Writing a dissertation is one of the most difficult projects that a student will ever complete.
It can take months or years to complete this project, and students still have to prepare for an oral defense when they are done writing everything out. With the end of the doctoral process so far away, it can be challenging to feel motivated about doing the work. The following eight facts about the writing process are designed to provide some words of encouragement for doctoral students as they prepare to write.
At some point, every graduate student panics as they realize the enormity of the task at hand.
They may breakdown, collapse with exhaustion or break into tears. While it is normal to breakdown at some point, this moment will always pass. If the student has done their work and is prepared, it is highly unlikely that the academic committee will reject their work.
The word, “thesis”, is from a Greek word that means something put forth. Basically, it means that an intellectual idea or proposition is put forward to be debated. Meanwhile, the word, “dissertation”, stems from a Latin word that means “path”. As such, students are essentially following a pathway to knowledge and an education.
According to historians, the famed Victor Hugo encountered writer's block when he tried to write the Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Miserables. To counteract his severe case of writer's block, he had his servant remove all of his clothes from the room. Without anything to wear, his only option was to sit down and right. The author behind Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand, tried the same technique for a different reason. Friends kept bothering Rostand, so he took to writing naked in his bath tub to prevent any interruptions.
Back in the Middle Ages, disputations were a formal type of debate that was intended to uncover the truth behind academic pursuits and sciences. The process was governed intensely and demanded that both sides know their arguments thoroughly.
Every person has the capacity to write 1,000 words in a day. If this seems daunting, it is probably because the student is focusing too much on the quality of their writing. Instead of worrying about every grammar error or sentence structure, students should just sit down and write. Later on, students can always go back and edit their work.
One of the biggest problems that students have is with the editing process. Fortunately, there are easy ways to work around this. If the dissertation is a mess, students can pay a professional writer or editor to help. Getting editing help is not considered cheating because the work is still done by the student. The only difference is that the quality of the writing will be greatly improved.
While an entire book or lengthy essay can seem daunting, a goal of writing 500 words is easily doable. Instead of looking at the big picture, students should focus on one task at a time. Daily, weekly and monthly goals help to break down the writing process and make it easier to do.
In 1263, the Disputation of Barcelona was held before King James I of Aragon. The monk Pablo Christiani and Rabbi Moses ben Nachman stood on opposite sides of the room. Between them, King James listened to the pair debate Christianity and Judaism. Moses ben Nachman won the debate and received a monetary prize from the king. Unfortunately, the Dominicans present decided to claim victory as well and Nachman was exiled. His disputation was condemned and burned afterward. Fortunately, modern students only have to deal with a case of nerves and edits if they fail their disputation.