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It is the academic project that marks your transition from student to scholar.Writing a dissertation is a lot like writing a book. There are usually no weekly deadlines from professors, no regular discussions with classmates, no reading assignments, no one telling you what to do—you are on your own, writing something longer than you’ve ever written, and doing it without a net.
The reading assignments, labs, papers, and tests you have been assigned as a graduate student may not have been so different from your undergraduate course work.
The dissertation, on the other hand, is a new kind of academic project, unlike anything else you’ve done.
By citing and referencing the material consulted for a piece of academic work you not only enable others to verify facts ideas in your work more easily, but you will also be acting in an ethical and honest manner.
Acknowledgement may be in the form of in text citations, footnotes, endnotes and/or a bibliography.
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, Ph D.
Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas.
Through all this, ask yourself “What will make me happy? ” If you are too close to your own graduate school anxieties to think critically about them, visit campus resources that can help you sort out your thinking on this difficult and important issue.
Your advisor or colleagues in your department may be able to help you if you have a good relationship with them.
You may also feel like your dissertation will begin to define your professional identity.
You may feel like your research interests, your theoretical influences, and your skill as a writer may all be evaluated by this first piece of serious scholarship.