Coping Effectively with Writer’s Block To Draft Your Thesis

PhD Dissertation: Nipping Writer’s Block in the Bud
One of the most effective means of coping with the frustrating and sometimes frightening barrier to progress known as writer’s block is never to give it the chance to develop. An excellent way to achieve this while working on a PhD dissertation is to be writing always, from the very beginning of your research through to any final post-examination revisions. Unfortunately, this approach will not change the fact that in the production of every successful dissertation a time will necessarily come when researching and gathering data become secondary, and writing the dissertation becomes the main or sole priority. Such a transition from research to writing can present a significant hurdle even when writing a short academic or scientific paper; when you are working on a long and complicated dissertation, the transition can loom large indeed, and every stage of the writing process – the shift from one chapter to the next, for instance, or even from one section or topic to the next – can present a new opportunity for writer’s block to take hold. Writing as a continuous process while you research your topic, gather your data, analyse your results, draft your dissertation and polish its chapters for final submission will reduce both the frequency and the negative effect of such transitions.
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This is not to say that you need to write every day or to write down every thought you have – even PhD candidates need a break now and then – but it would not be poor advice to say that you should write something every week if possible and try to record in some way every valuable thought you have about the structure and contents of your dissertation. An effective way to start the writing process is to jot down some of the myriad ideas that churn through your mind whenever you think about your dissertation research. As completely informal writing that need never be seen by anyone but yourself, such brainstorming is rarely daunting, and you can freely develop your ideas and their possibilities on paper (or your computer screen) without the need to polish, prove or perfect them. Other early opportunities for writing include critical and reflective note taking while reading the sources you plan to use in your dissertation, and both recording and analysing the results of the tests and trials you conduct in your research. The kind and amount of preliminary writing you do will depend on the nature of your study, of course, but whatever you choose to write down and think through with pen in hand or keyboard engaged may well prove intellectually useful when it comes to drafting the dissertation itself, and if you are prone to writer’s block, it will certainly prove psychologically useful by providing you with some writing as a beginning when you sit down to tackle the more formal presentation of your research and ideas.
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Since the search for perfection – the perfect words, that is, in the perfect order – often lies at the base of writer’s block, spontaneous informal writing of this sort can be a particularly useful exercise. It can also be helpful to bring a little of that spontaneity to drafting the sections and chapters of your dissertation. Aiming for perfection in a first draft may be an ideal, but that perfection is rarely attainable so early in the dissertation process, and the hard fact is that your study needs to be transformed into text, becoming carefully structured sections and chapters as well as a logical overall argument, if you are to earn your degree. Writing some parts of your dissertation will be easier than writing other parts, and some days your writing will be better than it is on other days, but you will be able to return to your writing and make revisions – indeed, the feedback of your committee members will in most cases necessitate it – so a strategy that acknowledges what is ‘good enough for now’ and recognises ‘perfection’ as relative is effective. Such an approach should not encourage you to ignore essential aspects of your work and its presentation, but it can allow you to move ahead as you draft your dissertation, rather than worrying and wasting time over each little detail at too early a stage. Remember that worrying about not writing will not solve the problem – it is, in fact, as counterproductive as worrying about not sleeping when suffering from insomnia. The only true cure for writer’s block is writing, and the very process of writing can often achieve what seems impossible as you sit with fingers poised waiting for that perfect first sentence to march across the page.

Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services?
At we offer the highest quality journal article editing, phd thesis editing and proofreading services via our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. All of our proofreaders are native speakers of English who have earned their own postgraduate degrees, and their areas of specialisation cover such a wide range of disciplines that we are able to help our international clientele with research editing to improve and perfect all kinds of academic manuscripts for successful publication. Many of the carefully trained members of our expert editing and proofreading team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, applying painstaking journal editing standards to ensure that the references and formatting used in each paper are in conformity with the journal’s instructions for authors and to correct any grammar, spelling, punctuation or simple typing errors. In this way, we enable our clients to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions proofreaders and achieve publication.

Our scientific proofreading services for the authors of a wide variety of scientific journal papers are especially popular, but we also offer manuscript proofreading services and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit manuscripts in all scholarly disciplines, as well as beyond them. We have team members who specialise in medical proofreading services, and some of our experts dedicate their time exclusively to PhD proofreading and master’s proofreading, offering research students the opportunity to improve their use of formatting and language through the most exacting PhD thesis editing and dissertation proofreading practices. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation, polishing a progress report to share with colleagues, or facing the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of scholarly document for publication, a qualified member of our professional team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work.

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