Quality dissertation help today: In the table of contents, list all of your chapters and subheadings and their page numbers. The dissertation contents page gives the reader an overview of your structure and helps easily navigate the document. All parts of your dissertation should be included in the table of contents, including the appendices. You can generate a table of contents automatically in Word. If you have used a lot of tables and figures in your dissertation, you should itemise them in a numbered list. You can automatically generate this list using the Insert Caption feature in Word. If you have used a lot of abbreviations in your dissertation, you can include them in an alphabetised list of abbreviations so that the reader can easily look up their meanings.
Just Start Writing: Now that you’ve planned out your writing, it’s time to get typing. It’s not going to get any easier the longer you wait! While you can undoubtedly come up with a million reasons to delay (“I need to do more research/readings/experiments”) you won’t know if this is true or not until you begin to write. The best way to work on your argument is to actually work your argument out in writing. The First Draft is Not the Final Draft: When taking on a project of this magnitude it’s important to remember that your first draft is not your final draft. The sentences don’t have to be perfect or the argument airtight on the first try. Rewriting and revising are crucial parts of the writing process. Just start writing and refine your work in the subsequent draft. Discover extra details on dissertation writing help.
Strive for excellence but remember that this is not your magnum opus. A dissertation needs to be of publishable quality and it will need to past the muster of your supervisor and committee. But it is also a graduation requirement. Do the research. Make a contribution. Finish the project. And plan to write your five-volume theology when you have 30-40 more years of study, reflection, and teaching under your belt. Take careful notes. Taking careful notes is essential for two reasons. First, keeping a meticulous record of the knowledge you glean from your research will save you time: there will be no need to later revisit your resources and chase bibliographic information, and you will find yourself less prone to the dreaded, “Where did I read that?” Second, and most importantly, you will avoid plagiarism. If you fail to take good notes and are not careful to accurately copy direct quotes and make proper citations, you will be liable to reproducing material in your dissertation that is not original with you. Pleading that your plagiarism was inadvertent will not help your cause. It is your responsibility to take careful notes and attribute all credit to whom it is due through proper citation.
But don’t let good feelings stop you from working. I have the bad habit of working furiously to meet a deadline and then riding the endorphin rush of finishing the work for weeks. Don’t get distracted by small feelings of accomplishment: finishing one page means that you are now ready to write the next one, after all. Know that you can do it. You’ve got this, seriously. If I can do it, you can do it. It’ll be great. But remember to start writing again. Short breaks are awesome! Take a week off to focus on grading 150 papers. Take off two weeks to prepare for job interviews. But then start writing again. Academic work is always a balancing act between various pressures, and you have to get used to carving out time for writing next to all of your responsibilities. We likely all know that guy who is on his 7th year of writing because he “can’t find the time” to write. Don’t be that guy. To that end…
Write sooner. The dissertation writing process can quickly become paralyzing because of its size and importance. It is a project that will be reviewed rigorously by your advisor and your committee, and your graduation depends on your successful completion and defense. Facing these realities can be daunting and tempt you to wait until you can determine that you’ve researched or thought enough about the topic. Yet, the longer you delay writing, the more difficult it will be to actually start the process. The answer to your paralysis is to start writing. Are you unsure of your argument or not fully convinced you have done the requisite research? You may be right: your argument may not be airtight, and you may need to do more reading; but you will be able to determine to what degree these problems need attention when you start writing. Productivity begets productivity, and you will be amazed at how arguments take shape and the direction of your research is forged as you write.
Take time off when you need it. As Katy Meyers mentioned in her post last week, taking time off is important to personal happiness, and you should do so as guilt free as possible. Dissertations take time, and you will need to take breaks and recharge at some point. There will be times where you have to focus your energies elsewhere: teaching, the job market, writing publishable articles, sitting on committees, taking care of your family, watching cartoons. It is important to understand that short breaks in writing will happen, and you can take those breaks without feeling guilty.
Talk about your ideas with others. When you are writing your dissertation, you might be tempted to lock away your ideas and avoid discussing them with others. This is unwise. Talking with others about your ideas helps you to refine and stimulate your thinking; it also creates opportunities for you to learn of important resources and how your contribution will affect other branches of scholarship. Also, as people ask questions about your project, you will begin to see where your argument is unclear or unsubstantiated.