Perhaps the most demanding piece of writing an academic writer can undertake, those who decide to accept the challenge of writing the doctoral dissertation regard it with awe, fear, and anxiety. Now, we won't lie to you and tell you that writing a doctoral dissertation could ever be easy, but the following article provides tips and ideas to help ease the difficulties associated with the doctoral dissertation writing process.
The Pre-Writing Phase
Each of the following tips should be considered BEFORE beginning the writing process in order to avoid mistakes that might hinder the overall quality of your dissertation.
SELECT A RELEVANT TOPIC
Like it or not, the success of your doctoral dissertation will be influenced, at least in part, by the topic you choose to pursue. A strong, relevant topic generates interest in those who will review it, and most experts on doctoral dissertation writing suggest that this improves the reviewers response to your work, whether he or she is conscious of it or not.
PERFORM AN ADEQUATE AMOUNT OF RESEARCH
This is the number one piece of advice we can provide for someone preparing to compose a doctoral dissertation, perhaps even more important than the actual selection of your topic.
So you may ask: How much research is enough? Well, that is a question that is impossible to answer for certain. The amount of research necessary for your doctoral dissertation will require on various factors, including the actual topic chosen, the amount of research already present on the topic, and the specific points you are trying to prove or disprove.
The only way to know you have performed an adequate amount of research is to honestly answer the following question: Have you researched your topic enough so that if the reviewers challenge your points you will be able to defend them?
The Writing Phase
Keep these concepts in mind while you are composing the first draft of your dissertation to maximize your writing abilities and effective communication.
PRACTICE GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT
As stated previously, the doctoral dissertation is perhaps the most challenging piece of academic writing one can undertake. As such, it is imperative you plan out your time schedule so that it can include writing time each day. A dissertation is not a sprint, but is instead more like a marathon. You must put in consistent work throughout your allotted time period and get professional help when needed.
CHOOSE TIMES AND PLACES WHERE YOU ARE MOST PRODUCTIVE
This may take a bit of experimentation, or you my already know when and where you write the most productively. Once you know this, set your schedule so that time is reserved for work on your dissertation. Everyone has a variety of responsibilities in life (work, family, etc.) but when you are striving for your doctoral dissertation, you must let everyone know that you need your private time.
REMEMBER THIS ALL DEPENDS ON YOU
While some lucky individuals may have the luxury of a strong support group that will bend over backwards to help them with the doctoral dissertation writing process, others will write their dissertations with help from no one. But regardless of your particular support environment, you must realize that it all comes down to your level of self-motivation. This is a very powerful concept when you stop to think about it. Keep this in mind during the writing process.
The Post-Writing Phase
These tips should be considered after you have completed the first draft of your dissertation.
LET IT SIT FOR A WHILE
Most successful writers let their work sit for a while after the completion of the first draft. This allows the writer to view the work with a fresh perspective when it is time to revise, and the same technique should be used for your doctoral dissertation.
The exact amount of time you should let your doctoral dissertation sit is not set in stone, and can depend on factors such as an upcoming deadline or other time management issues. If possible, at the very least the first draft should sit for a few days.
EDIT AND REVISE, REVISE, REVISE
This should go without saying, but we will go ahead and say it anyway. You must edit and revise your writing meticulously. Some successful dissertations did not reach a level of acceptability until the writers had completed their sixth, seventh, or even eighth draft. Edit and revise as much as you need to get it right.
COPYRIGHT YOUR DOCTORAL DISSERTATION
There is some debate over whether or not an academic writer should copyright his or her doctoral dissertation after it has been completed. Some consider it an absolute necessary step, while others regard it as a waste of time, money, and energy. We are of the opinion that copyrighting your original material is an intelligent step that should be made to prevent any future controversy over the originality of the writing. Copyright the dissertation and, if possible, have it transferred to a variety of formats for sake keeping, such as microfilm, computer disc, and hard copy.