How To Start Your Dissertation

How To Start Your Dissertation-28
Doctoral dissertation looming over your head like an ominous black cloud? Research suggests that students often procrastinate when they perceive the dissertation as an overwhelming task. Motivation is the biggest problem that grad students face in writing the dissertation.

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It's way too easy to procrastinate and put off writing your dissertation under the guise, "I need to read more before I can write." Don't fall into that trap! The dissertation often is a major blow to a graduate student's self-esteem.

It is not uncommon to feel as if it's an insurmountable task that will never be completed.

Begin where you feel comfortable and fill in the gaps.

You will find that you gain momentum with the completion of each small task.

For example, when we were writing the dissertation, we taught 5 classes as an adjunct at 4 different schools; blocks of time were difficult to find, other than over the weekend.

Aside from pragmatics, writing at least a little every day keeps the thesis topic fresh in your mind, leaving you open to new ideas and interpretations.

Motivation may be maintained and even enhanced as each small step is completed.

Organization provides a sense of control, holds procrastination at minimal levels, and is key to completing the dissertation. Outline the small steps needed to complete this large project.

All too often, students may feel that their only goal is to finish the thesis.

A goal this large may feel indomitable; break it down into the component tasks.


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