Research has shown that in a PhD classroom between a third and a half of the students will fail to complete their course in set time and this is mainly as a result of struggling with their dissertation paper. Many PhD students find writing a dissertation paper challenging due to a number of reasons.
Since a student has to complete and submit their dissertation in partial fulfillment of the degree, many students find it intimidating. It becomes more problematic when they are told that they are doing independent research, yet the student still has to take the dissertation topic for approval. Striking a balance between autonomy and supervision of research presents a challenge to some students. This at times leads to the students not getting along with the supervisor or even not paying heed to the committee’s suggestions, thus delaying the completion of the work.
Many PhD students struggle with writing the dissertation paper simply because they are striving to achieve perfection. They therefore end up being their worst critics. Each time they write a section they keep on amending and polishing the research to the point that the argument is lost. At times they even fail to start writing in time because they spent too much time looking for the perfect outline of the paper. Students should understand that writing a paper is a step by step process, which would involve drafting an outline and some rough notes initially.
Most of the PhD students are also engaged in a number of activities. Some of the activities might be in relation to attaining academic requirements, while others might be to meet the everyday life obligations. This might make the student’s time and loyalty to be divided among those responsibilities. If a student lacks proper organization and time management skills he or she might realize that they do not have sufficient time for the dissertation paper. A student needs to prioritize his or her objectives so as to ensure that they optimize the time at their disposal.
It is the culture of so many students to procrastinate and rush through the assignments when the deadlines are due. However with the PhD the ball game is slightly different because the student sets their own deadlines. This therefore means that a student has to be more responsible and organized so as to ensure that they finish within the expected time. Since the student is working without a strict deadline they would tend to relax more and soon they realize that they have taken too long with the paper and soon enough interest in it begins to wan.
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