Five Dissertation Completion Strategies

by | August 7, 2012

Here’s five tips I share with my advisees who are beginning their dissertation. Even if you are well into the work, you might find these ideas helpful:

1. Be dissertation mindful. Read, write, and think about your dissertation daily. Schedule time for your dissertation. Working at the same time every day might be an effective time management strategy. Own and inhabit your dissertation. The only way to complete the dissertation is to commit to it and do the work. Back up your work and all of your file folders! Use a flash drive, external hard drive, or online “safes.” Email every iteration to yourself with the current date on it.

2. Always be working on something. The wait time for feedback can be frustrating and be anxiety producing. Leverage this time by working on the next task.

3. Submit good work for review. If your drafts contain incomplete thoughts, underdeveloped paragraphs, and incorrect grammar, punctuation, and usage, your mentor might find it harder to address content and direction. In addition, you will be prolonging the review process as a result of multiple resubmissions.

4. Leverage Capella University resources. You will find excellent material in the Writing Center and abundant resources Library. Create a Ref Works account. Use the “Ask a Librarian” function.

5. Hire a professional editor–someone who has proficiency with APA 6 and who has experience with proofreading and editing dissertations.