I was completely overwhelmed by the idea of writing a dissertation, I always knew it was going to be the toughed part of the degree for me, as literacy has never been my strong point. Although, through our number of meetings at the end of second year, the idea of writing a 10,000 essay became a little less scary as it was broken down into smaller sections. There was finally light at the end of the tunnel! Having had to summit a dissertation proposal at the end of second year, allowed me to start my research gradually. Discovering along the way what theories and arguments interested me enough to tackle them. Throughout my research I had stayed along the lines of the construction of beauty and societies, seemingly invisible, effect of how we live our lives. This was a topic that I had been introduced to through second year constellation on “The Construction of Glamour”, and had intrigued me ever since. Through the dissertation proposal I began to form my essay in a more logical and coherent manner. Trying to break it down into more manageable chunks, to both help me get my head around it and take away the fear of starting.
Having to research texts for my proposal, gave me a much getter respect for academic writers, and enforce the significance and magnitude of the task ahead. Feeling happy with how may research was going, I continued to read as many analytical and critical texts as I could get my hands on. This was so that when it came to writing my dissertation, I would already have some background knowledge, and an extensive awareness of the existing supportive academic texts. I had never written anything of this length before so I wanted to ensure that I was well prepared for the task at hand. However, the more texts I read, the harder I was finding it to both fully understand the what the text was saying and how I could coherently relate that to my own essay. I was getting lost in so many different intellectual arguments that I felt that I had lost confidence in my own writing. Trying to get back on track I began making lists of any quotes that I felt were relevant to my own analysis, which seemed to make everything slightly more manageable. If I was to ever write another dissertation or thesis, I would start with this method of listing all the relevant quotes with a side note of a brief explanation of the agreement it came from. As I found that the notes I had created using this format were the most helpful when actually typing my dissertation. I would also ensure that within my notes I would have fully documented the quotation’s reference, as during the last week coming up to the hand in deadline, re-finding references, proved very stressful and wasted the most time – as I hadn’t fully documented them in my notes, for example, forgetting to list the publishers.
The thought of actually starting my dissertation was probably the most daunting as I wanted to ensure that when I started, I was writing in as clear a format as possible, in order to plainly layout and explain the reasons behind my research, its findings and why it was relevant to my investigation. However, once I finally bit the bullet and started the writing, the ideas I had researched came up quite naturally, although it did need some editing to ensure the highlighted points I had raised, flowed and showed clearly why the research was relevant. Though doing this I have learnt that, with in my own writing, I have the tendency to get over involved in a point that I am passionate about, which leads to too many details being given and clouding the aspect of the argument that is actually relevant. This made editing quite frustrating as I was getting lost in my own writing, talking in circles rather than clearly depicting my point. Although I found the formality of the writing itself a task, I enjoyed the aspect of ne research it brought to light, and I feel that this can only be a positive thing for my own practise. Having had to become more confident in my writing, has allowed me to become more definite, and assertive, when describing my own work.
My thoughts and ideas throughout this thesis have altered more and more throughout my researching and reading of the subject. Initially, I had a very broad idea of what I wanted to explore and through the process of writing it has become more focused on the effect society has on our views of art. It is a topic that I will continue to be inspired by, as it is a way of life. Our society vastly influences what we find visually appealing, shown through that simple fact of fashion. So why should that not be discussed through the art movements and how it represents us. I enjoyed researching its effect through time, as I found and still find it interesting how a simple stigma within a society can so vastly shape the views of the people within that culture.
On reflection, I have both hated and loved witting this dissertation, as I found the technical aspects of it very difficult while thoroughly enjoying the research into previous discussions and the new information it provided. All in all, it has been a very rewarding process, but one I’m not sure I ever want to repeat. What I have learnt from this is the importance of creating notes (and referencing them properly at the beginning) in order to keep the content both informative and precise. The importance of starting your research early and keeping on top of what your writing, in order to cut down on the amount of late night sessions in the library. I have also learnt that nothing is as scary or daunting if you break it down into manageable chunks and just get started. The longer I put of starting the essay, through telling myself my plan wasn’t clear enough yet or I hadn’t fully researched the most important arguments, the more daunting I made the task for myself. Over all I have found the whole process very rewarding.