Dissertation Top Tips from the GCU London Library

Working on your dissertation? Here are some top tips from the library team.

Take a break on the GCU London Roof Terrace!

Take a break on the GCU London Roof Terrace!

  1. Devote a certain amount of time to your work every day. The library is open in the summer Monday-Thursday from 8.30 am – 8pm (last entryat 7pm) and Fridays from 8.30am – 5:30pm. Ellen and Julie (librarians) are here from 9am – 5pm. If you need specific help with finding previous dissertations, RefWorks, literature searches or anything else, please come see us.
  2. Attend the dissertation workshops happening throughout the summer to support you at each stage. And check out the online dissertation support videos created by our Lecturer in Academic Development in the GCU Learn Academic Development Community. You can also book an individual appointment with GCU London’s Lecturer in Academic Development to develop your dissertation writing at: https://londonadt.youcanbook.me/
  3. Target English is here twice a week all summer, providing individual appointments for assistance with language development. Students are welcome to meet with Fiona or Jo once a week. The appointment sign-up sheet is at the library desk, or you can email gculondonlibrary@gcu.ac.uk for an appointment.
  4. Don’t rely on citing textbooks in your methodology section. It’s important to use scholarly journal articles to support your idea development throughout your dissertation and not just in the literature review. Come and visit the librarians if you want help finding articles on your methodology.

    Noise Cancelling headphones

    Check out our Noise Cancelling headphones! (As modeled by Ellen)

  5. If silence helps you to concentrate, there is a quiet study room in the library. We also loan noise-cancelling headphones which really work!
  6. Until the end of July, you can use Lynda.com tutorials for help using SPSS, Nvivo or using software to create online questionnaires. Sign in via the Library databases A-Z page.
  7. Don’t leave your formatting to the last minute! There are many features in Microsoft Word that can be set up in advance to set and ensure consistency based on formatting requirements: styles, Table of Contents, page number and captioning for figures. Check out this online guide or join us for the dissertation workshop.
  8. Most importantly, ensure you take regular breaks from your work. Stretch your legs, have a snack, chat to a friend, or have a game of ping pong. Have you been up to the GCU London roof terrace with its amazing view? Or you might take a quick walk down Brick Lane and grab a samosa, or check out Spitalfields Market stalls; take advantage of GCU London’s location while you’re studying.

Good luck with your dissertation!

By Ellen, Julie and Jessica.

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