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Partly because the dissertation is a completely new experience that is much larger and more independent than your previous academic work.To this point, being a graduate student has been, more or less, an extension of your earlier life as a student.You might make a list of all the reasons you want to get the Ph. You might plan out your life’s possible courses for the next 2, 5, 10, or 20 years if you do and if you don’t proceed with the degree.
Sometimes, however, those three elements can prove to be major external sources of frustration.
So how can you manage them to help yourself be as productive as possible?
If you take some care in developing your dissertation, the document can be transformed, after graduation, into a book or series of articles that can help launch your academic career.
Unlike earlier course papers that just received a grade and were then shuttled off to a filing cabinet or trash bin, your dissertation can be used and revised for years to come.
While you can’t do anything about many of these stresses —the rent needs to be paid, and the Grad School still wants you to know two foreign languages, for examples—you can change the way that you deal with these external concerns and minimize their impact on your psyche and productivity.
Often, graduate students juggle many personal and professional responsibilities while working on their dissertations.
Even when you are dedicated to your dissertation and have no problems with your topic, advisor or committee, you can have trouble getting your dissertation written.
Simple exhaustion, financial stresses, and family responsibilities can seem to conspire to keep you from doing the work that you need to do.
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?