Useful Guidelines To Follow When Writing A Dissertation


Writing a dissertation is, for many people, the biggest and most involved project you’ll ever undertake. It can be extremely overwhelming to figure out how to even start, never mind planning for the future! But millions of people have done it, and you can to. Keep these guidelines in mind as you begin your thesis; they’ll help you get organized and motivated to see it through to the end!

  • Pick an interesting topic.
  • Not just a topic that will be interesting to the academy or your advisor or the chair, but one that is interesting to you. You’ll be more motivated to keep working when the subject is something that you’re already interested in, and your interest won’t fade over time. Writing a dissertation is a marathon, not a race, so you want to be able to care about your topic for a long time.

  • Choose an advisor you trust and respect.
  • Having a mentor throughout the writing process will be indispensable to your success. Talk to your advisor about your needs, their requirements and process, and how you can work together to give you the biggest chance of success. You should choose an advisor who you really respect, whose opinion will matter to you as you write. You should also choose a mentor that you like as a person, and who you will feel comfortable turning to when things get rough.

  • Work on your time management skills.
  • If you’re prone to procrastination, it’s time to nip it in the bud, or you’ll be working on your dissertation for seven years! Read a motivational book on time management, or work on making a schedule for your day-to-day life and sticking to it. You want to try and get rid of your bad time habits before they become a problem, not once you’re halfway through your work and realize you’re way behind!

  • Treat your dissertation as a full-time job.
  • Your dissertation should be like a job. You don’t call out sick all the time, or slack off, or put off doing what your boss tells you in your career, so don’t do it when you’re writing your dissertation! Treat it like a job, and act professionally and diligently.

  • Listen to your body and mind.
  • If you feel exhausted, overworked, and really stressed, it’s time to take a break. As hard as you’ve been working, you can’t expect yourself to keep pushing through and working even harder. You’ll just get burned out and produce bad work, or worse, you might just quit entirely. So listen to your body and your mind, and give yourself a break when you need one. You’ll return to your work when you’re ready, and you’ll work smarter and better as a result!

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