Finish Your Dissertation

Finish Your Dissertation-58
You will learn how to plan and structure the dissertation process, work effectively with dissertation chairpersons and committees, and take care of yourself on the dissertation journey.

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The dissertation, on the other hand, is a new kind of academic project, unlike anything else you’ve done.

It is the academic project that marks your transition from student to scholar.

Your advisor or colleagues in your department may be able to help you if you have a good relationship with them.

Other graduate students, especially those who are about to finish or have finished, may be particularly helpful.

Writing a dissertation is a lot like writing a book. There are usually no weekly deadlines from professors, no regular discussions with classmates, no reading assignments, no one telling you what to do—you are on your own, writing something longer than you’ve ever written, and doing it without a net.

This independence can make the process seem very intimidating.Graduate school pundits often cite 50% or more as the attrition rate for ABD students (those who have completed All the requirements of their programs But the Dissertation). This handout will not only answer this question, but also give you good, practical advice on starting, drafting, and completing your dissertation.The Writing Center can’t advise you about technical questions (for example, how to force Microsoft Word to set up tables correctly or format page numbers the way you want), but we know people who may be able to! Why don’t doctoral candidates manage to get rolling on the dissertation any sooner, or KEEP rolling once they get started?If so, it is unlikely that your cognitive abilities are to blame.More likely, the culprits are anxiety, self-doubt, procrastination, perfectionism, and the thoughts, feelings, and behavior that accompany these difficulties.Many, many people lead happy, fulfilling lives, build lucrative and rewarding careers, make important contributions to knowledge, share interesting ideas with others, and generally get along just fine without three letters after their names. It also does not mean that you have wasted the time and money that you invested in the degree up to the ABD stage.It may simply mean that after considering your own personal motivations and goals, you decided this career choice wasn’t for you—and that you plan to use the skills you honed as a graduate student in other ways that are more suited to you. Unlike the elaborate study strategies you developed in order to pass your comprehensive exams, writing the dissertation will enable you to start developing a set of valuable research and writing skills.This book was written to help you overcome these problems and finish your dissertation once and for all.Combining psychological support with a project management approach that breaks tasks into small, manageable chunks, experienced dissertation coach Alison Miller shows you how to overcome negativity and succeed beyond your own expectations.For her own dissertation study, she examined how the experience of homelessness influenced dignity and worth among homeless men and women living in shelters.She frequently leads dissertation workshops at universities around the United States.

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