everything that could pull you away from your work.
For example, stay away from noisy areas such as places where others are talking or watching TV. Quiet locations are less likely to distract you as your focus won’t get pulled towards what’s happening around you.
Turn your phone to silent. Or, if you’re happy to keep it in another room, even better!
It’s not only removing distractions that can benefit your working environment.
Adding soothing additions can help improve focus as well.
Maybe you work better with soothing or ambient noise in the background, or perhaps some gentle mood lighting to help lower your stress levels.
It all depends on the individual.
Find what works for you, and ensure you set the right environment before you begin.
Above everything else, remember to breathe!
You’ll get through it, and it will all be worth it in the end.
By following the tips above, you can improve your ability to cope with the stress and keep a clear head.
You’ve got this!
Try writing down a couple of stress-busting goals for you to stick to!
For example, do half an hour of yoga at least once a day to re-focus my brain.
What’s the preferred printer brand for a dissertation about pirates?
So, we’ve provided you with a deadline timer plan to assist you with separating your study sessions into small chunks, but this plan focuses on your studying as a whole. This sheet is a weekly plan template to help you establish goals and milestones.
Presenting Your Dissertation
Let’s talk about why it’s vital to present your dissertation well.
When it comes to submitting your dissertation, it’s appearance isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to your mind.
Of course, the content of the work is what will get you your grade, but that doesn’t mean the aesthetics aren’t essential.
Let’s see what the top three reasons for producing a well-presented piece are.
First Impressions Count
Before the assessor has even read the first line of your dissertation, they’ll have a snap judgment of your professionalism by the way you’ve presented the work to them.
Step into their shoes for a moment.
Pretend two dissertations have been placed in front of you.
The first one is dog eared and full of creases. You’re not even sure if all the pages are there.
The second one is neat and well organised with a quality print and bind.
You’re automatically going to think that the second one is the better dissertation as the student has taken the time to ensure it’s neat and easy to read through.
As a result, they’ll go into reading it in a better mind-frame because the piece looks professional.
It may not have an impact on your final grade or result, but you’d much rather have a happy assessor than one looking for mistakes because it appears as though you couldn’t be bothered to take it seriously.
If you’re struggling to figure out what the best way to present your dissertation is, or if you’re unsure how to find the best print and bind service near you, you may find the blog discussing what to consider when printing and binding your dissertation useful.
Pride in Your Work
It’s important to feel proud of what you’ve produced.
Dissertations aren’t there solely to be written and graded before being forgotten.
They help to define and shape your future, which is a pretty big deal!
You may feel exhausted and a bit flat after the endless trudging through sleepless nights and intense stress, but you should be proud.
It takes a lot of determination, and you’ve completed it.
Give yourself the credit you deserve by showing pride in the finished product.
Let your work say, “I did this. I worked hard and put all my effort into my dissertation. Just look at what I’ve produced!”.
Ease of Reading and Navigation
Presenting a neatly bound document allows the reader to move through the pages with ease.
Consider the difficulty assessors would have if they were handed piles upon piles of crumpled loose sheets for every dissertation they had to read.
It would become highly complicated!
Also, it’s highly likely that pages would become lost, or the reader would miss vital information, and that could be the difference between grades (or even a pass and a fail).
In addition to this, sorting through all work would probably make the assessor very grumpy.
You certainly don’t want that!
This point does link strongly back to the first one, but that’s because it’s so important to hand in a professionally printed and bound dissertation.
Make things as easy for the assessor as possible, and they’ll want you to do well.
Hopefully, you’re now able to understand why it’s necessary to present your dissertation well.
Were you already aware of the importance of presentation, or do you have a newfound appreciation for what you thought was a seemingly insignificant detail?
Later blogs in this handbook will discuss how to go about finding the right service and style for your printing and binding.
Presenting Your Work
The words included in this search are all related to the printing and binding of your work. They’re all options for the elements of your finished document that you control.
Top Tip: Try using different colours to cross-off the words that are related to each other. For example, you could use yellow for all words relating to binding and blue to cover various printing options.
Black and White
What is a printing company’s least favourite kind of music?
Reggae, because we don’t want our printers to be jammin’!
Getting the Best Print and Bind for You
We’re going to talk through some of the crucial considerations when it comes to dissertation binding.
Despite how simple it may seem, getting your dissertation printed and bound can be much more complicated than you’d expect.
This is especially true if it’s your first time.
There’s plenty of dissertation binding options, and you want to make sure you remember to consider them all.
That’s why we’ve compiled this small list to help you.
It contains some of the most crucial – yet often overlooked – things to remember when choosing how and where to get your dissertation bound.
Let’s get right into looking at what these 5 things are!
1. Location of the Binding Service
If you want a quick and efficient dissertation binding service, your best option is to find one near you.
