dissertation frustration!

  1. Anyone else writing their dissertation now? I've been teaching and working on mine for awhile now...but really want to finish up!! I saw at least a couple of others mention it on their "to do" list. Any suggestions on ways to stop procrastinating and get motivated?

    What fields? I'm in history and it's really interesting...but our dissertations are usually pretty long. I'm planning on about 200 pages at this point, and that is considered really short! On the other hand, I don't have any complex equations or such to do.
  2. Awww, Mandy, I can only *imagine* how crazy that would be! Don't worry, I'll be in your shoes someday! Best wishes, don't be too hard on yourself. Eat some cookies. ;)
  3. I'm supposed to be writing my Master's thesis now, but since I just finished two papers and a final, I've been slacking. I got my topic approved a month ago (U.S. Immigration Policy Towards the Soviet Union from 1940-1990) I'm in a Central & Eastern European Studies program.

    My big motivation is I need to have this sucker done by the time I start applying for my PhD this Fall! What works best for me is to write a page a night. It's a small daily goal, but add it all together and it's eventually a thesis.
  4. Yup, I'm just starting mine, and every day I have to keep myself from taking a hammer to the iBook in frustration! I do hear it gets easier eventually. But my motivation is that I FINALLY get to leave grad school when it's done and get a real job, yay!! That's motivation enough, think of all the purses I'll be able to afford when I have a real job!

    Maybe try giving yourself incentives to finish chapters, like giving yourself a week off to do something fun, guilt free, when a chapter is complete. Or a purse you have your eye on...
  5. When I was writing mine by dissertation chairman told me that the process was like a lover, some days you hate it and some days you love it and it flows and everything is great. He also said, despite how busy you are, you must spend at least 1 hour per day working on it. Given that advice, I finished on time, unlike most of my classmates.
  6. Mine was finished in Dec 98... I received tenure last summer and now need to get back to submitting "almost-ready" articles again...

    I had to schedule writing time to get there...I found I was most productive from 8 am-noon, so set that time aside for writing for a couple of months...it didn't really take that long when I was focused...I tell my students a thesis or dissertation is written just like other papers...one page at a time...
  7. I am in the process of writing my dissertation too and I know exactly how you feel. I have the main ideas outlined, but I just can't get myself to start writing.

    But positive thoughts of FINALLY being done with school (and no longer being on a graduate student budget) will get me going this summer!
  8. Well, my dissertation (2nd paper) is slow right now. I am basically working on typing the results section, and doing the discussion section and I should be done.... theoretically at least..Oh yeah, I have to defend it too so I would need to go back to Pullman to do that... but the last 2 weeks, I haven't touched it and I am feeling guilty. as someone has mentioned, working on it consistently is better so I plan on typing up my results section tonight (even for an hour and a half), do some more tomorrow, and hopefully, in 8 or so days, be done with it.. btw, mine is only 50-55 pages coz it has to be in a publishable format.. I am in Counseling Psychology and my topic is on Filipino personality structure.. so don't know how much dry it can get but I am just dying to be done, especially after the fact that this is my 2nd study on the same topic.. regarding motivation, I have bought bags for my reward but I did buy bags even when I wasn't working on it.. but I am now making myself accountable that I will not buy a Chloe paddy till I get it done...... so I can only look at the marketplace but not buy and that is killing me...
  9. Last week when I had to do that really boring journal article review that was an important presentation for my career I used the following strategy. I would work on it for a while and then get on purse forum for awhile. I set time limits for my breaks and time limits for my work. That kept me from going crazy.
    Maybe history is interesting, but medical statistics are boring as __, so alternating helped.
  10. LOL! I am doing something similar right now... Grade 5 papers...read a few new posts...grade 5 papers...read a few new posts...
  11. Thanks guys!

    We seem to have a lot of graduate students (and grad students who have actually graduated!) here at the forum. I have several chapters written (around 150 pages now) but really need to get in a routine of working every day to get these final sections done. The project is about the relationship between religion and psychoanalysis after World War II, and I'm starting to get tired of the topic at this point. But I've heard that's fairly normal:smile:

    I like these specific ideas -- like spend some time at the forum, then back to work; set time aside to work each day; think of it one page at a time; eat cookies; and, especially, BUY A BAG FOR REWARD:smile:

    Bluxcape, I admire your discipline in sticking to your own incentives!

    I definitely have all sorts of rewards lined up in my head for when I truly finish the whole degree. A fun vacation being tops on the list at the moment.

    Anyway, keep the suggestions coming if you have em.