There’s lots of potential roadblocks to finishing your dissertation. The one that I think is demoralizing is the revisions process. There are several reasons revisions can go on for a bit.
Firstly, let’s face it, this is your first and last dissertation, so you don’t know the process. It takes a while to understand what scholarly writing is all about. Faculty too will want to put you through the same scholarly writing paces as they went through. Know that writing strengths vary. Some students are good at doing lit reviews but not good at methodology. These can be places to reach out for help.
Secondly, some things are not in your control. Unfortunately, not all faculty are prepared to advise. Really, all you can do it follow their advice the best you can. Conflicting committee feedback is also something you can’t control (and is frustrating). I think leaning on your chair to resolve these conflicts is best.
Advice to finish-up:
Certainly, look at a dissertation closely related to yours. Look at the headings and organization. In particular, see if you can locate other students’ dissertations that your committee members have accepted and even ask them for dissertations they’ve approved. This can give you an idea of the style that they prefer.
Don’t ever give up—you’re closer than you think.
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I wish you an expediated graduation, and thoughtful planning. You’re almost done, so plan for support early!
James Lani, PhD
We work with graduate students every day and know what it takes to get your research approved.