Preparing for dissertation writing is one of the things that many graduate students ignore.
Many of them just wake up one day and start writing random things in the name of a dissertation.
No wonder we have increasing levels of graduate attrition in the world.
Dissertation writing process needs thorough preparation unless you are planning to fail.
In this article, am going to show you the best way of preparing yourself for dissertation writing without getting desperate.
Here is a Table of Contents of the things we shall cover.
- Physical Readiness
- Trust in God
- Mental Readiness
- Location Readiness
- Social Readiness
- Resource Readiness
- Access to Academic Resources
- Backup drive
Importance of preparing for dissertation writing
Adequate preparation will spare you the need for the services of expert dissertation writers.
I am going to sum this up in one sentence.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
You can easily see a great dissertation from a distance. Such a paper gets the best mark and little criticism. Here are a few features of a nice dissertation:
- It has a clear main objective, based on a well worked out thesis or central question.
- It has clear specific objectives of achieving the main objective
- It is well planned and widely researched.
- It has logical flow of information from the known to the unknown
- It entails in-depth analysis, critical evaluation and discussion of facts rather than description of stuff
- It contains consistent and correct referencing.
- It is well-structured and expressed in an appropriate academic way.
- It is well-argued and supported by evidence
- It is free from errors, grammatical, spelling mistakes and other writing mistakes.
Anybody can write a mediocre dissertation. They don’t have to think. Here are the identifying marks of a bad dissertation:
- It has a general and unclear title
- Most of its contents are copied from the source without application or modification
- It is poorly planned and poorly researched
- It is more descriptive than argumentative
- It has mixed referencing styles
- It contains no in-text citations or bibliography and if available, they are messy
- It has a poor structure and highly plagiarized
- It does not convince the examiners that you know what you are doing
- In short, it portrays you as a highly disorganized idiot who is cannot be helped
You do not want to appear as a failure. After all, you chose the topic! How can you fail in an exam which you set?
Your body needs to be physically fit if you are to get the motivation to write your dissertation.
Any sign of exhaustion, weakness, sickness or fatigue and you shall give yourself an excuse to procrastinate.
So, what must you do to be fit for the writing process?
Here are a couple of things that you need to do to be physically ready to handle the dissertation:
Eat good food to give you strength. It is always advisable to eat a balanced diet so that you can be strong to do the research and ward off any diseases while developing and repairing your worn-out tissues.
A good way of keeping fit is by doing regular exercise. Exercise helps you flex your muscles and maximize air circulation through your body. Exercise is known to make people ready for learning, reading, researching and prolonged mental concentration.
Drink enough water. You will feel the difference. If you want to know the health benefits of water, you can get yourself one of the nutrition and diet books and you will soon realize that the most abundant liquid is very beneficial to your health.
Too much work without sunlight will make you a weakling. Too much sunlight will also burn the hell out of you, give you skin burns and even skin cancer.
Did you know that vitamin D is important for your bones’ strength? If you know, then beware that you absorb the recommended dose of sunlight to keep you healthy for the day.
Your dissertation wants you strong. Staying indoors will not only make you weak, it will also make you pale and deny you the vigor and rigor necessary for the writing process.
At the same time, make sure that your room gets enough natural light to illuminate your work.
The word temperance means moderation in what you do. In the course of dissertation writing, or even in the day-to-day life scenario, you may find that there are some things that you overdo or underdo.
The laws of temperance dictate that you balance all aspects of life. In writing your dissertation, do not overexert yourself and write too much in one day only to quit the next day. You should make steady but sure steps.
Prepare your study and writing room in such a way that you get enough air. Ventilate your room and allow enough fresh air to circulate through.
State air can suffocate the hell out of you and cause you to sleep even before you type one sentence.
The air entering your room should be enough for more than five people for you to be comfortable.
In case you suspect that your room does not have enough oxygen, call air conditioning experts to look into the problem.
The air should neither be too hot nor too cold. Air at around room temperature is all that you need.
If the air is too cold or too hot, you should fix a room heater or get an air conditioner respectively.
A well-conditioned will give you appetite to stay around and do some dissertation writing.
Rest is an important aspect of human life. God created rest so that you and me can move away from our work and rejuvenate our body systems.
Do not pretend to be a workaholic. You need rest if you are going to write a sensible dissertation.
A clouded mind is the best ingredient for mediocre dissertations.
Be sure to get enough sleep and you will wake up fresh enough to deliver.
People derive their inspirations from different sources. Let me introduce you to the source of infinite wisdom, knowledge and excellent – God.
Trust in God and He will lead you through the dissertation writing process.
Everything else rests in God’s hands. Trust in Him and all will go well with you.
God is real. Do yourself a favour and research by yourself. If you do your research diligently, you will find out that God exists.
Cause your brain to be ready for the writing task ahead of you. Tell yourself that you have a dissertation to write.
