Well, being a PhD candidate means one thing and one thing only – now I have to write a dissertation. While yes I knew this was the next stage in the journey, I am not sure I am adequately prepared. I know that seems silly, I mean I have written a Master’s thesis and all. This one just seems (and is!) so much bigger and more daunting. I’m one of those people where the more daunting something seems the harder it is for me to get going on it. However, once I get going I’m usually FULL STEAM AHEAD!
Now to just figure out how to get going. One thing I’ve tried so far is to buy a few books on the subject of dissertation writing. Since this particular piece of writing is more traditional than say my past ethnographies, I really have to figure out the ins and outs of it and what is expected of me. While I’m sure there is likely some dissertation writing class offered by the university, I am not local and therefore cannot take advantage of that.
So, this means I need to educate myself on it.
Here are the books I bought:
- Writing a Successful Thesis or Dissertation: Tips and Strategies for Students in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
- How To Tame Your PhD (Thesis Whisperer Books)
- Authoring a PhD: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Thesis or Dissertation (Palgrave Study Skills)
So far book 1 reads more like I textbook than I would like, but I’ll muddle my way through it anyway.
Book 2 seems good, but it has a lot of weird typo issues on the Kindle edition.
Book 3 I have yet to start. I’ll at least finish book 2 first before I try. Book 1 may take a little longer.
My goal is to have these finished by the end of September as I’d like to try to have my first three chapters written by the end of November so that I can defend my topic before the ends of this semester and hopefully get my IRB application submitted and turned in at the start of Spring (if not just before). This has to be done soon in order for me to start my research portion in January and hopefully be finished with the physical research aspect by end of February. Then analyze the rest of spring and into summer when I hope to finish and then start writing by fall to submit my first draft by the end of that semester or by the beginning of Spring 2015.
My goal is to graduate May/15. I’ll have finished my phd in 5 years if I can do that. That doesn’t seem so bad in my book. Especially given that I have a full time job and twins!