Not only that but finding a suitable service nearer to you will most likely have smaller delivery costs. This is because they won’t have as far for their courier to travel.
In locations such as London, the density of colleges and universities is massive.
It’s imperative to use a local service as they’re most likely they have a general understanding of the requirements for your area.
It’s easy to find a service, and it doesn’t take long at all, so long as you search for the right thing!
The most commonly used web search would be “Dissertation Binding Near Me.”. However, you will get improved results with a more specific search.
Why not try “Dissertation Binding London,” to ensure localised results? Or, if you want to go even further, type in your institution’s name at the end of the search.
This tip will help you locate the best service for your area.
2. Ease of Access to the Service
It’s a stressful enough time as it is without the added hassle of trying to get to a shop to submit your work for printing.
That’s why we always suggest you use an online dissertation binding service.
It’s a much more effective use of your time.
It also eliminates the worry of whether or not your memory stick gets returned safely.
Think about how much easier it is to submit your document with its requirements through a site!
You can take comfort in the fact that all the details are there, and the company can contact you with ease if they need any more information/details.
In addition to this, it can reduce the stress on you. You’ll have more time to think about how you want your dissertation printed and bound.
If you visited a shop and got asked about a requirement you weren’t sure about, you may panic because you can’t give a fast response.
With online quote systems and document submission, you can fill out the details at your own pace.
3. Bind Type
Deciding the binding type to use for your dissertation can either be super easy or incredibly hard.
Your institution may have specific requirements, in which case you straightforwardly have to follow what’s asked. However, if it’s left up to you, you may struggle to determine what to use.
Binding your dissertation well is crucial to making a superior first impression on the assessor, so weigh up your options carefully.
Carry out a little basic research into what bind types are available, and look at the pros and cons of each one.
Perhaps even look at what the dissertation binding requirements are for other institutions in your area.
The choice is ultimately down to you. Just ensure you do your research so you can weigh up the cost, speed of service, and advantages for the style you opt for when it comes to binding your dissertation.
4. Delivery Speed
When you need to find a Dissertation Binding service fast, you need to find a quality online printing and binding service that works 24/7 to ensure delivery ASAP.
Do you want to sit waiting and stressing, wondering if it will arrive in plenty of time?
Of course not!
Get your quote and receive your completed bind on the same day or next day is possible so that you have plenty of time to do your final checks before the submission deadline.
5. Binding Service Reviews
For peace of mind, it’s best to find a dissertation binding service with good reviews.
The last thing you need is to receive your parcel a day before the deadline to find that it’s completely wrong or it’s subpar quality.
For reliability and guaranteed satisfaction, find a service near you with the best reviews.
Now It’s Your Turn
We’ve now looked at some of the most important considerations to make when searching for a reliable dissertation binding service.
As a result, you should be well equipped with the knowledge to know how to get the best print and bind service near you who can provide a professional product you’ll be proud to present.
Jot down your ideas or research on a piece of paper (or in a notebook) when looking into printing and binding so you can keep track easily.
Is it a Suitable Service?
A quick and simple flowchart to determine whether the company you’ve found to print and bind your dissertation will be suitable for your needs.
I handed my tutor a dissertation about the advantages of using invisible ink for educational documents.
I failed because they couldn’t see my point!
Binding Styles Bother
We’d like to discuss the uses of each of the 4 most commonly used dissertation binding styles.
- Spiral Binding
- Comb Binding
- Staple Binding
- Perfect (glue) Binding
These are the binding styles that students often opt for when it comes to presenting their thesis. However, it isn’t always easy to determine which style is best.
So, to help you out, let’s see what the benefits and drawbacks are for each style!
Comb binding uses a series of rings on a round plastic spine to bind the document through rectangular punched holes.
The main advantage of this binding style is that the combs can be opened and closed. Consequently, you can add and remove pages, although it’s not particularly easy to do.
Generally, a clear plastic cover and cardboard backing are used to help protect your work. Always a bonus!
Despite one of its main advantages being its price, its main drawback can also be the cost. This is because it has the possibility to give the work a relatively cheap appearance.
Comb binding won’t allow you to give as professional a presentation as you can.
It’s generally regarded as being a great style to use for a draft copy of the dissertation. This is because you can add and remove pages, and it’s a really cheap style to purchase.
Comb binding is a great choice for the final product due to it being quick, easy, and cost effective. But, it potentially won’t give you as much of a professional look as some of the alternative styles will.
This kind of binding is where either a plastic or wire spiral is coiled through a series of holes that have been punched along the side of the pages.
It also includes back and front covers if required.
Spiral Binding allows the document to lie flat, and the pages can be moved 360 degrees around the coil – making it super easy to read the dissertation without damaging or bending the paper.
