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What to Know About the PhD Dissertation Writing Process

Students closing in on the dissertation process may have many questions regarding the steps, the activity, the expectations and how it’s all going to turn out. This time can be really exciting for a student.

It can also be anxiety-ridden, as well as being an arduous task that most students aren’t ready for. Don’t worry though, this is meant to be both a learning experience, as well as show you how great a researcher you are.

It’s Tough

Many students find the PhD dissertation difficult mainly because it’s the first major research document that they have written. Depending on your area of focus, this process can take a long time - even with the best laid plans.

The key here is to rely on your education up until now, the skills that make you the kind of researcher you, and your advisor.

It Will Take Time

Not only is this the first major document that you’re writing, but the whole process takes time! You’re conducting research, tracking your findings, working with your dissertation committee, discussing things with your advisor, and likely living a life outside of school.

It’s a huge dedication of time and energy.

Many students procrastinate during this process, or get discouraged by the sheer amount of work.

It all pays off, though.

Depending on your area of focus, and the research results you find, your dissertation could take months to years.

A Schedule Is Necessary

If you hope to end on time, it’s essential that you have a schedule. While it’s also important to be flexible, having a game plan is one of your best resources.

Consider that the members of your dissertation committee are busy people too, so this will include working around their schedules as well.

There is A Lot of Writing

Obviously, this is a major paper. Every day that you sit to write, you may feel no

closer to your goal. Keep at it!

Every day you start is another day you are closer to finishing.

You May Have Set Backs

Be ready for revisions. As noted, this is a long process and you’ll be not only exploring your own findings, but defending them before your committee. This can produce anxiety, but also be a great experience

Either way, when it’s finished, and you’ve graduated, you’ll be well on your way to creating similar work with the rest of your career!

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