Surviving the Dissertation: Tips from someone who practically has

The tip I would like to give you at the end of this blog, I would rather do it right in the beginning and it is nothing very technical or ambitious. It is a simple cliche statement” YOU CAN DO THIS”. It is a message full of hope and pushes you to not give up in challenging times. It worked for me and today I have the actual draft of my dissertation ready and I can see myself progressing on the journey of final submission.
Through this post, I do not intend to brag about my academic achievements and my skill set but to offer you practical tips that will help you to go through the dissertation process from someone who mostly has been able to do it.

Some of the good things I did and could help you are:

  • Set deadlines right in the beginning:Having a goal to work at is extremely important and the sooner you start doing this the better it is. Most importantly it helps you to sustain motivation over a long time period. When I had the list of due dates with me, it helped to keep me on the track with doing work and performing consistently.
  •  Ensure the deadlines are flexible: It is a long journey and I always knew that I had the window to adjust those deadlines in light of the unexpected circumstances that life offers. The best way I did it was to set early deadlines so I always had the scope to shift them a little when the need arose.
  • Ask for feedback right in the beginning: The earlier you communicate with the committee regarding your writing, the editing stage is going to be smoother. Beyond that it will keep you away from feelings of isolation and situations where in the end stage you have to rewrite the entire chapters and prolong your writing process, I learnt this earlier and it did save a lot of my time and duplication of effort.
  • Take time off when you need it: It is very important to take time off for doing things that give you happiness and this should be done without any guilt. Creating the first draft of my dissertation took time and taking breaks from time to time did help to recharge. Beyond that I also diverted my energies to teaching assignments, meeting job consultants, spending time with family and so on. These short breaks worked as awesome energy boosters.

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