Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by SurfDoctor, May 27, 2010.

  1. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Writing Your Dissertation in fifteen Minutes a Day by Joan Bolker, EdD.

    I would like to recommend this as a really great book about writing a thesis or dissertation. It's written by writing coach who helps students at Harvard and other schools. It's a book aimed at helping people avoid getting stuck in the ABD phase and has some really great tips for getting done with a dissertation or a thesis. There is a wealth of good tips to keep you from becoming discouraged or stalled.

    I bought it just because of the title; I could not believe anyone could write a dissertation by only spending fifteen minutes a day. In reading the book, I found that the author was not saying that at all. She states that you must write a minimum of fifteen minutes a day, almost every day, even if you think what you write is garbage. She says that when you read your work later, you may be surprised. She further states that you can't finish by only writing fifteen minutes, you must write much more than that, but the fifteen minute rule is supposed to be effective at keeping you going. So the title is a little misleading but the book is great.

    I could go on and on, but there is too much good stuff to post here. Suffice to say that this book is highly recommended.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2010
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I purchased the book a while ago and never found the time to read it :eek: I really did the read the first 10-20 pages and it was pretty good.
  3. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Just finished it last night. I think you would like it.
  4. Karl Ben

    Karl Ben New Member

    Great text, great recommendation. This book came highly recommended by a colleague that completed Grenoble's DBA program a few years back.
  5. Brad Sweet

    Brad Sweet New Member

    When I began graduate studies, my father suggested a rule of 2-pages per day.

    I followed that advice through the MA, DEd and PhD. It worked. If I could not write 2 full pages then I would write at least a paragraph and do reading to have more for the next session.

  6. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    Agreed. 2 pages a day here too. That is what my dissertation coach stated too. It really works.
  7. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    I've read just about every "how to write your dissertation" book out there, including this one.

    It basically tells you if you write a little bit each day, you will eventually get done.

    The BEST book I found on dissertation writing was "Complete Your Dissertation or Thesis in Two Semesters or Less" by Evelen Ogden. This is the one that helped me the most. She bascially lays out a plan to help you get it done.
  8. racechick8293

    racechick8293 New Member

    I found the book called Surviving Your Dissertation very helpful- moreso than the 15 minutes a day book.
  9. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    Destination Dissertation is good too.
  10. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks edowave, racechick and tireman.

    I'll look into all of those books. I have the dis looming on my horizon and I would like to get a head start. I'm interested in starting out in the most efficient manner.. Doing it right the first time is the best option, I think.
  11. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    I like the notion that completing the dissertation is dependent on your effort alone, but that really isn't the case for most students; it is a highly subjective process that actually is about whether your committee and any meddling non-specialists (who are bored with useful work on that day) allow you to complete the dissertation (or possibly stop preventing you from completing it). You're done when they release you and no sooner, no matter how hard you work... Some students who are seemingly unremarkable are whisked through the process, while other more capable students are incessantly blocked.
  12. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Well, then I should get whisked through. :)
  13. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Plus, from what I've read, and that's the only info I have, it depends on your committee. If you are fortunate enough to have an agreeable committee, you should have an easier time. NCU is tightening up their dissertation requirements considerably. In fact, we all just received a letter from the school warning us that the standards are going to be more stringent. They tell us they are doing this to protect their accreditation. I'm glad they are protecting their accreditation, but I'm sure I will not be saying that when I'm battling to my dis approved.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2010
  14. Woho

    Woho New Member

    Has anyone gained any experience with so called dissertation coaches?
    Somehow I like the idea of being able to talk with someone who is caring about the subject, which seems to be quite tricky sometimes in a distance learning environment.
  15. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    What letter?
  16. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I came by email from the provost. PM me your email address and I'll forward it to you.
  17. racechick8293

    racechick8293 New Member

    I'll certainly second that one!

    Here's how my final stages went (Nova Southeastern University):

    Oct 2009- finished writing dissertation/ obtained chair and committee member's approval

    Oct 2009- submit dissertation to applied research center for final format review related to APA style and university dissertation style requirements

    Dec 2009- received final format review- no feedback- simply a statement that the dissertation was not acceptable. Got quote from a dissertation editor for approx. $900, and my dissertation honestly was not very long (much shorter than I had wanted it to turn out- about 80 pages when all done). Thankfully, my chair was willing to go through it page by page with me to help find issues (very atypical from what I've heard from others). Resubmit dissertation.

    Jan 2010- received final format review- about 5 items to correct- but they only give you vague ideas of what those are. Resubmit dissertation.

    Feb 2010- received final format review- 1 item to correct. Resubmit dissertation.

    Feb 22 2010- received approval of dissertation. Submit final documentation requested.

    March 5 2010- forwarded for degree conferral.

    May 28 2010- still waiting for degree conferral, which is stated to be as of June 1, will take another 2-3 days afterwards to show on my records.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2010
  18. racechick8293

    racechick8293 New Member

    After the experiences I had with Nova, I am strongly considering adding dissertation coaching and/or editing to the services my consulting firm offers. I wish I had someone to talk to when I was going through the dissertation process. I can't believe how much I learned from going through it, and really wish I would have had someone there to help.
  19. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    My dissertation coach was Piled Higher and Deeper. Knowing that others were going through the same issues I was having was a big help. There is also PhinisheD which I used to read a lot, but never posted. BTW, I was an on-campus student, but the dissertation process feels very "distant."

    One thing that I thought was really cool, and was tempted to do (but never did) was Dissertation Writer. It is set up for Capella University students, but any PhD student can join in.
  20. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    You never know; I might take you up on that!

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