If you are a Ph.D. student you must complete a dissertation whether you enjoy writing or not. Here are some tips to get you started.
Start writing sooner
Don’t wait until the last minute. Dissertation writing is a time consuming process. Unless you start early, the size and importance of this job will paralyze you. Your dissertation is going to be reviewed thoroughly by your advisor and your committee. So take enough time to do research before you start writing and resist the temptation to procrastinate.
Once you start writing don’t stop. Of course, you will have to continue your research and take notes. Even so, don’t stop. Even when you are not writing, keep working on it.
Be prepared to rewrite
Don’t get obsessed with the idea of writing perfectly. Your first draft is very unlikely to be your final draft. So be prepared to rewrite several times. Pour your thoughts on to the paper. You can fix issues later. If you are consumed with perfection, you may be discouraged from writing. Keep in mind that rewriting is an essential part of the writing process.
Write a sold thesis and methodology statement. You may have to adjust your thesis and methodology slightly as you write. When you develop a clear methodology and thesis you can move around in your dissertation should you get stuck somewhere.
Don’t stop writing when it gets difficult
Your dissertation needs to be of publishing quality. However, it does not have to be your magnum opus. Strive for excellence, but also remember that the dissertation is merely a graduation requirement. It is not supposed to be a five-volume theology. Do your research, make an honest effort and finish your project.
Taking notes is beneficial for two reasons. First, they are a record of the information you gather from your research. Since you will not have time to revisit your resources at a later time, careful notes will save you a lot of time. Remember that you have to accurately copy direct quotes and make proper citations to avoid plagiarism.
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