The title was meant to be a joke as nobody doing a dissertation is a dummy by any means. However, the “for dummies” brand is so strong that I had to use it to show how easy these tips will make your dissertation writing.
#1: Just start
The biggest hurdle to dissertation writing is just writing. Somehow, the brain freezes and your brain will give all sorts of excuses to avoid starting that first paragraph. My advice is to just to write it out. Whatever comes to mind, turn them into words and type them out. You can always revise later but the important thing is to get started. Then the process becomes easier afterwards.
#2: Create a writing habit
Once you manage to start, develop a habit of writing at least a page per day. This will ensure you hit your milestones and avoid the last minute. The first 2 weeks might be tough but once you settle into a rhythm, the writing will flow naturally and the whole thing will seem much easier.
#3: Put your main ideas in powerpoint slides
It is important to have a framework that guides your dissertation writing. Once completed, these slides can be used to formulate the chapters of your dissertations, which can be further broken down into everyday tasks and feeds into your daily writing goals. Without it, it will be difficult to know what to write per day and how long you really need to complete your dissertation.
#4: Be aware the 20:80 rule
You will be amaze at how hard it is to really complete a dissertation. You can rush through the planning, the actual research, the writing but when it comes to handing in the final version, there are tonnes of details to be completed. Whether it is the actual editing or some unsure data results or the changes your supervisor wants to make, these little things will come and bite you at the last 20% of your writing. This is how crunch time comes about. If you want to avoid this last minute rush, give more time to the last 20% of your dissertation writing.
#5: Say goodbye to your life
I really mean this. Dissertation writing can take up a huge chuck of your time, especially when nearing crunch time. This is especially if you want to be in the ‘zone’ and really craft an ass kicking piece of work. Let your gf/bf, friends, family and any activity based buddies that you will be busy in this period so as not to sour any potential relationship.
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