Penning down a dissertation is a new experience. Graduate students feel like they are undergraduates before they embark on their dissertation projects. Therefore, most of them join graduate school since they were good in undergraduate and want to continue with the excellent experience that comes with self-confidence and success.
Dissertation writing is an independent and huge project. Authoring a dissertation is like writing a book. It is a self-directed process, where students do not have weekly deadlines from the lecturers and without regular discussions with fellow students. Besides, students do not have regular reading assignments.
A dissertation is the transition point from student to researcher. As you begin your journey of a large and independent project, you will start to ask yourself questions concerning your future in the world of academics. A dissertation is the start of the end of a graduate career. After you have completed your dissertation, your academic life will change dramatically.
Things to do if you have a low commitment
Consider the following factors if you have a low commitment to your career in academics or dissertation.
- Consider soul-searching: Ask yourself what the postgraduate program or course means to you and your family and what it potent for your future.
- Seek help: Consider seeking help from members of the faculty, especially your supervisors. Other graduate students can come in handy to help you navigate the rough terrain of dissertation writing, especially those ahead of you.
- There is no shame in not pursuing an advanced degree: Other people lead every day and fulfilling lives without the titles of advanced degrees. They even contribute to the body of knowledge.
The benefits of pursuing advanced degrees
- Development of writing skills: Writing a thesis is not a one-off affair. It enables you to develop a set of valuable writing and research skills. The skills you will acquire include organizing your time, writing well, synthesizing complex information, and thinking analytically.
- The dissertation document will become a significant aspect of your career: If you are careful in writing your dissertation, you might transform the form to a book or several articles after graduation and help you jump-start your career.
The challenge of writing a dissertation
There are a number of both internal and external stress factors, which can cause the process of writing a dissertation to become very difficult.
Making your committee, your advisor, and your topic work for you.
At this stage, you will have probably defended your research proposal, start working with the committee, and have selected your advisor. However, these three elements can be a source of frustration. Therefore, to manage these elements, consider the following useful tips.
How to manage your topic
- Your topic is not cast in stones. During writing your dissertation, you can change your subject to suit new circumstances and fit well with your interests.
- Consider your study variables and the ones you can eliminate. Reflect on how it can affect your work’s breadth, depth, length, and scholarly value.
- Inform your faculty advisor of the changes you intend to make
- Study other dissertations in your department to see the sense of the kind of researchable topics.
How to manage your advisor
- At the graduate level, you need to develop some independence. At the end of your project, you will have a deep understanding of your subject area. You will build a student/lecturer relationship.
- Agree with your advisor on how you will work as your dissertation process progresses. It can include the frequency of your meetings and the preference.
- Inform your advisor of the kind of feedback that you think will be useful to you. At times advisors give discouraging feedback that leaves students wreathing in pain.
- Update your advisor. Advisors tend to be helpful when they know the chapters you are currently working on, the challenges you are going through, and their progress.
- Be in touch with fellow students with the same advisors. By doing so, you might discover practical strategies that you can use to communicate effectively with your advisor.
- If you perennial challenges interact with your supervisor, you can consider changing him or her.
How to manage your committee
- Inform your advisor how committees work for either doctoral or master’s candidates in your department.
- Inquire from your committee members if they prefer drafts for your chapters or they want to wait for the entire draft.