Lots of people consider writing a dissertation to be a sort of rite of passage for academic students entering the professional world. And like most rites of passage, it doesn’t come easy. Composing a dissertation is usually a long and drawn-out process that takes several months and sometimes even a year to complete. And with anything that takes this long to finish, it can be very easy to get off track. So here are few tips for staying on track and getting this project of a lifetime done!
Graduate students tend to have over-stuffed schedules that easily become awry after just a few weeks into the semester. Between research, coursework, and assignments, many students also have part or full-time jobs. The only way to stay on track when you have so many responsibilities is to develop a plan for researching and writing your dissertation. More importantly you need to stick with it. There’s no point in even starting one if you don’t have the discipline to follow it.
By the time you are in grad school you will be well aware of the many distractions that lurk in every nook and cranny in our lives. Distractions can turn what was supposed to be a two hour writing session into a complete waste, causing a stress filled domino effect that interrupts sleep and disturbs future study. Find a quiet place where you can work without distractions. Your brain will adjust and learn to focus the moment you enter your space.
Graduate students have a vast support network available to them, but hardly take full advantage of all it has to offer. Go to the library, join study groups, meet with your advisor and other professors. Utilize every aspect of your network to the fullest; it can make one of the biggest differences when writing your dissertation.
Remind yourself often to make the time and effort to be good to your mind, body and soul. This means taking a break when you need it most. This means complete bed rest if you catch a cold. This means taking at least an entire rest day each week. Make sure you eat right and keep exercising. Your brain will stay more focused and you’ll have an easier time working through your project.
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