Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Mindset Change Behind A Successful Dissertation

People struggle with theses and dissertations for psychological reasons more than writing reasons. The psychological challenge behind writing a dissertation is that you must claim that you are now an expert.

For you to write your thesis, you must position yourself as an expert. This is a change in self-identity. You no longer see yourself as a student, but as someone who has earned the right to position yourself as an expert in your field.

To make this claim, you have to make a psychological adjustment that your previous educational experience has not prepared you to take. If you think about your life as a student, when were you ever considered an expert on anything?

Throughout our lifetimes, most of us experienced educational processes that taught us the "right" answers. Who decided the right answers? They were the real experts, who wrote the books we read. They graded our exams and papers. They taught us that we were not experts, but were supposed to learn the answers provided to us by the real experts.

It is entirely possible that you can reach the point of writing a dissertation without ever writing an original word about anything in your field of study. Teachers tend not to shower good grades upon original thinkers. Good grades are most often given to those who supply the predetermined "right" answers.

Throughout this whole typical educational process, based on learning the right answers, we learned to write essays and term papers. Most of us were never taught how to write a thesis. If your education was typical, you learned how to demonstrate that you had learned your lessons. You learned how to write essays and term papers. You didn't learn to how to declare an original thesis.

The typical term paper, in secondary schools and universities, is not based on your own original research in some topic. Instead, you gather information about your topic published by various experts in the field. Your objective is to summarize the material you gathered on your topic in a coherent way.

Essay topics provide an opportunity for you to present your opinions, but an essay expressing your opinion is not the same as an argument to make your case.

What most people find so difficult about writing a thesis is that the writer must make an original contribution to the field. After going through high school and colleges, writing term papers and essays, it is an entirely new experience to write a thesis, arguing for an original point of view. But this is exactly what you must to do write a thesis.

What happens when you come to the point of writing a dissertation? You must now take your place among the experts in your field. Now it is your turn to ask new questions and provide new answers. After a lifetime of learning the right answers, this is a dramatically new stage of your educational process.

The secret of success behind a successful dissertation help is that you become the expert. Your success lies in your ability to ask new questions. Your success is no longer measured by your ability to learn the right answers. You now become the one who provides the answers to your questions.

It doesn't matter if your thesis becomes a landmark dissertation in your field. It doesn't matter if your thesis is just a baby step forward. The critical issue is that you must claim that you are an expert in your field, by offering an original perspective. If you don't offer any original answers, you are not writing a thesis.

Whatever your topic, whatever your field, when you write a dissertation, you are claiming to the world that you are no longer simply a student. You are now an expert. This is the psychological secret behind a successful dissertation.

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