The wire can sometimes be available in different colours, and everyone knows how excited students can get over colourful things. Face it, you’ve probably got too excited over a new pack of pens or highlighters during your time at uni.
We know. Work can be dull, so the small things make you happy. We won’t judge!.
The main drawback to spiral binding is that it is more expensive than certain other bind types, such as comb binding or staple binding.
Overall, it gives a super professional finish to the piece, but it can be costly compared to different styles.
Perfect binding is where the pages of your dissertation are secured to a single piece of thick paper or card using a specialist adhesive.
One of the advantages to perfect binding is that the cover can be printed, which means that you’re able to personalise it to include your name, the title of your dissertation, or any other information that you may need to show on the front cover.
However, this binding style has the name ‘perfect’ for a reason!
It’s super slick, neat, and looks incredibly professional. But perfection comes at a price.
Perfect binding is one of the most expensive bind styles due to the time it takes. It’s also the only service we offer that isn’t available with same-day delivery due to the time required for the glue to dry.
After all, it takes time to look this good!
So what’s the conclusion?
There’s no clear cut answer about which style is the best when it comes to binding.
It’s all about finding what’s right for YOU! Do you prefer the ease of reading with a spiral bind? Do you prefer the professionalism of perfect binding? Would your decision be mainly based on your budget?
Consider how a printing company can cater to your needs.
Bind Style Research and Ideas
So, we’ve discussed the advantages and disadvantages of various bind styles we offer, but it’s always beneficial to do your own additional research. This table is designed for you to note down any points we may have missed in our blog, or for you to complete your own research on styles we haven’t covered.
It’s up to you how you use this table, but we recommend creating a key and using different colours for each style you research or make notes on.
Where would a mathematician go to get their dissertation printed and bound?
Binding in Education
Document binding crops up in many areas of education.
We’d like to discuss whether document binding is limited to use in dissertations, or whether it’s also useful in more areas.
Although I’m sure you’re already aware, let’s just remind ourselves of a few available bind types:
- Comb Binding
- Perfect Binding
- Thermal Binding
- Hardback Binding
- Wire-O/Spiral Binding
So we know that all of these styles are used in dissertation binding, but are they also suited for use elsewhere in education?
Is it only your dissertation that can benefit from binding services?
Look at it this way. You spend over a decade of your life in education! Realistically, the likelihood of only 1-2 pieces of work being able to benefit from binding in this time period is very slim.
Remember, there’s an immense difference between essential and beneficial!
During certain stages of your time at university, you might need to get work printed and bound.
However, there are other pieces of work where you may find binding helpful.
Here are some examples.
Whether or not your essays need to be handed in digitally or in person, you can still benefit from binding services.
Many university students will get a draft dissertation printed and bound before they order the final copy.
What’s stopping you?
Sometimes, we spend so much time on screens that we can end up going into auto-pilot and missing little mistakes.
By printing a draft, you can benefit from a host of advantages:
- Take a break from screen-time (this can help reduce eye strain or could even improve your quality of sleep)
- Notice small mistakes you may overlook on a screen
- Make notes of edits to keep track of changes you want to make
- Have a hard copy of at least one version in case of technical failure
As a result, printed and bound essays can be useful regardless of the submission method.
Most students have faced the mammoth task of organising their coursework.
You sort mounds of sheets into some form of order before tediously stuffing them into plastic wallets.
Save yourself the hassle!
Minimise your use of plastic, and prevent yourself from slowly going insane. Go online to find a professional service that offers coursework binding – such as ourselves – and get all the hard work done for you.
Simply submit your coursework digitally, then let us take care of the rest.
Make your life easier. Spend more time doing the things you love, and let someone else take over the hard work.
Are you the sort of person who likes to keep plenty of notes during classes? Do you tend to get to the point where you start revising, but you’ve lost some of your pages?
Here’s where printing and binding services can come in handy.
Upload your notes to a computer as and when you can, and then get them printed and bound at the end of the topic/module, etc.
That way, you’ll end up with handy little guides that are ready for when you need them.
So what’s the conclusion?
In summary, the answer is dependent on both the person and the way you approach it.
If you were to look at it in terms of mandatory requirements, you might say it’s needed only for dissertations and theses.
Regardless of that, I’d say that the real answer is that the only limit is your imagination!
Education is all about learning, and what better way is there to do that than break through your personal barriers?
If you spend your whole life sticking minimum requirements, you’ll limit your ability to grow and develop. Use your imagination! You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll find your own style.
If you find well-organised and bound documents help, use them!
Find what works for you and exceed your expectations. You might surprise yourself!
Be professional. Be organised. Believe in yourself!
I asked my mate why their dissertation had a padlock on its spine.
