Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finishing Your Dissertation

Megan MacKenzie at Duck of Minerva has a good post about finishing your dissertation, with a 10 step process. You can really boil down all such advice posts down to write, write, write. I set myself a daily word goal and became fairly reclusive. You can work out whatever incentive structure you want, but keep writing even if you think the writing is not so good. I had also read a long time before about Ernest Hemingway's advice--perhaps apocryphal -to leave an idea for the next day when writing. Whether or not he really gave that advice, I liked that because I found it much easier to quickly get going.

Did I mention keep writing?


Anonymous,  10:41 AM  

This brings back memories. 3 pages a day. Hat tip to Folgers. Good times.

John (Juancito) Donaghy 10:45 AM  

After several years of writing on and off, I set a goal of writing 5 pages a day - at least, with an occasional lazy day of writing nothing. Some days I wrote a lot, but I finally finished the dissertation - 6 years after finishing exams and course work.

Lillie Langtry 11:34 AM  

I had a 1,000-word a day target when I was writing up my PhD.

Also, a quick plug for Patrick Dunleavy's "Authoring a PhD", which I found genuinely helpful on structuring a chapter, and a whole thesis. Mostly focused on the British system, if I remember rightly.

Greg Weeks 4:13 PM  

That's more than me. I think I had 500 words a day.

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