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Thinking analytically, synthesizing complicated information, writing well, and organizing your time will all serve you well regardless of the career you begin.
If you take some care in developing your dissertation, the document can be transformed, after graduation, into a book or series of articles that can help launch your academic career.
Unlike earlier course papers that just received a grade and were then shuttled off to a filing cabinet or trash bin, your dissertation can be used and revised for years to come.
University counseling services may prove helpful as well.
They regularly talk with students about just this issue. does not mean that you have “quit” or that others who remain in the program are smarter, more driven, or more virtuous than you are.
Graduate school pundits often cite 50% or more as the attrition rate for ABD students (those who have completed All the requirements of their programs But the Dissertation). This handout will not only answer this question, but also give you good, practical advice on starting, drafting, and completing your dissertation.
The Writing Center can’t advise you about technical questions (for example, how to force Microsoft Word to set up tables correctly or format page numbers the way you want), but we know people who may be able to! Why don’t doctoral candidates manage to get rolling on the dissertation any sooner, or KEEP rolling once they get started?
When you finish your dissertation, you have to change your life pretty dramatically —you may go on the job market, begin work as an independent scholar, develop classes, move out of a community that you have grown to love, and so on.
You may also feel like your dissertation will begin to define your professional identity.
Many people, in fact, go to graduate school because they have always been “good at school,” and want to continue with something that brings them success and self-confidence.
The reading assignments, labs, papers, and tests you have been assigned as a graduate student may not have been so different from your undergraduate course work.