- Academic Research and Writing Tips / Tutorial





Keys to Writing a Dissertation




Why are dissertations required? Why should I write a dissertation? These two questions are often asked by graduates, the fact is that dissertations often give students confidence in themselves when they graduate and enter the work force. While looking at the entire dissertation process is frightening, doing one part at a time is easier. Time management, relaxation skills, and rewards should be planned before writing the dissertation.

Dissertation Key

The first key to writing a dissertation is setting aside time to research and write the dissertation. Break it down to several small parts including the proofreading and editing of the dissertation. Decide ahead that even on difficult days that you will spend at least a certain amount of time working on the dissertation. Decide ahead of time that procrastination is not allowed.

The second key to writing a dissertation is relaxation skills. Writing a dissertation is stressful. Knowing this is important. Select ways to relax when you are stressed about the dissertation. Write down several things that relax you. For instance, a list could be:

- Take a long bubble bath

- Listen to soft music

- Go to a movie

- Walk the dog

Put this list so you can see it when you are doing your work. Relaxation skills are also important in writing. Take a deep breath and tell yourself to relax. Tell each part of your body to relax. Picture yourself at your favorite place such as the ocean. Plan this process so when you begin working and feel stressed you can relax and then begin working again.

The next step to writing the dissertation is planning rewards for different parts of the dissertation. Simple rewards such as a candy bar or ice cream should be planned for finishing the small parts of the dissertation. Larger rewards such as a new dress, a movie, or concert tickets should be planned for finishing larger parts of the dissertation.

These three tips are essential in the planning stages of the dissertation. Another key to writing the dissertation is to write consistently. Most writers will tell you that they write even when they do not feel like writing. One way to do this is to work on different parts of the dissertation such as research or editing. Set goals and keep them. Goals are a great motivator especially if you reward yourself.

An important key in writing the dissertation is research. Make friends with the librarian and discuss your topic with her. Ask her for suggestions for finding quality research material. Often the librarian knows how to find a topic because he/she has helped other students.

When you feel depressed and anxious about your work, find some ways to laugh. Have you experienced any funny incidents during the process? Read a good joke book and share some jokes with a friend. Take time to treat yourself to an ice cream cone. Take a long walk. Call a friend or loved one. One of the major reasons dissertations are required is to see if the student has enough "will" to write the dissertation. It is a long, slow process that can get frustrating. Will power and commitment are essential to finishing the dissertation.

Remember the first three keys to writing a dissertation is time management, relaxation skills, and rewards. Use these to set goals and to do them. Another key is making friends with the librarian so it is easier to ask for help when you need it. When you are feeling down, take some time for yourself. The dissertation is a long, slow process that can be done one step at a time.