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

A Good Thesis or Dissertation Is a Done Thesis or Dissertation

Monday, December 31, 2007

No More Excuses — TA-DA! Winter Break Challenge Jan 14-18, 2008

Happy New Year. Our theme in 2008 is "No More Excuses." Even if you did very little on your thesis or dissertation last year or never joined any of the TA-DA challenges before, it's a new year and it's a new you.

Our Winter Break Challenge starts on Monday and ends on Friday (January 14 -18).

2008We created TA-DA! for busy people; working moms, working dads, single-parents, part-time students, full-time, unorganized, frustrated, isolated, lonely graduate students. It's time to stop wallowing and start writing; if you have time for self-pity, your schedule is not tight enough. Organize your time better, schedule every 15 minutes of your day if you have to. Remember it doesn't have to be perfect it just has to be done.

Our motto is: A Good Dissertation is a Done Dissertation.

Start the New Year off right by setting deadline for when you want to complete writing your thesis or dissertation. Fill in, printout, and post in a public space the TA-DA! Online Certificate to help you remember your contract with yourself.

We are building on our summer success of the "Dissertation House on Campus." Another group of doctoral students at the University of Maryland will be participating in "Dissertation House on Campus" for one week. Some will be participating on-line and others will meet daily from 9:00am-5:00 pm. Join us again, as we work on our proposals, theses, or dissertations.

Many graduate students use the TA-DA! Winter Break Challenge to take a step on getting one thing accomplished and setting a schedule to get that one thing done. They get that one thing done and then are able to enjoy their break without the sense of guilt looming in the background.

Other people set out to see how much they can accomplish in 5 days. Many of you already work with deadlines. If you're joining this challenge, your deadline is January 18, 2008.

Let's see how much can you get done in one week! Are you ready?

Steps to participate

  1. Set up your FREE Google account at

  2. Post the answers to these questions
  • What will you work on? What is your one thing?
  • How much time will you spend daily working on it?
  • Tell us how much progress you are making, or problems you are having.
  • At the end of everyday plan what you want to accomplish the following day

Here are some helpful tips:

Breakdown your tasks into bite-size manageable chunks and make a list and post that list in a public space.

Make a daily commitment to work on your thesis or dissertation. Set aside a reasonable amount of time each day to work on your thesis or dissertation. You can get a lot done in 15 minutes a day.

Work within your limitations . . . if you are a morning person by all means make yourself some coffee and spend 15 minutes with your dissertation before everyone else rises . . . if you are a night owl . . . turn the TV off 15 minutes earlier and write for 15 minutes.

Celebrate small victories when you accomplish your tasks for the day. Spend the rest of the day guilt-free enjoying your Winter Break knowing that you have done something (no matter how small) on your dissertation.

Whatever you do, don't spend the week constantly worrying and saying to yourself 'I really should be working'. Above all, enjoy your Winter Break.

At TA-DA! we wish you all the best in the New Year and hope that you can experience joy, laughter and peace during the Winter Break and in the coming year.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

10 Mistakes Graduate Students Should Avoid

Mistake #9:
Not maintaining consistent and meaningful contact with the committee as the Thesis/dissertation unfolds

Last month I wrote about "Looking for a Friend When You Need an Expert:. In this newsletter I want you to remember The Golden Rule: "Those who have the gold make the rules." One of the most common mistakes graduate students make is not understanding that academia is
Sign out business and your job title is "graduate student", "research assistant (RA)", "teaching assistant (TA)," or "graduate assistant (GA)" . . .
Read the Entire Article.

Labels: , , , , ,