Apparently, it was bound to secrecy!
Professional Printing Over Home Printing
Many people believe that buying a printer can solve all their inky issues. However, owning and maintaining a home printer for all your documents isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.
Of course, owning a printer can have its advantages – such as instant results.
Despite this, using a professional printing service is often going to be a much better choice.
As a student, we know you’ll want things to be as hassle-free as possible.
So, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why using a professional service for all your printing needs can be much more beneficial than printing at home.
It might seem as though buying a printer would be the best choice economically, but that often isn’t the case!
Consider all the costs involved with owning a printer:
- The initial purchase of the product
- Replenishment of ink
- Reams of Paper
- Electric costs to run
- Insurance, protection and/or repairs
Although it may feel like you’re saving money when you’re ‘paying nothing’ each time you print a page – the associated costs can quickly mount up!
You justify to yourself the initial cost, but people often forget about the prices associated with its upkeep.
For example, most ink cartridges for home printing have an average page yield below 300 pages (and that’s being generous).
On top of that, there’s the recurring cost of paper to consider. That’s as well any one-off costs for repairs or to cover the product’s insurance or warranty.
So, if you’re after the best bang for your buck when it comes to dissertation or thesis printing, you’re much better off using a professional printing service.
Quality & Finish
Not only would a pro company save you money, but you’d also receive better quality documents overall.
Cheaper service for better results? Yes please!
The use of industry standard machines and high-quality ink ensure you receive the best print around.
Plus. most printing companies will also bind your dissertation as well.
Why pay more to print at home to then need to find somewhere to bind your work when you can simply use a specialist printing and binding service for a guaranteed professional finish?
The likelihood is that you’re not going to invest a tonne of money into paper purchases!
With that in mind, professional services are superior to home printing due to the range of products they can offer.
You can choose:
- Paper Type
- Paper Weight
- Variety of Bind Types (if required)
- Range of Sizes – not just A4 and smaller
Can you pick between all of those with your printer?
Well, yes, but it would cost you a fortune and take up a considerable chunk of your precious time.
Even then, you couldn’t guarantee you’d know exactly how to meet your requirements.
Leave it to the pros. They’ve got you covered, and they know they can put a smile on your face!
Suppress the Stress
The last thing you want to be doing after the stress of writing your dissertation is to go through the hassle of setting up your printer and waiting for it to churn out the endless pages – especially if you want draft copies as well.
Professional printing companies are hugely popular amongst students who need printing and binding services – often urgently. They can reduce the stress by offering same day or next day dissertation binding.
Think of how much better it would be to get some precious sleep knowing we’ve got you covered.
Saving time isn’t the only way they can alleviate stress for customers!
By choosing a professional printing service over a home printer, you won’t have to worry about all those pesky little problems you’d be likely to encounter.
Say goodbye to paper cuts, warning lights that appear to have cropped up from nowhere, and printers that seem to be direct descendants of Bob Marley (you know, the ones that keep jammin’)!
Let a pro service be your knight in shining armour, and they’ll cover all your printing and binding needs!
A printer can be an eyesore in your house!
They’re not the smallest things, and they’re not always the prettiest.
Wherever you put it, it’s highly likely it will get in the way at some point.
Save space, and don’t ruin the aesthetics of your pro decorating!
What do you call a gorgeous person with an overdue library book?
My Current Stress Level –
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I’m doing great I’m really struggling
My Productivity (Consider how well you’re achieving your goals) –
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I’m basically doing nothing I’m smashing through this
How Much Time I’m Spending on my Work –
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I’m barely touching it Every waking hour
Assessing Your Scores:
Stress – The ideal level here would be between around the 3-6 mark. Too little stress and you’re either not producing your best work, or you may not be putting in enough effort. Too much stress can be damaging to your mental health. A certain degree is beneficial for productivity, and it shows you care.
Productivity – You should be aiming around 4-6 here. Any lower and you risk either not completing the work, or needing to rush at the end. Any higher and you may be rushing, thus producing lower quality writing.
Time – Depending on how work orientated you are, around a 4-7 here should be your aim. Once again, not spending enough time on the work risks not finishing. However, too much time working isn’t healthy. You need plenty of rest and breaks to look after your mental health and produce your best work.
Goals Moving Forward:
*Remember, everyone works differently, so the score assessments aren’t set goals. It’s more of a guide to help you determine whether you’re working at YOUR optimal level.
From everyone here at Day Night Print, we’d like to thank you for choosing to use our handbook!
We hope that you’ve found it useful, and that it’s enabled you to better understand even one area of the dissertation or thesis writing process that you may have been a bit unsure with.
If you have any questions, or for any extra advice, head over to www.daynightprint.co.uk!
Now, go and smash your degree!
The daynightprint team x