Jessalyn Johnson is a senior at Grand Canyon University, completing the final year of her BA in English Literature. Originally from Melbourne, FL, Jessalyn has come to enjoy living in the desert of Arizona. Since freshman year she has occupied several different positions on the editorial board of GCU’s literary review, StartleBloom, which is approaching its third volume. In her free time, Jessalyn enjoys creative writing, photography, writing music and participating in the plays and musicals put on by GCU’s Ethington Theatre.
When pursuing a doctoral degree, you most likely will end up writing a dissertation. A dissertation is a heavily researched piece of writing, written by a doctoral learner during their program.
While it can seem like a huge task, there are many ways in which writing a dissertation can be simplified. In many cases, the idea of such a large assignment can lead to lack of motivation. We previously discussed some tips for writing your dissertation. Here are a few more tips to help you during the dissertation-writing process:
Choose a Topic You Love
Writing a dissertation can be extremely rewarding, especially if you are passionate about the topic you have chosen to write about. It is important to feel strongly about your dissertation, as you are going the extra mile to receive your doctoral degree. If you are truly interested in your degree, you should be just as interested in your dissertation topic. A doctoral degree is a huge investment, so make sure your dissertation is important to you.
Just Start Writing
A key concept in writing anything is to just do it! Once you have your research and an idea of what you want to say, you may want to just start writing your ideas. Do not worry about finding all of the right words – just focus on writing and getting your ideas on the page. After you have written a portion of your dissertation, you may feel a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders. When you are ready, you can go back and edit your work, which will seem less daunting than writing everything from scratch.
Seek Support from Loved Ones
Even if you do have a strong passion for your topic, you may still need an extra push. Most individuals who are pursuing a doctoral degree have an entire life outside of their coursework. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a short break, seek advice and find comfort before returning to your writing. A good dissertation is completed with a clear, rested mind. Do not let your dissertation suffer if you are not fully prepared to write. As important as it is to complete your dissertation, it is more important to make sure it is done the proper way.
Grand Canyon University integrates the dissertation process into doctoral programs, starting from the first course. Learn more about GCU’s College of Doctoral Studies on our website.
Written by Jessalyn Johnson, a sophomore earning an English and professional writing degree from GCU.