I have taken a brief hiatus from providing writing advice to defend my dissertation this week.
What is a dissertation defense?
In a dissertation defense, the student explains their completed dissertation and answers questions from committee members regarding content, scope, how the research situates in the broader literature, and future directions for research. This event is typically considered the final step in earning a PhD, and my advisor described it as one of the “central liturgies of academia.” My defense was stressful, but I passed! I appreciated my committee members’ insightful advice and comments throughout the event.
Few people realize dissertation defenses are open to the public. My family and friends kindly attended to support me. They have helped me throughout this journey over the past few years and I appreciated their presence.
Achieving this goal not only required hard work, it was also the result of strategic planning to maintain a manageable writing and research schedule. I made a regular habit of setting aside time to write every day, scheduling larger tasks as a series of smaller tasks in my calendar, and reaching out to my colleagues for support. I will continue writing about these topics over the summer so that you can achieve the same success!
Next week I will continue with part II of “Writing anxiety,” and will suggest some ideas regarding how to productively use the daily 30 minutes you set aside to write. In the meantime, please contact me if you need help writing a successful essay, research proposal, document or thesis!