If you find yourself struggling through writing your dissertation, and feel you are alone in this, you are not. Struggling through different phases of dissertation writing seems to be a norm in the academic world.
However, knowing what to do when you get stuck is key to presenting and finishing a dissertation paper. So, when you get stuck, what do you do? Check out the following suggestions.
- The First Step in the Early Stage Of Your Dissertation is to Identify Your Research Questions. It doesn’t matter how weighty you think your dissertation should be; the essence of it, and any thesis, is to provide an answer to questions. If you experience some block in the early stage of research, you are most likely trying to find answers to questions you haven’t asked.
- What to Do When You Don’t Know Where to Start. Maybe you already have your research questions well-written out already, but you don’t know where to start, the easiest way to get started to read. By reading, you’ll get to see what has been discussed in your area of study and find the literature gap from where you can come in.
- What to Do When You Don’t Have Anything to Say. Maybe you have found what to talk about, but you don’t know how to talk about it. At this stage, what is lacking are the materials or data to work. The simple solution to this is that you need to do research. The “re-” in research means you have to look over previous work for patterns, themes, arguments, etc.
- What to Do When You’ve Reached a Dead End. To reach a dead-end is to struggle with probably a paragraph or session, not knowing what to do to it. In such a case, it can help if you ask yourself, is it necessary, and is it right? If it’s neither of the two, it can delete it.
- What to Do When You Fall Behind. Working on your dissertation every day according to plan is one thing you should not give up for anything. However, there are times when plans get disrupted, and unexpected events occur. In such a case, the first place to go is your advisor to discuss available options. When you fall behind, do an honest assessment of how bad the situation. Be honest and frank with yourself and the person you speak to about your work. Also, be ready to put in a little extra time to make up for losses.
- What to Do If You Feel You Have a Terrible Idea. This feeling will happen regardless of how brilliant your idea is. In such a case, follow the two research rules of thumb; your work is finished when your research is more right than wrong, and it does not have to be perfect.
- When Your Idea Is No Longer Viable. Reach out to the one who has done what you’re doing and ask them for a few pointers.
Encountering roadblocks on the way to completing your dissertation is not new to the world of research. You can follow the pointers we have given above to get back on track and finish your research work.