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I’d been writing and editing my dissertation for so long, and now it was over, and it felt like it had ended with much less fanfare than I had anticipated.Much like Gina Bereca of the Chronicle of Higher Education describes, I felt strangely let down and went through a bout of post-dissertation ennui.
It’s probably the only thing you’ve been thinking about for a long time.
Let it rest and come back to it in a couple of months – after taking a break from your dissertation, you might be able to return to it refreshed, and with new ideas. I found that the conversation I had with my committee during my defense helped me clearly identify the innovative aspects of my dissertation’s argument. Your dissertation defense day may seem far away, but you will get there, sooner or later!
Don’t Overthink Your Defense Maybe your defense went smoothly. The important thing to remember is that it is over, and you got through it.
Don’t relive the hard parts over and over in your mind.
Imagine this: you’ve finished writing a dissertation. Your dissertation formatting looks good, and meets all of your university’s rules and expectations. It can be exciting and sometimes overwhelming to finally put to bed a project like a dissertation – a project that’s been a major part of your life for so long.
You’ve got your committee’s signatures and approval. The day of my dissertation defense, I was thrilled – but also terrified!
Left to my own devices, I probably would have just sat on my couch watching Netflix all day.
But my husband whisked me off for celebratory margaritas instead.
Identify How Your Defense Can Help With Next Steps Once you’re feeling like you’ve had enough distance from your dissertation, start thinking about how the feedback your committee gave during your defense can help you as you work towards publication. As I’ve been working to adapt it into a book, being able to clearly state my project’s contributions has been extremely helpful. Imagine how great it will feel when all of the pieces fall into place.
A dissertation consultant can help you get to your defense faster.