English Literature Research Project – OurWarwick

English Literature Research Project

Megan McElroy | English Literature Contact Megan
English, Going out, Halls, or something else!
Find out more about me Contact Megan

Whilst a dissertation is daunting for all students, there is something about it that seems slightly more intuitive for English students.

After all, we spend most of our degree writing 2-3000 word essays, and as such, the process of research and writing is one that most of us are comfortable with.

That being said, among my cohort, there was and still is a general feeling of anxiety and stress in relation to the task at hand!

This year, the department has rebranded the dissertation as a ‘research project’, with a word count of either 8,000, or the choice to write two 4,000 essays that are related in some manner.

My dissertation is something that has been on my mind for a long time; with the uncertainty of coming to university and what your degree may or may not look like, it is a constant.

However, the dissertation itself is still somewhat a mystery, and here we can address any misinformation!


Every subject has different timelines for the dissertation, and English expects a propsal at the end of year two.

This isn’t an assessed deadline, the department is just looking to see where your research interest lies and who this matches up with in terms of your supervisor.

In fact, it is completely normal to have your final project differ vastly from your proposal; I know this is the case for me, and it’s nothing to worry about!


A lot of the dissertation is in the research.

Whilst 8,000 words might sound overwhelming, there is just as much, if not more, work that goes into the research. In fact, once the research is done, the writing process is so much easier

However, what is equally important is making the transition from researching to writing. It is so easy to get trapped in a cycle of researching, and starting to write can be daunting.

Make sure you don’t get caught with a mass of secondary material, yet no words to show for it!


The department mandates meeting with your supervisor once per term.

Aside from this, your relationship with your supervisor is student-led, and which gives you a lot of flexibility with your project.

That being said, it’s really important to set deadlines for yourself, to ensure that the work doesn’t get forgotten about!


8,000 words may be the most you have ever written in one go.

As such, it’s important to come up with strategies to ensure that you don’t feel like you’re drowning in the work.

For example, sending roughly 1000 words to your supervisor every few academic weeks can be a good way to make sure you are sticking to some sort of writing timetable, and they have a chance to give you invaluable feedback on your work.

Megan McElroy | English Literature Contact Megan
English, Going out, Halls, or something else!
Find out more about me Contact Megan

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