15.938 words, 0 sleep. Dissertation countdown

After several all-nighters, countless cups of coffee and very, very little sleep, it's finally done! I have just handed in my dissertation for the B.A. (Hons) degree in Travel Journalism.

"In what ways do travel magazines define their readership and how does their style and content refelct this? An analysis of the travel market" was my topic, and I looked at travel magazines Wanderlust, Lonely Planet Magazine, The Sunday Times Travel and National Geographic Traveler in terms of writing style, features, pictures, colours and advertising, to find their readership. For this I also had to know how market segments can be defined and what methods are used.

In total, I have written 15.938 words, excluding quotes, abstract, declarations, lists, captions and references. 60 pages including the cover, and the overall word count of everything I have written is 19.028.

I found that I had to cut a lot out. Writing the Literature Review, and the first few chapters explaining Market Segments, Travel Writing and Magazine Style was pretty straight-forward, based on quotes and my own interpretations. However, the four case studies were not that easy to write. I did one after the other, so I wouldn't get confused with the magazines. I looked at each one from many different angles, and really had to focus so I wouldn't write too much. The hardest part was then to link it all up, compare, contrast and add quotes and references to earlier chapters. I found that nailing down a specific readership is not possible in most cases, even though every book on the subject advises editors to have a very clear reader profile in mind when designing the publication.

I actually finished my dissertation in the early hours of yesterday. However, I still had to write an abstract, which took me most of the day, as I had to sum up nearly 16.000 words in 250 words or less.

Once the results are published, I will publish my dissertation for you to judge!

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