Also, give yourself enough time at the end to correct formatting errors.Something as seemingly simple as building a table of contents in Word can take a surprising amount of time.There are a few resources for students, which I mentioned on Twitter earlier today (October 5th, 2018), many of which are listed in the thread that will appear if you click anywhere on the tweet shown below.
My students are doing theirs in the 3 papers’ model, which is a bit closer to the day-to-day life of a professor, but still, the trajectory is quite different.
Anyhow, here are some recommendations (click on the tweet to expand the entire thread).
Writing a dissertation can be, and quite often is, the biggest academic undertaking that many of us have experienced.
Grant applications, manuscripts, and literature reviews pale in comparison to the size of the average dissertation and writing one can be an incredibly intimidating goal.
Map it out with concrete dates: Once you’ve established what you are going to write for your individual chapters, set actual dates for the completion of each major milestone.
Dissertation Project Plan
Set these dates into whatever type of calendar works for you so that you have a concrete, visual outline of what you need to accomplish each week to submit your dissertation on time.Taking the time to set a formal outline for your writing progress may seem unnecessary to some, but the time (and sanity) saved in knowing what you need to accomplish can go a long way toward making the dissertation writing process something to enjoy rather than dread.One of my Ph D students lamented this week with me that she had a lot to juggle (taking children to and from schools and to and from activities, etc.) and that she needed a strategy to make her research move forward.By using this approach I was able to work on my dissertation a little bit each day and make consistent progress while maintaining my sanity.Know the expected format before you start: Before you even start to think about writing you need to know exactly what you are expected to write.Don’t try to make the mistake of writing and editing the same section as you go, otherwise you may get stuck in a circle of trying to make one part perfect and fall behind on your overall writing progress which will leave you struggling to catch up as you approach the submission date.Embrace the ugly first draft of each section and move on to the next before coming back to edit individual chapters.Everyone: one of my Ph D students today asked me how to plan her day/week/month/time table.Can you tweet me your process before I tweet/thread mine? (I'm off to dinner because I've already written 460 words).Have no fear though, as writing a dissertation is a manageable task if you approach it correctly.One thing that helped me immensely in preparing my own dissertation was making a writing plan and sticking to it.