Are you thinking about applying to a PhD program? Are you already a doctoral student? PhD is a huge investment of time and money. So make sure you spend 15 minutes of your time reading this blog devoted to PhD program success and survival tips. I'm confident that these tips can save up to 10 years of your life, up to $1,000,000 of your money, and, most importantly, your physical and emotional health.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dissertation strategies: One page per day

There's no general recipe for writing a dissertation. But there's one useful strategy of mechanical nature. Just get into the habit of writing one page per day. Don't worry if your writing is of poor quality - you can edit later. Don't worry if you are not sure how this fits into your dissertation. Just write one page per day. In a few months you may have enough stuff to put together a very rough draft. Of course, you will have to throw away a lot of those pages. But you may end up using some of them too. Moreover, this one page per day habit may benefit you psychologically. You will feel that, at least, you are doing something every day. I think it gives you an illusion/feeling of some kind of progress.

49 comments:

  1. Hey Alexander, this is a good idea in theory, but then when it comes to collating the material and making sense of it, it becomes very messy. I had this problem with one of my chapters. I did the very thing you suggested, and I was overwhelmed when trying to assimilate the material.

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  2. I agree. Still, I think it's even worse when you strategy is to sit down and write a perfectly coherent chapter. This can paralyze you completely.

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  3. I write my materials and methods during my model building. It helps to make a decision what is the next step. It helps in deciding what I need to do to get the model building better. Most of all, you are keeping every small piece and later when needed, you just paste them in a correct place. Later you'll get yourself writing the whole materials and methods. You can't see it instantly but it is the way to prevent yourself the stress of stress and no writing mood. G

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