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University counseling services may prove helpful as well.
You may feel like your research interests, your theoretical influences, and your skill as a writer may all be evaluated by this first piece of serious scholarship.
Whether any of these points are true or not, you may find yourself questioning your commitment to your chosen profession or topic and unable to begin the dissertation.
Your advisor or colleagues in your department may be able to help you if you have a good relationship with them.
Other graduate students, especially those who are about to finish or have finished, may be particularly helpful.
Many people, in fact, go to graduate school because they have always been “good at school,” and want to continue with something that brings them success and self-confidence.
The reading assignments, labs, papers, and tests you have been assigned as a graduate student may not have been so different from your undergraduate course work.If you find yourself questioning your commitment to your dissertation or a career in academia, consider these tactics: This may be a time to ask yourself what the Ph. means to you and whether you really want to continue.Remember that what it means to you and what it means to your partner, family, or friends may be very different. You might try free-writing about your topic and the reasons it inspires you.On the other hand, it can be an end as well as a beginning—you don’t have to develop the dissertation beyond the completion of the degree if you don’t want to.If you’re sick of the topic, you can focus on just finishing it for the degree, and then move on to other projects.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?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?Writing a dissertation is a lot like writing a book. There are usually no weekly deadlines from professors, no regular discussions with classmates, no reading assignments, no one telling you what to do—you are on your own, writing something longer than you’ve ever written, and doing it without a net.This independence can make the process seem very intimidating.