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Grand Canyon University’s innovative doctoral degree programs prepare learners for leadership roles in their professions, communities and society. Our dynamic online learning community, integrated dissertation process, wealth of resources and collaborative environment support a successful and meaningful doctoral journey. We believe earning a doctoral degree is a journey and similar to climbing a mountain—challenging, invigorating and completely rewarding when you reach the top. Our goal is to help you conquer your own mountain and succeed on your doctoral journey. Readers of The Doctoral Journey blog, presented by the College of Doctoral Studies, will find resourceful and knowledgeable posts regarding the doctoral process, research best practices and dissertation tips among other topics from GCU’s doctoral faculty.
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4 Tips for Writing a Dissertation

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By Rachel Behling, MBA
Research Specialist, Office of Dissertations

It can be difficult to manage time when writing a dissertation. Below are some tips to help you stay organized and successfully complete the dissertation writing process. These tips may help you on your journey to the completion of your dissertation!

Create a Schedule

In the early courses, begin streamlining any task/to-do item around the house or at work. For example, create set days or times to work on your dissertation, so family and friends start getting used to you being away. You may also want to create certain times to complete tasks around the house or spend time with loved ones.

Maintain Work-Life Balance

Remember to immerse yourself, but keep a balance. Writing a dissertation is a marathon, not a sprint. Have a designated study area, like an office, library or coffee shop. When you go home, be home and make every minute with your loved ones count.

Stay Focused on Your Topic

When creating your Literature Review, find three to five current, excellent studies to support each section in the prospectus/proposal criteria table. Keep each section short and concise (two to three paragraphs each), and don’t overwrite. Don’t get lost in the existing body of knowledge. Summarize each article recapping the researcher’s results, methodology, design and theoretical foundation.

Become a Subject Expert

Read and write like a doctor when researching. Independent scholarship aids the creation of unique research. Have a specific agenda/to-do list for each day you set aside to read articles or write. Learn your methodology and design. This is critical! No one teaches you in doctoral programs – you “own” becoming the expert in your topic, data collection, data analysis and write-up. Always write in a scholarly way; every document, every time. Grammar, APA formatting and flow are all your responsibility, in order to produce publishable documents.

Writing a dissertation is an important component of completing any doctoral degree program; with a careful approach, you can manage your time wisely when taking on your dissertation, for minimal stress and maximum success.

Grand Canyon University integrates the dissertation writing process from the very first course of the doctoral degree program. Learn more about our doctoral degrees by visiting our website.

More about Rachel:

Rachel Behling headshotRachel Behling is a research specialist in the Office of Dissertations at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Rachel earned her Bachelor of Science from DeVry Institute of Technology and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Rachel is currently a doctoral student at Grand Canyon University, completing coursework for her Doctoral of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Organizational Development.