Make sure that it is up-dated every week. I have split it into five categories:
Date- I am hoping to make this a weekly diary so that I am able to record what I do in a concise manner. I did not want to do a diary where I made an entry every time I added to my EP as I felt that this was unnecessary and time consuming. A weekly diary allows me to summarise and reflect over a period of time which is more effective in showing change over time.
What I have achieved this week- This column will let me bullet point down everything I have down that said week.
Any problems encountered- I felt that this column was particularly important as it allows me to reflect on the issues that I had encountered when I did my EP. It is especially useful to help me self-evaluate and improve on my skills; see where I went wrong and how I can improve.
Successes- again, this was useful for contemplation. Like the problems encountered, I am able to reflect on the successes, this is extremely important in that it both shows progress and improvement. As a consequence it gives me encouragement to carry on.
What do I need to do next- this column is especially useful as I have a definite plan showing me what I need to do next week to carry on with my successes and minimise possible problems. It is also particular useful in helping me with time management.
First official EP lesson- introductory lesson
In these first couple of EP lessons I will learn new skills and improve on what I already know to prepare me for my dissertation. This will include note-taking, referencing, planning and research. All these skills are extremely important in writing a successful and exceptional dissertation. Hopefully over time I will improve greatly in these skills and help me carry it on into the future.
Rationale to be finished by the end of the week.
In my rationale I can reflect and extend into the reason why I have chosen to do what I have chosen. It is particularly important to justify your reasoning as I feel it is extremely important in choosing a topic that you throughly enjoy and will find interesting to pursue further. Writing the rationale will open up my mind and justification will solidify my passion for the chosen topic.
Subjected to change throughout the coming months to suit dissertation. I want to choose a title that can summarise but can provide me with a foundation to extend and explore further. I think I will choose a question-based title so that I have more flexibility in elaborating my topic and answering the chosen question.
This plan will be my working template. Like my timeline it will help me work out the structure and look ahead of what I need to do; in effect, also allowing me to connect and extend my sources. It will also give me a time frame in my head as to how much more I need to do and as a result help me with my time management.
This timeline allows me to plan ahead and set deadlines for myself. Hopefully this will help me improve my time management and give me strict deadlines to work towards, however I know that it is unlikely that I will stick to a definite schedule but I hope that I will be able to catch up and not fall behind dramatically. All of the problems will be recorded in the weekly diary.
Make a start on the introduction to my dissertation. I feel that the introduction is the most important part of the dissertation, it sets the scene for the reader therefore it is necessary that I start this early and make sure that it is clear and effective in bringing across my intentions. Particularly for my topic, the background to Traditional Chinese Medicine is extremely important in understanding the development of it, without the background knowledge my dissertation to the reader will confuse rather than enlighten.
Evaluate what I have achieved so far, my successes and failures and what I am planning on doing to complete my dissertation. Reflection and self evaluation will help me decide on what to do next and how I can improve on what I have already done so far. I am hoping that by the time I do my mid-progress review my dissertation will be done to a suitable extent for me to evaluate efficiently.
Disruption to EP may occur due to exams. I do doubt that I will be doing much to my project before and during this period. However, I will allocate a lot of time for me to catch up after my exams.
Leave for China for voluntary work a day early- will bring laptop so I can do EP whilst away. My intention is to do as much as possible whilst I'm out there, despite how little I may get done due to the long working days, a little is better than nothing.
Date may vary from 18-20th July depending on other commitments whilst in Hong Kong; make sure I get a chance to talk to a TCM practitioner and ask a few questions.
Draft must be finished by the first week of August so alterations and improvements can be made. A complete draft will be printed with full annotations. After my draft is finished I will start to pick at my dissertation until I am satisfied. If it is necessary, a second draft will also be created.
Everything must be finalised, rewritten and proof read before handing in! I must make sure that all my sources are fully referenced, sources all evaluated, dissertation done to my satisfaction etc. Most importantly, compile my planning into a presentable manner for my teacher to inspect and mark.