Work-To-Rule: Advice for meeting a deadline

Last night I had a nightmare!!

Don’t get scared…. It was not about ghosts and witches. It was about DISSERTATION. Yes, you got it right. It is the DISSERTATION ghost that was chasing me down. It’s not about me only who has been facing this miasma of fear. Lots of candidates who are doing their research have been facing this problem of meeting their dissertation deadline. Luckily, I met my mentor who came to my rescue and this psychological fear of working on dissertation vanished. I want to discuss the strategies to make your working on dissertations/ thesis more interesting and soothing. So here we go!!

The single biggest obstacle to dissertation is the psychological fear. With our perseverance we can easily tackle the dissertation topics as dissertation is nothing but the compilation of seminal papers regarding essays, lab reports, conference presentations etc. Remember dissertation demands far greater research than you have ever researched before but don’t panic!! With proper strategy and planning we can overcome this obstacle.

Let’s fragment our strategy into various areas which we need to focus on:


First of all choose a topic that you are really mad about. The topic should be doable. If the topic is overly ambitious and not clearly understood, then it is a recipe for failure. Remember, only a complete dissertation is a good dissertation. So choose a topic that you are confident about and can finish on time. Choose a mentor who matches your style and modus operandi. Also learn to say no to your new commitments that usually eats away your time.


I often found candidates underestimating the power of techie resources available to them. These resources are just a click away and believe me, help a lot in case of meeting a deadline. Mendeley, Zotero, Endnote, Grammarly, PubMed and many more, are the super tools that provide quick results without taking much time. I urge candidates to explore these resources and make the best out of them.


If you want your fear of dissertation just go away, I suggest you to take online help from academic writers and you won’t regret. There are many service providers who take care of your dissertation and help you in meeting the deadline. They are the subject matter experts from the same domain who will provide the quality writing. You can also go for online editing and proofreading services to ensure the on-time delivery of quality work.


It’s entirely up to you if you want to work on your dissertation full time or part time. Commit to yourself that you are going to work on your project five days a week or six days a week and stick to your resolution. Set daily goals, and club similar work together like visiting your relatives, library or making some urgent calls. Be realistic about your aims and organize your work in such a way that you are in full control of your other commitments. Set small goals and break down your work into smaller segments. Don’t scare yourself by thinking you are writing a book. You are just writing few research papers.


Choose a work area with least distractions and try to use it routinely. Organize your dissertation around methodological and conceptual questions which others experts have answered about and analyze how you can answer them by agreeing or disagreeing. Always do your work on paper as it will help you and your mentor in refining it further by making some amendments in the end. After you have zeroed in on key ideas, organize them into a structure, then work through the ideas one at a time. Make use of possible technologies and software that can help you achieve your goals easily.


Write while you think and think while you write. Because it is at the time of writing you come across lot of ideas. Don’t write in isolation, try to write while you debate or enter into a conversation. Don’t write while you edit, try to keep your writing away from self-criticism. Never stop writing while you don’t want to write, I know this is a bit contradictory statement. But fact of the matter is that try to keep yourself indulged by working on your introduction, analyzing your evidences, reviewing literature reviews or writing on your ideas. You can write whatever you want to but never stops writing. Keeps the momentum going on. Make an attempt for small, daily advances rather than striving to do everything all in one go.

There is only way to write: write a lot.

Date each revision in the header to avoid confusion. Try to segmenting your literature search down into various parts, advancing from gathering general knowledge to more concentrated information, and finally to specific facts and statistics, developing the section as you sail through these parts. Learn when and where to stop. Set yourself a goal by for the type of sources you will search through for paragraphs, variable, ideas etc. and stop when you achieve this goal.


Give yourself a pat on the back when you meet your daily, weekly or monthly targets. You can reward yourself by anything that can bring a smile on your face. Make a list of regular guilt-­free fun activities. As these activities will not let you feel burned out, try to make you and your friends and relatives happier, and make it easier to start again focused work habits during the dissertation time. Never compare yourself with other students and be confident about your capacities and abilities. No matter how small the steps you achieve, keep yourself motivated with self-encouraging talks.


Organize regular meetings with your dissertation advisor and be proactive in seeking his feedbacks. Learn to take the feedbacks in a positive way and if there is some critical or negative comment then seek the clarification from your dissertation advisor right away without wasting even a single second. Stay calm while receiving feedback; Take some time to garner your thoughts before answering a difficult question. Stay in touch with your faculty members or advisors who can assist and motivate you. Give yourself a partner for your research to mark the accountability. In order to stay updated and connected attend regular departmental events and conferences or meetings.

Last but not the least,

Never quit! Be confident about your abilities that you can meet your goal and succeed. Learn from your good as well as bad experiences. Celebrate your success with your family members and friends. Go and have fun.