• "Best Dissertation Writing Tips"
  • "Master's Thesis Writing Advice;

How to write a solid doctoral dissertation: creative ideas

The dissertation is a difficult piece to write because for almost every student it is the first time they are tasked with such an assignment and will likely be the last. Students are not familiar with the writing style or the requirements and therefore they start to panic. Not only is the type of writing new but the type of independent research and work is new too. This can bring additional stress to students. The dissertation is also worth quite a bit and the level of importance it brings with it can cause a great deal of stress.

So what can be done to write a solid doctoral dissertation?

Talk over your topic with your advisor. Remember that it is not carved in stone and if you find that you need to change it near the beginning then do so. Use your committee and meet with your advisor regularly. Ask them for help or if they want to see each chapter as it is completed.

Use tools to counter your exhaustion. Chances are you are working on the dissertation while working two jobs and serving on a committee and trying to write your conference papers... oh and finding a babysitter for the little ones. That being said it is imperative that you find a way to relax and counter your stress. Try yoga or massage therapy. Work on your time management. Effective time management is paramount to finishing a solid doctoral dissertation. Use a calendar to stay on top of your schedule. Plan out each day and give yourself a block of work time during the day. Make sure you schedule a strategy that utilizes your highest level of productivity.

Figure out when you are at your most productive and work on the dissertation during those times. If you put out more work in the morning then reserve the morning for your dissertation work. If you focus better at midnight then start dissertation work then.

Work in a space where you know you are at your most productive. Figure out where you get more work done whether it is on campus or in your school library. Use this space to work on your dissertation regularly. Find a place that limits the number of distractions. Make sure you have all of the tools you will need as well as good lighting and a comfortable chair and work space. If you find that your productivity dwindles after a while and you are stuck in a non-productive rut then try out a new space. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need.

Figure out what rituals or schedules you need to work best and stick with them. Some people like to clean their work space before they begin. Others need a lucky pen or to brew a cup of their favorite tea.