Dissertation Diary (Part 1)

As I mentioned last week, I thought I would do something a little different for this assessment, because it is such a large project and I thought it would be interesting to share my experiences and progression. Here's part 1!
Tuesday 28th May
I am just settling down for the night. I have been somewhat productive today. I thought I’d get more done, but sadly not. I did do some meal prepping which was good so I have an extra 6 meals in the freezer for work and I have one ready for tomorrow so no cooking…yey! I also managed to do most of my admin before finally starting on the essay that I’ve been putting off for what feels like years. Anyway, I have just saved everything and shut it all down and got ready for bed. I’m suddenly really cold. It always feels so lonely in bed and wish I could share it with someone but never mind. 

Wednesday 29th May 
Finally made a little start on writing. Even if it was the smallest part. Nevertheless, it’s a start! Mainly, I printed off all my articles and went through all the information to support the project online. I then separated the guidance into individual chapters and collated the repetitive information in one place so I don’t have to repeatedly open multiple documents. 

Thursday 30th May 
I feel like I’ve made a good start but progress is slow. I’ve printed off all the articles and read them all twice today. I’ve read each of them at least twice before online before. I’ve gone through and highlighted them in 7 different colours fit different parts. I thought I’d get onto the next step as well, but I was nowhere near. 

Friday 31st May 
I’m stressed. Not sure how I’m going to get through this. I have less than 2 months to write 15000 words. I’m making progress but it’s all going so slowly. I’ve spent the day going through the articles again today. This time transferring all my notes and highlighted parts back to the computer. I thought I’d be able to get through them all and finish table 2 but I still have 2 articles left and it’s 2330. I’m trying to stay positive but I don’t have too much time left. I have 8 weeks to finish it and in that time, I have my birthday, two weddings, a week of annual leave with a hen party, another wedding and supposedly 4 days of the great Yorkshire show. I really don’t want to have to cut it short but I think I’m going to have to because I have so few days off in between, because I’m working full time plus doing other jobs too. Send help!

Saturday 1st June 
It’s officially my birthday month and the less than 2 month count down is on. Help me. I had a 12.5 hour shift today and then came back and did 3 hours writing up the final 3 article analysis tools. 

Sunday 2nd June 
Another 12.5 hour shift, but I came home and did some more of the assessment. I had 2 of the last two seminars to re-watch and make notes on. They were meant to be 2 hours long each but actually were only an hour an a half total which was nice. I treated myself with a film (Atlas) afterwards, although fell asleep half way though because I was so tired.  

Monday 3rd June 
I feel so much better after the productivity today. I finished the two tables required for Chapter 3 and then went through all my notes and articles to get background information and supporting evidence together. I’m well on the way to Chapter 1 and 2 and feel like tomorrow I can hopefully start actually writing which will be a relief. 

Tuesday 4th June 
I can't believe it but I think I have actually written Chapter 1 and 2. I've been writing it all day, but using the information I'd already collated, I was able to transfer it all over into the correct parts which actually seemed to work really well. I also watched the last meeting, which was an hour and a half long and had really good practical support discussed, so I made lots of notes. Tomorrow I'm having a day off because I have work in the morning, so I've decided to go out to the pub with my cousin afterwards, but I have realised I've missed out the literature review I wanted to add to Chapter 2 so my plan is to add that tomorrow night when I get home. I've also asked the module lead a couple of questions and asked my supervisor a couple of questions, as well as sent her the first drafts of each Chapter, so potentially I will end up with some information to add and update from them too. 

Wednesday 5th June 
I only had a couple of hours to add in some literature today but it's added now which feels good. I have 4 days off now, so my plan is to write Chapter 3. I've already created the PRISMA diagram, CASP and two tables required, so it will be a lot of writing. I'm really hoping I get it done before the end of the week!

Thursday 6th June 
Chapter 3 writing is going so much slower than the other two parts. I feel like I haven't prepped enough which is a little frustrating. I ended up taking the time out instead to first of all complete a full CASP of each article to better collate ideas. I then created another table with information from all my handwritten notes, that talked about pros and cons of each article and then combined them together so that I could group the topics. 

Friday 7th June 
Today's focus was on the Methodology write up and it's gone well. I've almost finished it but I am absolutely knackered and so ready for bed. I've split Chapter 3's goals into the subheading areas for ease and so I can measure progress a little better. I feel like as I've been finding evidence and resources, I've confused myself more and more by the different types of literature reviews and I don't really know which one I've actually done...

Saturday 8th June 
I finally finished writing up the Methodology aspect of the project and I've almost finished the Critical Analysis part. It's been a long but productive day. I've also looked through some of the examples on the Canvas site from previous student's so that's been a little helpful. 

Sunday 9th June 
I had a short break today at my cousins for a barbeque. I only went for about 3 hours, but because it takes me so long to get in and out of "the zone", I ended up not starting until gone 5pm and so I didn't finish until 3am without a break! I am really proud of myself for finishing Chapter 3 and I think what I have written is great, however, there is one small problem. Whilst Chapter 1 was 200 words under, Chapter 2 1000 words under, Chapter 3 is 5000 words over which is a big issue. I'm dreading trying to cut it down but that's a problem for another day. 

Monday 10th June 
Back to work tonight for three night shifts. If the last few shifts are anything to go by, they will be very busy with not much time to sit down so I doubt I will be doing much work on the project for a while. 

Thursday 13th June 
I woke up after my night shifts and I honestly didn't really know what to do or where to start so I thought making a second draft of the first three chapters was the best thing to do. I made some very small changes to Chapter 1, mainly grammatical changes and updates. I then moved on to Chapter 2 and ended up spending most of the time on this chapter. Chapter 2 was 1000 words under, as I said earlier, but because of the mark scheme that's quite a lot so I tried to find more information on the topic and try to critically appraise some of the literature as well for the higher marks. I then sent these updated versions to my supervisor as I'm still waiting for her feedback. I also emailed the module lead because I haven't heard from her in over a week so I was getting a little worried. 

Friday 14th June 
I finally heard back from my supervisor with some feedback for Chapter 1. She said she'd send over some feedback for Chapter 2 over the weekend, but I'm not planning on doing much over the weekend, if anything to be honest. I have printed the updated Chapter 1 and 2s so that I can edit them again and make the third drafts of each, before sending them to my dad, friend and cousin to have a look through as they have all kindly offered. I am taking them away with my this weekend, in case I have some downtime, but if not, I'm not going to put pressure on myself as it's my birthday. I really wanted to get through a second draft of Chapter 3 but unfortunately I only managed to spend about 2 hours on it, prior to having to pack and get ready so that will be a job for next week instead!