Blog from gradhacker and matrix: the center for humane arts, letters and social sciences it comes to dissertations, done is an abd student bent on finishing up this summer my personal mantra has become.
This may rankle some graduate students, i think this is some of the best advice that an abd can take to , it may be a tired cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason!
It’s really easy to get lost in the details and to focus on all the minutiae of your project.
There is definitely a sense of pride in producing our best work, but the struggle of best vs.
Done is important to recognize as you near ing graduate school and the time that you take to do so is very much a risk vs.
Reward moment as you will need to make decisions that will determine your career trajectory for years after this moment.
Don’t prolong graduate school by falling prey to the delusions surrounding the “best dissertation”.
Myths that have you pursuing a perfect dissertation at your own peril:1: if i write a beautiful dissertation i’m guaranteed a good job.I don’t need to focus on my professional is entitlement thinking and you’d better stop it.
Don’t be naïve in assuming that the academic labor system will reward you financially or professionally for a beautiful dissertation.They will however, read your publications, have seen your talks at conferences, and review grants that you apply for; all of which are all items that end up on your cv.
Do good work on your dissertation, but remember that in completing your dissertation you should be consistently publishing, presenting, and applying for funding for your work.
Is great to be proud of your work and to create something that is a valuable contribution to your field.
Remember to keep things in perspective here though: how many other dissertations have revolutionized their fields?Yourself these questions and think long and hard as to whether you’ve inflated the importance of your work to stratospheric proportions in order to justify what you are doing (and giving up! It’s a common mental trick that happens to a lot of us late in the game so don’t feel embarrassed if this has happened to you; finishing is tough! I cannot speak for the humanities, in stem fields only your published papers get read.
The dissertation is simply a formal mark showing that you can do research and contribute to the field.
Nobody outside of your committee will read it (and you will be lucky if they read the whole thing with focused attention for that matter).
So get over being a perfectionist, publish your research in to advance your field, slap that work into your dissertation, and move on.If you really want to revolutionize your field, you need to be working in it, not just completing a dissertation on the subject.
They want a perfect document, or do they want a student that finishes in a timely manner and goes on to a productive career (whatever that means for you)? Your committee should be pushing you to do good work (it’s why you have one after all), but once you’ve met your graduation requirements it’s time to dive in and finish your dissertation.
Meet the requirements, even exceed them, but under no circumstances pursue perfection at the expense of meeting your graduation timeline.Dissertations don’t count if they are not done and your committee wants you to finish on time much, much more than they want a “perfect” ’t get lost in the labor- and time-intensive process of preparing this “perfect dissertation” at the expense of getting on with your future career.
Finishing graduate school is a difficult time for many students; the structure that we have come to take for granted inside the academic system will no longer be there for many of us after we finish and move on to different careers.This uncertainty about our futures makes it all too tempting to spend just a little more time, more effort on our dissertations to prolong having to enter the job ging the process won’t help; leaving academia is going to be a decision that most of us have to make at some point in our careers as tenure-track positions dwindle and research funding continues to remain scarce. Careers where nobody will ever read your dissertation, or even care that much about your research topic.