Source: D. Sharon Pruitt (Flickr)

Source: D. Sharon Pruitt (Flickr)

A dissertation is probably the longest text many people will write during their lives, not to mention all the reading, note-taking and writer’s block!

Maddy Potts managed to get through it and then wrote a list of things she wished she’d known beforehand. For those of you just starting your dissertation journey, perhaps her advice will help.


If your dissertation supervisor isn’t right, change.

Do not ask friends how much work they’ve done. You (or they) will end up paranoid.

There will be one day when you’ll freak out, doubt your entire thesis and decide to start again from scratch. Don’t do it. It’s just panic and it will pass.

A lot of the work you do will not make it into your dissertation.

You will print like you have never printed before.

Finishing it will be one of the best things you’ve ever done.

Read more of Maddy’s advice on The Guardian’s Blogging Students.

For those of you who’ve completed a dissertation, what advice would you give someone who has to write one?