From Dr. Wendy Carter of TA-DA! Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished

A Good Thesis or Dissertation Is a Done Thesis or Dissertation

Thursday, June 29, 2006

TADA Thesis and Dissertation Summer Writing Group

Getting Your Thesis/Dissertation Written In A Supportive Environment

Whether you are just beginning your thesis/dissertation, nearing your defense, or finishing an early draft, if you join us you will find that you are not alone. Joining a supportive group helps to create a community of emerging professionals who share particular strengths, and helps to stretch one another’s skills. Group members provide each other with interdisciplinary writing feedback and peer support for setting goals, solving problems, and working efficiently and effectively as writer-researchers.

If you need a special invitation to write your thesis or dissertation, here it is. Come write with us.

July 7 –Aug 18
The most crucial thing is to work closely with your dissertation chair to work out a system that is mutually agreeable. Up front, establish a timeline. Find out, which committee members want to see what, and when. Keep open the lines of communication with your chair. Keep your committee updated about your progress.

Post what you'd like to work on (if anything) over the Summer, and the maximum amount of time you would like to spend on it daily.

Each day you should do "something" to move your dissertation forward. Some items can take as little as 12 minutes to be completed.

Please be realistic by trying to keep your time limit reasonable and low unless you're trying to defend in April/May or might have a more pressing deadline.

You can check into this post either daily, weekly or just at the end of the challenge (Aug 18th, 2006) to let us know how well you were able to accomplished your goals. Feel free to share with us what problems you had or just check in to encourage or commiserate with others.

Post Summary:

What will you work on?

How much time will you spend daily working on it?

Tell us how much progress you are making, or problems you are having

All comments posted on this blog will be forwarded to my email. You are invited to correspond with each other for encouragement and support. I will post, comment, and encourage you along the way. Ready, Set, Go!

Find a time-management system that works for you and stick to it (are you a morning person or a night person? during which times can you accomplish work?)
  • Be very protective of your writing time. Nothing else should get in its way. Be compulsive when necessary.
  • Have a workspace that you can claim as your own
  • Get organized (file notes, articles, and other materials so that you can find them)
  • Play psychological games with yourself (If you find it intimidating to write a “dissertation,” when you sit down, just focus on one particular section or problem—don’t tell yourself “here I am writing my dissertation,” but rather say, I’m going to sit down and work through this specific problem in a brief, preliminary way)
  • Cut up the “big” task into small, manageable blocks
  • Use tricks to manage writer’s block—say “I’m just going to get something down on paper, no matter how bad it is”—you will always revise later

  • Try a dissertation writing group, even if it’s long-distance. The accountability and support are terrific.
  • Be good to yourself. Eat right, get some sleep, exercise, and have a life from time to time.
  • Focus on finishing—it’s your ultimate goal.
  • Talk to others who have been through this. Ask for their advice.
  • Don’t get mired down in negativity.
  • Select one or two good books or websites, and consider the advice offered there carefully (below are some recommendations).