Writing Undergraduate Dissertation Proposal
If you find yourself questioning your commitment to your dissertation or a career in academia, consider these tactics: This may be a time to ask yourself what the Ph. means to you and whether you really want to continue.Remember that what it means to you and what it means to your partner, family, or friends may be very different. You might try free-writing about your topic and the reasons it inspires you.You might make a list of all the reasons you want to get the Ph. You might plan out your life’s possible courses for the next 2, 5, 10, or 20 years if you do and if you don’t proceed with the degree.
The Writing Center can’t advise you about technical questions (for example, how to force Microsoft Word to set up tables correctly or format page numbers the way you want), but we know people who may be able to! Why don’t doctoral candidates manage to get rolling on the dissertation any sooner, or KEEP rolling once they get started?Sometimes, even if you appreciate the differences between the dissertation and previous work and know that you really want to complete the degree, you may still have trouble. Both external and internal stresses can cause the dissertation process to be more difficult than it has to be.By the time you’ve reached this stage, you have probably already defended a dissertation proposal, chosen an advisor, and begun working with a committee.Partly because the dissertation is a completely new experience that is much larger and more independent than your previous academic work.To this point, being a graduate student has been, more or less, an extension of your earlier life as a student.Many, many people lead happy, fulfilling lives, build lucrative and rewarding careers, make important contributions to knowledge, share interesting ideas with others, and generally get along just fine without three letters after their names. It also does not mean that you have wasted the time and money that you invested in the degree up to the ABD stage.It may simply mean that after considering your own personal motivations and goals, you decided this career choice wasn’t for you—and that you plan to use the skills you honed as a graduate student in other ways that are more suited to you. Unlike the elaborate study strategies you developed in order to pass your comprehensive exams, writing the dissertation will enable you to start developing a set of valuable research and writing skills.On the other hand, it can be an end as well as a beginning—you don’t have to develop the dissertation beyond the completion of the degree if you don’t want to.If you’re sick of the topic, you can focus on just finishing it for the degree, and then move on to other projects.Writing a dissertation is a lot like writing a book. There are usually no weekly deadlines from professors, no regular discussions with classmates, no reading assignments, no one telling you what to do—you are on your own, writing something longer than you’ve ever written, and doing it without a net.This independence can make the process seem very intimidating.