How to start your doctoral Dissertation

Producing great academic writing comes with experience and with taking the feedback you receive and improving yourself more and more with every essay you turn in and with every large paper you research and write. However, certain thing never change and one of them is the fear of the white sheet of paper in front of your eyes. Regardless of how many papers you have written up to that moment, opening up your word processor and actually putting down the very first words is a dreaded moment. Something similar to a writer’s block can hit in the most unfortunate of times and if you really have to keep up to a schedule, such a block can definitely draw you back and it can make things much more difficult.

Freewriting – the Pill to Work against the Writer’s Block

Freewriting is a method by which you are supposed to eliminate the block in your mind and be able to free all the things you want to write about from the cage they have locked themselves in. Basically, you just take a white sheet of paper (or open the word processor, for that matter) and write whatever crosses to your mind about the subject of your doctoral dissertation. Do not worry about referencing, accuracy and structure; just write what crosses your mind at the moment for about 5 to 10 minutes (you can set an alarm clock) and do not stop.

By the end of these 10 minutes, you will most likely have filled at least a couple of pages of writing and, surprisingly enough, they can make for a great head start of your doctoral dissertation. Yes, this will be something you will thoroughly have to edit, but it will give a very good idea of what your introduction should contain.

Cleaning it up is absolutely essential and you should make sure that you add some structure into it and that it eventually gets to respect all the good things a great introduction is:

  • Short enough as to not bore the reader,
  • But long enough as to be comprehensive;
  • It should contain your thesis statement (or a tentative thesis statement);
  • It should contain background information on the topic of your research;
  • It should contain the methods you used in order to conduct the research;
  • It should contain the main approach you will use throughout the research and the paper writing proper.