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Typical Mistakes in Dissertation Writing – Your Guide for Avoiding Them

September 28, 2015 - Posted to How to: Writing Dissertation

Content tds avoid mistakes in disser

First of all, you know that dissertation writing will consume you for months – you will even dream about it. And even when you are out supposedly enjoying yourself, it will always be there – back in the recesses of your mind. As one who has been through this, I can empathize. But I can also give you some advice about the common mistakes that most of us have made and how you can avoid them.

Dissertation Writing Tips

These can be divided into a few categories, so here goes:


  1. Get a file cabinet with one drawer dedicated only to your dissertation. Start out with folders for each of the parts – your proposal, each chapter, and your ultimate abstract.
  2. Your literature review folder should contain the listing of all of the sources you are using in that chapter. The notes that you have taken from each resources should go in separate folders too. One of the biggest mistakes I made was mixing up the content from each of the resources and then having to go back and straighten it all out again. Put a note at the top of each page of notes with the resource – big mistake not to do this!
  3. Get a calendar on the wall, not in your phone or in you tablet. You have to see the whole thing in front of you at once and it has to be big. Put it on the wall with all of the timeline benchmarks that you have established for completing each piece of this project.
  4. Have your workspace dedicated only to your dissertation. Even if you have to buy a separate desk and laptop for this, do it. A big mistake is using the same device for your dissertation that you use for everything else.

The Writing – Uggh!

It’s really fun to do the actual research; it is not really fun to complete the rest of this project – particularly the writing. If you really want the best dissertation ever, stay on top of that writing, doing it in small chunks at a time.

  • Get that literature review done first. It is the least pleasant of all of the chapters, and getting it out of the way in the beginning is really a relief.
  • Don’t even think about writing your introduction chapter until the end. I wrote mine early and ended up re-writing the entire over again at the end, because it really did not introduce everything well.
  • Those research instruments: If you are using instruments that have already been validated, you don’t have a problem. But is you are creating your own, you are really going to need some <a href="http://www.trusteddissertations.com">dissertation writing help</a> in this area. You are not a seasoned designer of instruments, but there are experts in every field of research you can call upon to help with this. If you try to design your own as a novice, you will have nuisance factors and be accumulating data that you don’t want and that may actually skew your results. Then you will have to spend time explaining them away in your results chapter.
  • Edit and proofread as you go. Leaving it all until the end is horrible – such a chore.
  • Get the final editing and proofreading done by someone else.

Staying Sane

Don’t make the mistake so many dissertation writers do. They either become obsessed with the project, giving up every other aspect of their lives, or they procrastinate and then have to become obsessed when a deadline is due.

  1. Set aside definite times to write based on when you are at your best. That may be early in the morning so you get it out of the way or late at night – whatever works for you.
  2. Get out of the house or apartment frequently. Becoming a hermit does not become you, and it makes you a pretty boring person.
  3. When you are out socially, do not talk about your dissertation. This means you are obsessing.
  4. If you don’t have a hobby or outside interest, get one now. It will be a life-saver.

There you have it – mistakes I made that you can avoid. Trust me on this!

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