Final Year Project studying Time Management
Final Year Projects
Final Year Projects: Getting Started
Final Year Projects: Literature Review
Final Year Projects:What next?
Final Year Projects:References
Final Year Projects:Sources of Advice
Final Year Projects:Time Management
Final Year Projects:Surveys
Final Year Projects:Frequently Asked Questions
Final Year Projects:Final Presentation
Final Year Projects:Contact

Poor Time Management skills are one of the major reasons for poorly graded or failed projects

The following points may help you to 'Time Manage' your project:
  • Do not wait until you have done all of the reading before you start writing. Start drafting out your first chapter(s) once you have done some initial research into the area

  • make yourself a timescale with realistic plans in it e.g. one chapter of 1500 words per week

  • Writing a chapter and reading more around an area may well be a cyclical process i.e. having written some material in a chapter, you feel to need to expand your material with the aid of more research/reading

  • survey work e.g. questionnaires always takes longer than expected. Remember that data collection can be quick but good data analysis takes a lot longer and will typically involve computer analysis

  • If your survey work, case study etc. is only one chapter within the whole, then keep it within reasonable proportions. The time spent in chasing 10 extra questionnaires might be better deployed refining your theoretical sections or adding to your literature review

  • Do not wait to find out that a busy organisation does not have time to respond to your requests for information, interviews and so on. Get on with the rest of the project with a contingency plan in case you cannot do what was originally intended

  • Make a realistic timetable for yourself of work to be done week by week. Reward yourself for each section completed. Allow yourself some 'slippage' points

  • Do not panic if things start to go wrong e.g. you cannot get vital data. Your tutor can (sometimes!) help you rescue and turn around seemingly desperate situations

  • Remember that drafts have to be written and then re-drafted, after advice from tutors, friends, your own second thoughts...

  • Allow plenty of time for a final proof-reading e.g. a week! Many final year projects can be jeopardised by being rushed towards the end

  • Collect all of your references together as you go. Disciplined use of good Harvard Referencing techniques in your own little database/spreadsheet/card indexes will pay dividends. Better still, keep your lost of references 'current' by stitching in references as you go

  • Good presentation may not gain you marks but poor presentation may certainly lose some. Do not spend a lot of time on fancy presentation if you have glaring errors of spelling, typography or grammatical constructions within the project.

  • Keep frequent checks on the total word count to make sure you are within allowable limits - you may well be penalised if you exceed a word limit as it is part of your academic skill to write to a brief (e.g. 10,000 words plus or minus 1,000)

  • Ensure you are fully conversant with requirements for layout and presentation before you start to produce the finished article. This is often likely to be over the Easter vacation when tutors may well not be available

  • Time spent on constructing a good contents page (detailing page numbers for each chapter and section) pays great dividends in adding to the professional feel of the whole. This often has to be a 'last minute' job i.e. you need to know what the page numbers actually are before you can write the page numbers into your List of Contents section (you do not have to number these!)

  • Remember that printing/reprographic facilities are likely to be under pressure from several students at the same time

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