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Some Helpful Tips to Get You Started With Your Dissertation Writing


Writing a dissertation is a monumental milestone. It is also a mammoth task, which will require much time, planning, and dedication. A few simple tips can point you in the right direction and make your dissertation writing easier.

Topic Selection

Keeping in mind that your topic must be approved, it is important that you are madly and deeply in love with your dissertation topic. You are going to spend months and months with this project; you have to love the topic!

Make a list of what interests you in your field and then begin to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is interesting about this subject
  • What is unique about this subject
  • Do I have a foundation on the subject all ready (playing catch up research just to gather the basic information is not a good or productive idea)
  • How will I approach the subject
  • Is there enough information on the subject to complete the length requirement
  • Can I learn and possibly teach others from my end results
  • Will I hate this subject two years from now or will I love it even more

Work Space

Once you pick the topic and it is approved, you have to set up camp somewhere. You need a dedicated space where no one will touch your papers and efforts. You cannot work in a spot that you have to clear every evening for the family meal. This process requires an office or a creative office place that belongs to you and only you.

It is All About the Schedule and Organization

Buy a large desk calendar and mark every single due date and advisor appointment. Move those dates up by a few days to create a cushion. Then add in the research times and those dates. Highlight any major obligations in bright yellow. Hang the calendar on the wall.

Below the schedule, place a small shelf. On the shelf put plastic bins. While you will be writing the paper on the computer, you will need a paper trail. Label the bins such things as:

  • Interviews
  • Background
  • Main Point One support
  • Rough drafts
  • Bibliography “to-do”
  • Notes and emails from advisor

Personalize the labels to fit your needs and subject topic. After the calendar and bins are ready, make sure you have a desk space, a comfy chair, a working computer, and a printer with ink.

All of this pre-research and writing planning will benefit you once you begin the actual dissertation. It will take a few hours to get ready, but the end result will save you many hours.

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