Columbia Tips on Dissertations

Sep 10, 2015 | | Say something

Tips on Dissertations

Here is a great guide from Columbia University, “Completing Your Dissertation Without Tears.” (Though it is a little late for me on that front.)

Some good tips:

  • Be selfish and ignore other obligations
  • Don’t worry about extensive outlines, writing is a thinking process (THANK GOD!)
  • Enter the debate, academic writing is not done in isolation (and if you don’t have a debate, you’re probably not doing academic work correctly…
  • Some good tips on argumentation (I studied logic and have a lot of argumentative experience, so that is less useful to me, but still very solid, and honestly I rarely see that in these sorts of guides)

It also reiterates, clearly, what you should be doing (which is all to easy to forget):

Your argument should grab the reader’s attention. It debunks a myth, corrects a misconception, enters a debate, or challenges a popular interpretation. Be prepared to explain the significance of you topic succinctly and compellingly.

There are some other good tips for getting over common problems, like having nothing to write. Overall, this is a good pick-me-up if you’re stuck.

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