Dissertation meet up & first draft | Dissertation Diaries #7

So in my last dissertation post I said I was going to see my supervisor on the the Thursday, however I ended seeing him today because on Thursday public transport let me down!

So I went to see him, and obviously he’s read the introduction, and the first “chapter”, so at first we discussed the second and third “chapters” I haven’t written yet, and gave me some ideas. I realised one of the flaws in my dissertation was the bit that compared Lucy from ‘Dracula’ with Antonia from ‘The Monk’ because their situations are very different, and really they weren’t compatible. However, the similarities they do have such as their beauty, which is emphasised in both texts, and and their deaths, tie them together enough to come up with an interesting argument. If they were too alike then the essay wouldn’t really be interesting, and they have enough differences in character to discuss how they are  made abject in different ways. I think it will be an interesting fusion to discuss the themes of beauty and death in Lucy and Antonia, and hope it’ll be something a bit different. I was telling G-Dubbs that there was very few works  comparing the female characters from both novels in secondary reading (even though there’s a lot comparing religion in both books), so I’m having to bring together lots of different articles to create my own sort of argument which he said was good because “there’s no point in writing about something that’s already been written if you can’t put your twist on it, or just dropping in quotes that you agree with to ornament your essay”. I also told him about what I’m going to discuss for the character Agnes from ‘The Monk’, who is a abject mother” and he said it was good. Agnes is a stand alone in my dissertation because there’s no one to compare her to from ‘Dracula’, whereas in chapter 1 and 2 obviously I’m drawing parallels between Mina and Matilda, and Lucy and Antonia. I actually have names for each of the “chapters” but I can’t put them on here because they might pick up for plagiarism, even though it won’t be plagiarism because I’m writing about my dissertation on my own blog, but still I’m being cautious.

The other point he made is that in my draft I overused the word “abject”, and that by doing that the point was just getting a bit overdone. He advised instead to only use the word abject at the end of each point rather than all the way through because then it will have more significance and pull the strings of my argument together better. Also, In some places he said that my analysis was good but I needed to fill it out with some quotes just so it shows I’m keeping to the point, and not going off on a tangent. Some of the quotes that are embedded in the text I didn’t follow up with a page number which we have to do for our referencing style, however I missed them out because when I was doing the draft because I was also doing my Modernism essay, which wasn’t a draft, so I will put the page numbers when I do the final piece. Another pointer he gave was that when mentioning a critic or secondary source for the first time give their full name, or the full title of the work, and then it can be abbreviated for any other mentions throughout the essay, for example I might introduce Julia Kristeva, but after that point I can refer to her as Kristeva. This isn’t something I’ve ever been picked up for before, but he’s the guy marking my dissertation so I want all the brownie points off him. I think it also gets read my a moderating board just to check I’ve been given the right mark ect.

Overall, he said it was a promising first draft, and my writing was good, and that I’d obviously realised some of the pot-holes in what I had originally proposed, and thought of ways to to make the argument work.

That’s really it! I don’t know if I’ll do another dissertation diary post before my final hand-in because I’ve got a language essay to write, and an exam to revise for, and this to finish too, so my blogs probably going to be quiet. I do have one or two “here’s one a prepared earlier” posts which I will post but after exams I will be back to blogging!

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If you haven’t read all my dissertation posts then you can read the whole series of posts I’ve done it!

First dissertation post

Second post

Third post

Fourth post

Fifth post

Sixth post



3 thoughts on “Dissertation meet up & first draft | Dissertation Diaries #7

  1. Sounds like you’re on track 🙂 I haven’t written an essay in a while but I remember finding it really hard to stay on track and not go off on a tangent. I think I’d lose my mind if I had to write a dissertation. Good thing I blog where no-one care if my thoughts are jumbled 😛


      • We don’t write traditional essays but we do a fair bit of writing in terms of explaining your logic from one step to another. We also have projects where we explore certain topics within Mathematics and they have to be structured and referenced properly like an essay. Also formal mathematics has to be written in Latex which is like Microsoft Word for mathematicians except it’s a complete pain in the butt.

        Best of luck completing your essay 🙂


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