I have talked previously about being perfectionist, and thinking you need to do more than is necessary. Like many things in life, some people go the other way, and underestimate what needs to be done; here are two quick dissertation tips which address this issue:
1. Be realistic about the quality of work that is required.
If you’re working on a doctoral or master’s thesis, be sure to look at the dissertations of recent graduates in your field of study/related areas. If you’re not in the mood to look at a thesis, and prefer to read something shorter (or you’re a professor working on an academic paper), peer-reviewed articles relating to your research topic are another great resource for getting a feel for the quality of work that is required. Pay particular attention to the kind of language used, and the layout of articles.
2. Try not to leave things until the last minute (easier said than done, I know ).
To give a quick example, potential clients have asked me to edit a whole dissertation in as little as two days; this is obviously not possible, so please avoid being in this situation!
If you’re honest with yourself on how much time you actually need for a big writing project, and plan accordingly, you can avoid the stress of being forced to finish it in a ridiculously short period of time. The bottom line is, be realistic about the quality of work that is required, so that you can have a sensible and workable time frame.