I completely understand that the point of a dissertation is to contribute to the body of literature in the field, and I am proud that I will get to be a part of that. However at the same time, I am so ready to be done with school. Can you just tell me the easiest way to get through a dissertation?

--Dissertation Dash

Dear Dissertation Dash,

The main thing you want to realize here is that no one should just want to get through a dissertation. A graduate student, whose main goal is to earn a piece of paper attached to a title, should generally avoid writing a doctoral dissertation. Yes, it is good that you want to contribute to the existing literature that is related to your field of study, but think more about it if it’s for the sake of saying you did it.

No one can just write a dissertation and be done with it because it takes many people years to complete, and since you are contributing writings to your field, you want them to be serious and accurate. Those who want to write a dissertation should be serious about completing a functional piece of literature for others in that particular field.

With that being said, your Master’s degree is plenty to become a professional in your field. If you’re planning on writing a dissertation because you feel that you won’t be able to get by with a Master’s degree, think again. Your Master’s will take you farther than you may think right now, so don’t feel anxious about a Master’s versus a Doctorate.

Another reason that you want to avoid writing a dissertation just to get through it is that a dissertation is just the beginning into what will be your life’s work of more research. People who write dissertations are genuinely interested in the topic they researched and wrote about, and they are prepared to work on it for the majority of their lives. If you choose a topic because you know you could write about it but you’re not that interested in it, you will regret it when you start having to research for the rest of your career.

--René M Paulson, PhD

  • Working on dissertation +

    What is the length of Chapter 1 (how many pages?) On a qualitative study, do I need to address validity and reliability? How about credibility and transferability (remember...qualitative). On terms, should I have a scholarly citation for EVERY term? – Working on dissertation Dear Working on dissertation, The length of chapter 1 depends on your specific university requirements for the contents of chapter 1, and can also depend on your dissertation Read More
  • Online Data Tools +

    I am looking for a secure data collection tool online to engage in email interviews. Thanks. – Online Data Tools Dear Online Data Tools, Picking the correct data collection tool is often dependent on the design and needs of your survey. While the commonly used data tools like SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo, PsychData, and Qualtrics all support basic question formats (single select, free response, matrixes, etc.), they differ in their download capabilities, easiness Read More
  • In Need of Financial Support +

    I was wondering if anyone can help me – well, direct me. I have had a lot of health-related and disability-related problems that got ignored during my last few years of my PhD. Now I have managed to get an extension for 6 months full-time to finish writing. I had asked part-time due to my disabilities – also to work, as my stipend stopped. However, am getting no guidance from either the Read More
  • Phd Victim +

    Hello, I am in my second year of PhD but technically have been working on my project for just one year. Before moving abroad for my PhD, I was supposed to join a particular lab, but after moving I realized that the project I was told I would join had been discontinued. Left with not many options to choose from, I decided to join another lab. My professor seemed very Read More
  • Capstone or Thesis? +

    I am in a terminal Master’s program in counselor’s education with the goal of being a school guidance counselor. My career goal has always been to work with high schoolers, especially those at-risk. For now, a Master’s is all I can manage due to time, money, and my sanity, but I would eventually like to go back and get a PhD in School Psychology. My program requires a capstone project, Read More
  • Committee A-Go-Go +

    I have a committee member that I have had numerous problems with over the course of my dissertation. He has been very difficult to work with and doesn’t return emails, his feedback is short and unclear (and late), and he won’t make time to meet with me to clarify what he is wanting. I have talked to my chair and he has had the same experience with this person across Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

Submit a Question

By submitting this form, you accept our privacy policy.