When it comes to writing a dissertation, graduate students are forewarned about the challenges of procrastination, motivation, and sheer endurance required to approach the task. Simply thinking about writing a dissertation can sometimes trigger negative thoughts and lead to avoidance.
Like many others, I hated the process of completing my dissertation. Initially, I would have considered myself a very inefficient researcher. I was basically the master of finding anything to distract me. I would work on anything else in order to avoid my thesis and dissertation. Friends would always know when I was feeling the pressure to work because my house was immaculately clean, and I had food in the fridge. However, after getting married and having a baby, something had to change. I no longer had the time available to waste a full day only to produce minimal product. I wouldn’t say that following these steps made writing enjoyable for me. But, these things significantly helped me to increase productivity and led me to be the first in my cohort to propose and defend my dissertation. 1. Get Over Your Imposter Syndrome. Writing a dissertation is scary. I can’t think of a single colleague who just thought: Hey, I’ve got this! But as we know, anxiety leads to avoidance, and this can become a vicious cycle. The great thing is, we’re mental health professionals, so we know how to address this! Remember the sources of self-efficacy in order to increase your confidence in your ability to succeed. A. Physiological Feedback. I noticed that before I would sit down to work, I’d... Continue Reading
There are a few steps toward your doctoral degree that you get no formal preparation for. The dissertation defense is one of those activities. Sure, you have presented in your classes on a variety of topics, including the results of the research you have conducted. You might also have presented at a local, regional, or national conference. All of those activities are great in terms of preparation for your dissertation defense. However, none of them have the same kind of evaluative conclusion.
If you do not pass your dissertation defense, you will not graduate. Being ABD (all but dissertation) is not a badge that you should be proud to wear. Ideally, you will pass your defense the first time. In this blog post, I offer several tips for nailing your dissertation defense.