Enhancing Your Techniques For Writing A Literature Review For A Dissertation

As you start the writing process for a large research paper or dissertation it is best that you follow these tips:

Think Small

You should write a project plan that breaks down each chapter or section into a miniature plan based on the requirements. Break down your schedule based on the things you need to do for the week as well as the day. It will help you to break down your overall plan into smaller, easily accomplished items that you can check off one day at a time. This will also prevent the mistake of sitting down in front of your computer screen and thinking to yourself “ok... so now I have to write a chapter”. Instead, you can sit down and begin working on the little things that you know will help you complete the chapter as a whole. For example:

  • you might organize your notes first
  • the next day you might read more sources on topic X
  • the following day you might write up your chapter outline
  • the day after that you might write the first section as noted in the outline which consists of paragraphs that address concepts a, b, and c.

The ability to focus on these smaller tasks individually and finish them within a reasonable amount of time is a great confidence booster.

Be consistent

It is important to work on your plan, whatever that plan may be, in a diligent and consistent manner. You should work each and every day, even if only for a short period of time. It is good to set aside forty five minute increments in which to write each day, not just because this is the average amount of time a person can spend focusing without breaking, but because your schedule is likely full of commitments and a forty five minute period can be easily worked into even the busiest schedule.

If you do not write every day you will start to lose touch with your writing. Your main arguments will fade and your citations will quickly become stale. This will cause you to waste time each day re-familiarizing yourself with your content. On the other hand, a little bit of work each day will keep the topic fresh in your mind and make it easier to dive into your work. You can schedule your writing time into your regular calendar if you struggle to work consistently. This will ensure you prioritize your writing.

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