Why Students Struggle to Complete their Dissertation in a Timely Manner

Dissertations are very important aspects of our technical and non-technical streams of higher education system. Academic intelligentsia & research institutions consider dissertation as a measure of cumulative learning of an individual. Dissertation of high quality ensures immediate recognition and opens a gamut of interesting prospects. Despite all this, many students fail to complete their dissertation on time and the quality of their work seldom matches even their own expectations.

The pivotal importance of dissertation and the consequent performance pressure is the primary reason of below par performance of the students. Most of their time is wasted in finding a useful dissertation topic and related framework; rather than working on the framework itself. The most crucial time of the dissertation tenure is the initial phase where the dissertation topic, research scope and objectives needs to be defined. In many cases, there is a substantial delay in finding the correct scope or nature of research. This leads to mid-term confusion and chaos at the end of dissertation period. In such a scenario, dissertation assignment turns into a race against time, instead of being an instrument of valuable outcome.

Also Read: How to Structure a Perfect Dissertation

Quality and outcome of dissertation vastly depends on meaningful collaboration between the student and the guide. To meet this end, an open communication between students and their supervisors is imperative, but on the contrary, there remains a confusion in terms of expectations and methodology of research on both ends. Many a times, student don’t understand and follow the instructions and feedback from their mentor. This leads to more rework and continuous failure to meet deadlines. On the other hand, sometimes even the supervisors fail to understand the expectations of their student, and may not provide ample guidance, time, effort and resources required to succeed.

Another aspect of unwanted confusion is meeting language and formatting standards for the final script. The correct bibliographic references, literature review and related context of avoiding plagiarism add to the woes of students. A pre-research orientation on the above aspects can reduce this pressure substantially.

Related: Civil Engineering Dissertation Topics for 2015

The tangential outcomes of all the above factors are psychological issues of performance pressure, stress, anxiety, social isolation, reduced self-esteem and motivation level etc. Longer the tenure of dissertations, more are the chances of students getting attached to these unwanted disorders, which in turn further reduces the quality of their work. Part time students and those with learning difficulties find it even more difficult to cope with the pressure of completing the dissertation on time, and often abandon their dissertation or thesis in between.

The restraining factors that reduce the quality of dissertation and increase the time cycle are abundant, but they can be judiciously identified through awareness of the underlying factors, and hence are definitely avoidable. The imperative requirement is early identification of influential factors and a collaborative & behavioral intervention to tackle them.


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