What Should I Know To Write My Dissertation Successfully
These issues are not often included in common dissertation advice, but they can make a difference between success and failure.
- Choose your advisor.
- Take responsibility.
- Write as you go.
- Ensure that you sleep and eat well.
- Do not get a full-time job.
Good relationships with your supervisor are vital for writing a strong dissertation. Your advisor should be a person with whom you get on well and from whom you can always get a competent advice. Do not wait for a supervision to be imposed on you. If you have a particular person in mind, do not hesitate to contact him or her with your research proposal. Most academicians would appreciate a PhD student with a good idea; the more successful supervisions they have, the higher their authority in scholarly circles.
Your supervisor will probably have a view on what agenda you should pursue, but the truth is that you do not have to obey blindly. Your dissertation is your own responsibility – and it needs to be your own work. If you let others determine the direction of your research, you might quickly lose interest in your dissertation and drop it. Many students fail to finish their PhD theses because the issues they have to explore are not their true passion.
Doing all your research first and writing next is a good strategy for small research papers, but it might not work for a dissertation. By the time you complete your research, there might be only a few months or even weeks left, and the prospect of writing 90,000 words in the remaining time will be terrifying. Plan your work so as to write each chapter as soon as you have enough material for it. Completing your paper by parts, you can submit them for feedback to your supervisor and introduce necessary amendments. Moreover, having a third or a half of your paper already written will make you feel more confident and optimistic.
Working all night long, missing meals, and drinking gallons of coffee are often viewed as part of every PhD student’s routine, but in fact they do not have to be part of yours. If you get adequate rest and nourishment, you will be in better shape to proceed on your dissertation and complete it than those who sacrifice food and sleep for writing one or two extra pages. When you are exhausted, you are far more likely to make mistakes and produce poorly written sections that your supervisor would have you revise.
Balancing dissertation writing with a full-time job is extremely difficult. Most likely, you will not achieve what you hope for in either. Meanwhile, a part-time job can be helpful, providing a necessary distraction so that you do not feel isolated.