Getting Motivated to Start Your Dissertation

If you’re looking for motivation to start or continue your dissertation then the good news is that you’re in the majority. Almost all dissertation students face motivational issues, so understand that you’re in the same boat as almost all other students.

Starting your dissertation for some students is easy at first for a lot of students because it’s the pinnacle to obtaining a doctoral degree. The problem is that virtually no students succeed with their initial dissertation concept or topic which causes a loss in motivation in a critical time. For dissertation students in early dissertation stage development who begin with a lot of motivation find out quickly that failures or changes are quite frequent when writing a dissertation. So to go from being very motivated to struggling with a new topic and strategy, what seems as the easiest part for some ends up being the hardest stage and requires the most motivation.

Most students will begin their dissertation with one or several ideas that they present to their dissertation chair member and quite often will finish their dissertation with a completely different topic from any of these. It is very rare that a student ends their dissertation with the same exact idea they started for many reasons that we will discuss later. The purpose here is to understand that it is normal to change your dissertation topic frequently, at least in the beginning.

Changing your dissertation topic should not be reason for lack of motivation. As stated before, this is normal, so go with the flow that all student do and accept the contact changes. You may also feel frustrated that you cannot find the right topic, that the topic you wanted is too difficult to measure or it has already been done by someone else or many other people for that matter. You may feel that each topic you mention to your dissertation chair member is shot down for being too broad or even too narrow. This is all part of the learning process. If writing a dissertation were easy, then everyone would have a doctoral degree. The fact that you are even attempting to start a dissertation puts you in the top several percentile of the brightest and smartest people in the world.

Setting the Right Expectations
If you understand and accept that you will constantly be changing your topic in the beginning and possibly along the way, then you set yourself up with the right expectations. Having the wrong expectations is quite often the reason for a quick drop in motivation. If a student expects dissertation topic development to be easy and not cumbersome, then they will be very disappointed and lose motivation to continue. So go into the process knowing and expecting a lot of changes.

Seeking Support
Chances are you are surrounded by other dissertation students in the same boat as you as well as students who are further along in the process, or even some who have completed their dissertation. Seek not only their advice, but their motivational tips and stories of struggles and what worked for them to get back on track with motivation.

Learn From Each Change
Each time you make a major change in your dissertation you should write down the change and explain why you made that change. Don’t forget about why you made that change for the simple benefit of avoiding the same situation in the future. For instance, if you had to completely change your targeted demographic because it turns out that group won’t have access to a computer with Internet access to complete your research survey, then make sure you look at all factors relating to your demographics to make sure your research and methods section will be feasible. The more you learn from your changes the less likely you will be to repeat having to make similar changes again.

If you’re still lacking motivation and want additional guidance on your dissertation, please contact us at anytime and we can help you right away! Whether it’s a simple ongoing pep talk or specific guidance throughout your entire dissertation or just one section, we’re here to help!