Best rated dissertation writing guides today: The acknowledgements section is usually optional, and gives space for you to thank everyone who helped you in writing your dissertation. This might include your supervisors, participants in your research, and friends or family who supported you. The abstract is a short summary of your dissertation, usually about 150-300 words long. You should write it at the very end, when you’ve completed the rest of the dissertation. In the abstract, make sure to: State the main topic and aims of your research; describe the methods you used; Summarise the main results; State your conclusions. Although the abstract is very short, it’s the first part (and sometimes the only part) of your dissertation that people will read, so it’s important that you get it right. If you’re struggling to write a strong abstract, read our guide on how to write an abstract.
Take Care of Yourself: Just because you’re dissertating doesn’t mean you should let your health slide. It’s easier to write when you’re in good physical and mental health. Remember to eat well, get enough sleep, and stay active. Even a simple walk around the neighbourhood will get your heart rate up and can help clear your mind. Give Yourself Breaks: Writing will be your full-time job while you’re working on your thesis, but that doesn’t mean you have to be writing all the time. If you continually work beyond your regular hours you will burn yourself out. Discover more details at dissertation-zone.com.
Get exercise, adequate sleep, and eat well. Because our minds and bodies are meant to function in harmony, you will probably find that your productivity suffers to the degree that you are not giving attention to your exercise, sleep, and eating habits. Like it or not, our ability to maintain long periods of sustained concentration, think carefully over our subject matter, and find motivation to complete tasks is dependent in a significant sense upon how we are caring for our bodies. When we neglect exercise, fail to get adequate sleep, or constantly indulge in an unhealthy diet, we will find it increasingly difficult to muster the energy and clarity with which to complete our dissertation.
Claim writing time by learning to say no. One of the challenges of writing a dissertation is being surrounded by people who don’t understand; some of your colleagues, friends, and family likely have no idea what writing a long form project like a dissertation is like. It is hugely overwhelming and distracting, and you need to be able to say “Go away, I’m writing.” Sometimes this means turning down a seat on that committee, choosing not to go to that concert, or kicking your friends out of your office. My friends often struggle with the fact that I don’t have the free time to spend with them that I used to, but it is important to my sanity to say “no” every now and then, as much as I hate it.
Write in order to rewrite. Writing sooner and writing continually can only happen if you aren’t consumed with perfection. Some of us are discouraged from writing because we think our first draft needs to be our final draft. But this is exactly the problem. Get your thoughts on paper and plan to go back and fix awkward sentences, poor word choices, and illogical or unsubstantiated arguments in your subsequent drafts. Knowing that rewriting is part of the writing process will free you to write persistently, make progress, and look forward to fixing things later.
Take time off when you need it. As Katy Meyers mentioned in her post last week, taking time off is important to personal happiness, and you should do so as guilt free as possible. Dissertations take time, and you will need to take breaks and recharge at some point. There will be times where you have to focus your energies elsewhere: teaching, the job market, writing publishable articles, sitting on committees, taking care of your family, watching cartoons. It is important to understand that short breaks in writing will happen, and you can take those breaks without feeling guilty.
Set deadlines. Depending on your project, you may have built in deadlines that force you to produce material at a steady clip. If you do not have built in deadlines, you must impose them on yourself. Deadlines produce results, and results lead to completed writing projects. Set realistic deadlines and stick to them. You will find that you are able to accomplish much more than you anticipated if you set and stick to deadlines. Take productive breaks. Instead of turning to aimless entertainment to fill your break times, try doing something that will indirectly serve your writing process. We need breaks: they refresh us and help us stay on task. In fact, studies have shown that overall productivity diminishes if employees are not allowed to take regular, brief pauses from their work during the day. What is not often mentioned, however, is that a break does not necessarily have to be unrelated to our work in order to be refreshing; it needs only to be different from what we were just doing. So, for example, if you have been writing for 90 minutes, instead of turning on YouTube to watch another mountain biking video, you could get up, stretch, and pull that book off the shelf you’ve been wanting to read, or that article that has been sitting in Pocket for the past six weeks. Maybe reorganizing your desk or taking a walk (see above) around the library with your capture journal would be helpful. Whatever you choose, try to make your breaks productive.