How can I excel in writing a dissertation

Writing a dissertation may seem like the most monumental thing you will ever do in your entire college career, and you may be right about that. Your dissertation is pretty important, which is why it is so difficult for so many people. So the question becomes, how do you take the pressure down a notch and get this done?

How to do it

  • Remember that you will be responsible for doing the work without benefit of prodding from professors or constant reminders to work on it
  • Choose a topic that you know a lot about already and can easily research and write on
  • Make a schedule that you can REASONABLY manage to work around
  • Have a deadline set for when it is due

Personal responsibility

When writing a dissertation it is not like any other paper you have completed before. Come to terms with this fact. There is no due date from a professor. It is not an assigned topic. It does not conform to the same rules as any of the work done before it. You are now working on an entirely different level in which you are responsible for your own progress. While you will have an advisor and people to help when you need it, ultimately it is up to you. This is one reason that so many people take forever to write theirs. It is so big that they freeze up and with no due date they put it off. So how do you make it easier?

Choose a good topic

Make the topic something that truly interests you. Something that you’ll want to work on will be easier to compete. The more you know about it, the less you’ll need to research. You also don’t have to make it something extremely complex or super long. You might even change the topic or shift its focus somewhat mid way through. As long as you run any and all changes by your advisor and listen to the feedback this should help you. Remember that the topic is not unyielding. It can be changed to suit your needs.


Make a real schedule of when you will work on it, what you will do (I.E. research, proposal, outline, drafts, writing etc.) and for how long. Once you make this schedule, make sure it is not too intense or too lose. You want a good schedule but one that you can live up to without wearing yourself out. Once you have it written down, do your best to stick to it no matter what.

Have a deadline

They may not set a deadline for you but you should have one in mind. Circle it on your calendar, put it in your day planner and in your phone, make it a solid due date. Make sure it is a reasonable one for the amount of work needed for your topic.    If you do all of this, you should have a much easier time than those with no plan at all. Planning ahead is a big part of getting your dissertation finished. Don’t look at it as an insurmountable obstacle to your degree, see it as a fun challenge to complete.

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