The Dissertation Workshop

Dealing with Discouragement and Writer's Block
Getting Organized
Getting the Support
You Need
Workshops and Consultations

Make a Time Line

People who do many different projects often find it useful to create a time line. The end point is defending, finishing the revisions and depositing the dissertation. Estimating how long each part of the dissertation will take is difficult. It takes planning, gathering some sense of how long it takes for you to work and also talking to students who have gone through it to find out how long different parts took them. Select a date by which you want to be done with the dissertation process. You can work backward from that point or forward from now. You might find software helpful:

If thinking about the whole project overwhelms you, then you have a choice: Either don't begin with the end in mind (that principle doesn't work for everyone) or use the Focusing Technique to deal with the feelings that come up as you work on it or ask for help from a friend.

Here is a sample time line:

  • 9/02 select topic, change topic, find advisor
  • 1/03 write proposal
  • 6/03 collect data
  • 1/04 write up results
  • 3/04 write conclusion and revise first draft
  • 5/04 get finished draft to advisor
  • 6/04 get finished copy to committee
  • 8/04 defend
  • 9/04 deposit

Dangers of Isolation





The Dissertation Workshop
Fred Stern, Ph.D. and Lois Feldman, Ph.D
Phone: 212-874-4530


  The Dissertation Workshop Website