Top 10 struggles to avoid when writing a doctorate dissertation
Many students who are tackling a PhD thesis are aware of the fact that this is not your average everyday essay. But there is a big difference between knowing this information and experiencing it firsthand. You see writing your doctorate dissertation involves a significant and serious commitment. Of course there are some students who will complete the task in a relatively short time but many, perhaps most, can take more than a year to complete the task.
So all that being the case, what are the 10 aspects of writing a doctorate dissertation you should be aware of and wary of?
- Keeping physically fit throughout the journey.
- Keeping your mental health in good condition.
- Keeping to a timetable you have carefully constructed in the first place.
- Keeping in constant contact with your supervisor and not missing sessions.
- Not becoming discouraged when other students seem to be doing much better than you are.
- Maintaining as normal a lifestyle as possible.
- Not allowing the amount of reading research required to drive you nuts.
- Not seeking feedback during the entire process.
- Losing focus at the worst possible time or in fact any time.
- Knowing what to say when somebody asks how your dissertation is going.
The writing of a doctorate dissertation is a major undertaking. It's vitally important that you keep fit, eat well, exercise sensibly and look after your physical health. The same can be said about your mental health. If your body is healthy there's a good chance your mind is as well. But don't overwork and give your body and mind a chance to switch off on a regular basis.
If you haven't got a timetable with appropriate milestones before you start your dissertation, you are asking for trouble. If you have got one it's very important that you stick to it. One of the ways you can do that is to keep in constant contact with your supervisor. Don't skip meetings. Lay everything on the table.
From time to time you will discuss your progress with fellow doctorate dissertation students. There will be a time when one or more of them seems to be doing much better at their task than you are at yours. Learn how to handle that situation and don't let discouragement spoil your attitude. One of the keys to success is maintaining your normal lifestyle.
Because there is a vast amount of research material to be read, you need a plan so that you are not swamped with an excess of information. Tackle the task in a planned and sensible way. Don't let it get on top of you.
It's always good to show your work to a variety of people. Listen to their feedback. You don't have to agree with it but hearing what others say may prompt you to think of a new way to tackle something or to feel good about what you've done already. It is most important that you concentrate on the task in hand. Don't lose focus. And throughout the journey of writing your dissertation you will be asked a number of times about the progress you are making. Learn how to answer that question and use your answer to boost your self-esteem.