Joan Bolker, midwife to more than one hundred dissertations and co-founder of the Harvard Writing Center, offers invaluable suggestions for the graduate-student writer. Using positive reinforcement, she begins by reminding thesis writers that being able to devote themselves to a project that truly interests them can be a pleasurable adventure. She encourages them to pay close attention to their writing method in order to discover their individual work strategies that promote productivity; to stop feeling fearful that they may disappoint their advisors or family members; and to tailor their theses to their own writing style and personality needs. Bolker makes writing the dissertation an enjoyable challenge. As a clinical psychologist who cofounded the Harvard Writing Center, Bolker has helped hundreds of writers complete their dissertations. Even more important is the advice on some of the more awkward issues related to dissertation writing, such as how to choose your adviser carefully.
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Dissertations can take a long time to finish. The good thing about it is that you have time to write it. However, you should not rush the process. You may have to struggle with motivation to work daily. You may even begin to think you have a lot of time on your hands to finish the dissertation.