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.
Writing a dissertation is a key aspect of earning a doctoral degree. It takes hard work and research to complete, and many doctoral learners see this as an intimidating task. However, this does not have to be the reality of your dissertation experience! By reading up on a few tips, you can get an idea of what to expect before starting your dissertation.
Planning is Everything
Outlining, planning and note-taking are excellent ways to begin preparing to write your dissertation. You can make the process of writing your dissertation go smoothly with a good amount of preparation. By simply taking time to prepare, you can organize your thoughts and determine the direction you want to go.
For example, it may be helpful to outline each section and label the ideas and subtopics you plan on covering. By doing this, you can ease the stress a little, as having a rough idea of where your dissertation is going can calm your mind in terms of how much work and research is ahead. This might take a bit of extra time to do, but in the long run, you will be thankful you did it!
You Can Still Be Concise
Dissertations tend to be lengthy, but do not let this intimidate you! It is still important to be concise and organized in determining how in-depth you should go on each subtopic. Remember that while there is a lot to cover, it is best to keep the focus on concepts that are relevant to your dissertation.
Do Not be Afraid to Ask for Help
No one is perfect, and in the beginning, your dissertation might not be either. Understand that going into the dissertation process, there will be areas you need help with, and that is okay. You will not be expected to do everything on your own, and there is nothing wrong with asking for help from an advisor or fellow doctoral learner who is also working on their dissertation. In the end, having the ability to make improvements is a big step toward getting your writing to the place it needs to be for a successful dissertation.
To learn more about the doctoral programs offered by Grand Canyon University’s College of Doctoral Studies, visit our website or click the Request More Information button at the top of the page.
Written by Jessalyn Johnson, a sophomore majoring in English and professional writing at GCU.