Good advice for those of us writing dissertations…

Over the long arc of your career, you will complete many research projects, one often leading to the next. Research is an archipelago, not a single island. Your goal should be to build a career piece by piece doing good research. A professor once shocked me when I was a graduate student by saying, “Hopefully, your dissertation will be the worst thing you ever write.” Now I give the same advice: Our goal as scholars is continual improvement. Do the best job you can on your dissertation, defend it, publish it in some form, then move on.

Yep. That’s the goal.

More good advice here for those of you who’ve crossed over the river and are on the tenure track.

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One Comment on “Good advice for those of us writing dissertations…”

  1. Sinner says:

    I think you pegged it here. So many of us start to think that the dissertation is the most important thing we will ever do. When, in reality, it’s the most important writing we are doing up to this point. I think it’s a momentous piece of work: our first tentative step away from the net with our mentors within eye - or at least ear- shot. I approach this work with the understanding that it’s a big achievement, a massive learning process and bound to be as painful as I ‘perceive’ it to be. At the moment, though I have the ups and downs of anxiety, I actually enjoy it.

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