Make your dissertation your priority

As you undoubtedly already know, writing a dissertation is different from anything you’ve ever done. This enterprise requires you to adjust, if not radically change, your lifestyle. If you ever really want to complete the dissertation, and in a timely manner (if that isn’t an oxymoron), you need to rethink your priorities.

Your a full-time job, of course, should be high on the priority list. You may have been used to putting family first. But rethink this priority. Heartless and psychologically suspect as this statement may sound, you can make it up to them in many other ways—later (that’s another article).

How to have a writing room of your own

My writing buddy’s face turned dark pink as she shouted over her latté. “No one can do anything worthwhile without a private writing place!” She thrust her face into mine. “It’s gotta be your own!”

I was as adamant. “Oh, come on. All you need is the desire and will and your stone tablet and sharp tool. It doesn’t matter where you write!”

Our little debate embodies two often-discussed viewpoints about writing. Despite my vehement response to my friend, I have long puzzled about the most effective place to write. If you too are in a quandary, or lament you have no writing spot to call your own, I’d like to help you enlarge your perceptions about your own physical and mental writing places, spaces, and times.

Be strict about the type of editing that is suitable for each stage of the revision process

Advice about academic writing often stresses the iterative nature of the writing process; the creation of an effective final draft generally requires multiple drafts and extensive revision. A crucial corollary to a commitment to extensive revision is an acceptance that revision mustn’t be allowed to go on indefinitely. Otherwise, a certain mania can set in: any draft can always be other than it is. After a certain point, we have to ask ourselves about diminishing returns and about the very real possibility of messing up what is already working.

10 Ways to overcome challenges to writing your dissertation

The top challenges participants of TAA’s August Dissertation Writing Boot Camp indicated that they were facing in completing their dissertation included time management, staying focused, writer’s block, holding themselves accountable to deadlines, and anxiety.

Boot Camp Leader and Dissertators United Chapter Chair Ashley Sanders, who is also working on completing her dissertation, said that one of the strategies she finds really helpful to overcome the anxiety she feels when working on her dissertation is to start the day by free writing in her journal.

6 Do’s and don’ts of editing your dissertation

Picture this: You’ve just finished up the last paragraph of a section in your dissertation. Now comes the time to read over the whole chapter and edit it, even though you feel that you’ve been over it a million times, so maybe you’ll be fine without editing—right? Wrong. Editing your dissertation is one of the most important things you’ll do before submitting it and earning your doctorate, so here are some do’s and don’ts of editing your dissertation.