Eating good food is one way of mental preparedness. As with physical preparation, use the NEWSTART method. Have good Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunlight, Temperance, Air, Rest and Trust in God.
Have you ever realized that the mind works to support our ambitions?
For instance, if you tell your mind that you need to wake up at 3 am to revise, you will wake up even without an alarm.
That is how complex our bodies are.
Now, you need to do this:
Tell yourself that you shall be waking up every day to read one resource and write at least one page of your dissertation.
Make it clear to your mind that a day should not end before writing at least one page of your dissertation.
Put all your emotions into it and you will get the results.
Act as if your while life depends on the paper you are writing – but without unwanted strain and stress on your part.
That is all.
Where is your office?
Where do you live?
Your location can make a difference between completing your dissertation and stagnating.
If you live in a well-organized house, you are more likely to enjoy the process of writing your dissertation as opposed to somebody who lives in a disorderly place.
Keep our house, room, or apartment tidy and well organized.
Keep your desk clean and tidy.
Keep all unnecessary books, materials away from the table.
You should read one book, journal, or reference material at a time because seeing hundreds of resources on the table can scare the hell out of you.
Is your office or house near noise pollutants? Be sure to work from a quiet place with minimal distractions.
Remember that you are trying to get a nice place so that you do not get any excuse.
If your house is noisy, you are free to go to the local library or even the university premises where you can find like-minded people to give you the motivation you need.
Have a great environment from which to write your dissertation.
You have seen many people dedicating their dissertations and other publications to their spouses.
Have you ever asked yourself why?
It is because of the social environment that their spouses give them in the process of research and dissertation writing.
You only need one good spouse and your dissertation will be as good as done.
Have the wrong spouse by your side and your dissertation will never move an inch, not in this lifetime.
Your family and friends have a great effect on your efficiency as a writer.
Be sure to read their attitude towards your dissertation. Your work or dissertation should not rob you of the time you should be spending with your family. That is madness and unpardonable. At the same time, your social ties should not hamper your dissertation writing course.
Friends who are too selfish, the type who need full attention should better be put aside until the dissertation writing process is over.
Learn to say no to distractions. I am not saying that you should say no to friends and family. You should learn to discern the limits in everything by applying the principle of temperance.
Avoid social gatherings where you may be tempted to drink and forget about your paper.
Nothing benumbs the mind like a little alcoholic drink and drugs shared by close friends.
You need to focus and be yourself.
Don’t fool around with the wrong places, people and substances.
You need every resource if you are to write a nice dissertation.
Here a couple of things that you need:
You need a small notebook to y. keep track of what you are doing and to take short notes when necessary. The notebook shall also carry your work schedule and it shall help you track your work. Carry the notebook wherever you go and it shall be a constant reminder of your dissertation.
Your diary can also be your notebook since it will help you know what you have done on a specific day.
You need access to great academic resources such as peer-reviewed journals, books, articles, periodicals, magazines, etc.
Your university has access to online databases that have thousands of publications in your field of study.
You need to access the resources and save them in your computer for use when away from the university.
You also need access login details, passwords and anything that can help you access the academic resources when you need them.
The academic resources shall help you greatly when writing various parts of your dissertation including your introduction, literature review, methodology and discussion.
You need a nice computer. The computer should be efficient, fast and reliable. It should have the necessary software needed for word processing, data entry, data processing and data presentation.
Keep your computer software updated and you will not regret it. A virus will not eat your presentation or dissertation in the last minute.
I cannot emphasize this enough. Have seen many scholars crying foul after their files get corrupted by malicious viruses, malware, adware and such types of digital infections.
Such things can be avoided by proper planning.
Here is how to back up your dissertation:
- Keep two backups of your dissertation in the computers of your most trusted friends.
- Keep the a copy of the latest version of the dissertation in a portable backup drive in your house
- Keep a copy of your dissertation online through Dropbox, Gmail, or any other cloud storage.
- Keep another copy in a different folder (not in the programs root directory) in your computer.
In case of anything, you shall not mourn as somebody who does not have information.
You shall simply retrieve one of your latest copies and proceed as if nothing happened.
Backup your dissertation regularly. It can be daily, semi-weekly or weekly. Monthly backups cannot be as effective as daily backups.
Think about the worst that can happen. Your laptop may be stolen or rained on.
After thinking, act immediately and create backups.
Supervision readiness for dissertation writing
This is not what you do for yourself.
Your university would have assigned you a supervisor to take you through the process of dissertation writing.
Be sure to cooperate with the supervisor. I know many friends who failed to graduate because of poor relationships with their supervisors.
Purpose to involve your supervisor in every step of your dissertation. That way, they will feel appreciated
If you do all of these preparations carefully, then you will be ready to write you dissertation.
If you need help with any step of dissertation writing, please get help from professional dissertation writers.
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