Thursday, February 28, 2008

What problems do people have with their dissertations?

Apparently, about half of the people who start dissertation programs don't finish. It's not new research, but I'm trying to compile my own list of problems--my own perspective--to guide my efforts.

Also, I just like classifying stuff.
Generally I would break the world of problems up as follows:
1. psychological -- mental habits or emotional issues that interfere with writing
2. physiological/medical
3. personal/non-academic--stuff like having to support yourself, care for family, etc.
4. interpersonal/academic --problems with the faculty committee
5. theoretical -- a poorly thought-out study can be very difficult to work on
6. practical/academic -- a well-thought out study can present practical limitations that prevent completion--being over-ambitious can be a problem here.

Off the top of my head that about covers it. I think it probable that most dissertation writers may have more than one of these problems.

Being able to understand the problems can be useful in making a plan to get done with the dissertation.

What problems are you having?

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