Tips on How to Successfully Finish a Master’s Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation
Writing such an extensive research paper as a thesis or dissertation can be a truly challenging and intimidating task for any student. Usually, during this process, researchers experience different emotions: sometimes they feel on top of the world and everything is great, whereas the next time they have some pitfalls and want to give up on everything. Such temper tantrums are not good at all because when you are in your down you may even want to destroy a huge amount of work that you have already done. So, to bring some balance into your life on the stage of dissertation writing, we recommend you to read the following tips on thesis writing.
Five Tips on How to Succeed in Dissertation Writing
1. Stop treating it like your magnum opus
Yes, this is definitely a big deal for you and probably a thesis or dissertation is the greatest project you have ever worked on in your life. However, this fact does not mean that you should turn into a robot and do everything flawlessly. There is always room for perfection, and there will always be. Just remember it. Nothing can be perfect. Dissertations can also have errors and misspelled words. Sometimes there might also be some confusion with page numbers. Even wise professors make mistakes. Do not take it too close to your heart and do not treat yourself as a loser if you made some petty mistake. One thing is true: if you regard your thesis to be the best thing that you have ever done in your life, then you have really messed up something. Turn around: academic career might be just one small step in your life but definitely not the greatest event. You will have so many greater things ahead.
2. The strategy of working at least 15-30 minutes a day really works
You have definitely come across some tips of successful people that it is better to devote 10 minutes per day on some task rather than carve out some 2 hours at the end of the week. You might have even treated this advice skeptically, but it works. If you work on something systematically, you do not waste time on the constant revision of the material. Imagine a situation when you have stopped working on your dissertation for 2 weeks. You will have so much information to refresh in your mind when you get back to it.
3. Schedule your work
This tip is somewhat similar to the aforementioned one but is still different. By scheduling your working time, you should define certain hours each day when you will devote your time and attention to writing your thesis. This schedule will make you more self-disciplined and organized. Just treat dissertation writing as a job and keep working during those hours. Try to adjust this schedule according to your daily routine.
4. Don’t be shy to ask for help
Very often, students are shy to ask for help from their professors or academic supervisors. But why? They are paid to help you in your dissertation writing matters. If a graduate student fails during the thesis defense, it is also a fault of the committee because there should have been some consultations planned. If you need help or if you have some hesitations regarding what to write, just go to the academic advisor and ask for some assistance. Do not get stuck in the dead end. It will take you much more time to solve some issues on your own rather than address some experienced researchers.
5. Your self-worth does not depend on how well you defend your thesis
Definitely, you have worked your fingers to the bone till you have reached the last stage of defending the dissertation. However, anxiety and nervousness are hardly the best motivators for success. When you find yourself depressed and nervous, ask yourself why you are nervous and what you are anxious about. Usually, people get anxious before some important or decisive step in their lives because they are afraid to face a failure and thus seem worthless.
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Some people are even prone to turning to some bad habits, especially frequent smoking and overeating. At times, some people may even turn to drink alcohol too often. Therefore, if you monitor that you are also susceptible to overheating or if you have already started to smoke 2-3 cigarettes while working on your paper, keep track of this bad habit and change it into something positive instead. For example, to refresh your mind, you may stick to the habit of walking in the fresh air before going to bed or eating healthy snacks to improve your memory and concentration. When you feel under pressure, you might try running or some other physical exercises.