The 10 Phases to Use When Writing a Dissertation

Writing your dissertation in order to complete your masters degree is certainly an emotional rollercoaster! This is a massive project that can require mountains of reading, months of study and endless writing and re-writing. Your dissertation may start to feel like it is going to last for all of eternity! As much as you might hate it at the time, when it is done you are going to feel a huge void in your life! Take some comfort that you are not alone in this. Here are the 10 phases of writing a dissertation that every student must go through!

  1. Optimism
    Most students will embark on their masters degree filled with optimism. It is an exciting new adventure that you are embarking on and you probably cannot wait to get started on that dissertation everyone has been telling you about!
  2. Complacency & Procrastination
    That deadline seems like it is so far away when it is first issued, but when you get complacent you will notice the weeks whip by in a blur! Then you start to procrastinate!
  3. Anxiety
    After spending a respectable amount of time procrastinating you will soon notice anxiety starting to creep in! Once you get started you will soon start to panic about your progress.
  4. Denial
    As the deadline looms ever closer most students are going to push that anxiety down and go into full on denial mode about how much is still to be done and just how soon deadline day is!
  5. Confusion
    Once you get started properly that is when confusion takes hold. You will no doubt forget the deadline, what the preferred referencing method is and all manner of important stuff. Just breath!
  6. Resentment
    The more you sink into your dissertation, the more resentment you will start to feel. Resentment towards friends who are not doing a dissertation, resentment towards the course itself and generally the world!
  7. Resignation
    One day it just hits you like a tonne of bricks! You can procrastinate and you can moan, but at the end of the day you need to do this and there is no turning point. As the deadline approaches you resign yourself to the fact that you must turn in what you have and hope that it is good enough.
  8. Joy
    The moment that you realise you have completed your dissertation you are going to be filled with a feeling of euphoria. You no longer care how good it was, all you care about is the fact that it is over and you can finally move on with your life!
  9. Emptiness
    Once the initial euphoria dies down, you will find an emptiness inside of yourself. It is impossible to move on. You are stuck not knowing whether or not what you turned in was even remotely what they were looking for. Your days stretch out in front of you with no research to fill them. The nights promise actual sleep and not late night writing sessions. What did you do with yourself prior to dissertation writing?
  10. Acceptance
    Finally. Your results are in and you made it! Only now can you move on with the next chapter of your life!

These are the ten stages that every student goes through when they are writing their dissertation. Which stage are you in right now?