Self-Help for Graduate Students Part 4: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day, Part 2

Publishing Info: Bolker, Joan. Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1998.

Time Investment: 150 easy-to-read pages; it’s possible to read it one chapter at a time, as you progress toward your degree.

Some favorite advice from Joan Bolker:

  • “If the writing doesn’t sound good to you while you’re writing it, it’s fine to make a note to yourself about this . . . I often put that commentary right in the midst of my text, using square brackets, or a different color of ink or pencil, so that when I come back to revise, I can recognize and engage quickly with the problem I’ve already noted.”
  • When you write a certain number of pages (3-6) per day: “the faster you do them, the sooner your time is your own; this method of writing rewards learning to write faster, and from what I’ve seen, fast writing produces no worse results than slow writing does.”
  • “Perhaps you can work nonstop for a few days, but no one can sustain that sort of effort over the long haul.” Sustainable work was a revolutionary concept to me—doing an amount of work that is repeatable for five workdays in a row.
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3 responses to “Self-Help for Graduate Students Part 4: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day, Part 2

  1. Liz, thanks again for coming to talk to the prof. skillz group today. I am loving reading your blog. I like Joan Bolker, too–the sustainable amount of work has been something I’ve really worked on for the last few months.

  2. becomingdoctorjones

    do you have a number of hours / pages per day that you find sustainable?

  3. keep posting such good stuff

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