A Dissertation Checklist: 4 Questions To Check Your Progress

When you first drafted your dissertation proposal, you must’ve been filled with excitement—after all, researching for a topic, pouring your heart and soul in it, and putting it out for the world to see isn’t something everyone can say they’ve done in their life.

We bet you even set your dissertation goals once your proposal got accepted. You must’ve charted out a proper work plan to ensure that your dissertation is top-notch, well-researched, and ready to submit just in time for the deadline.

Alas, life got in the way

If you’re running behind on your dissertation schedule and want to assess your progress to revisit your goals and plans, here are a few questions you should ask yourself.

Image title: A stressed man
Alt-text: A stressed PhD student

1.     What Are Results Did I Obtain In The Last Month?

Ask yourself, what have you accomplished so far, and what was the last goal in your dissertation plan that you accomplished. This will help you assess where you are right now, and whether you’ve made any substantial accomplishments related to your dissertation. It will also help you prioritize your tasks to get back on track.

2.     Why Did I Deviate From My Plans?

This question will help you identify the patterns and habits in your work routine that made you falter from your path in the first place. It will help you rethink your routine to eliminate those habits that are impeding your dissertation’s progress.

Answering this question is also a good way to be honest and upfront about your own shortcomings, so you can take the necessary steps to overcome them. Once you’ve identified what caused you to deviate from your path, you can quickly remedy it.

3.     What Should My Goals Be For The Upcoming Month?

This question will help you set realistic goals for yourself to get done with your dissertation on time. Evaluate how much needs to be done, how long it’ll take you to do it, and then begin outlining your goals in accordance with a time frame and a specific routine.

4.     What Do I Have To Do To Meet These Goals?

Now that you’ve analyzed the effects of your work and their results and have come up with a concrete plan to achieve your goals in the coming month, all that’s left is for you to follow through—and the answer to this question will help you do just that.
Reflect on potential hurdles that could derail you from your plan, stick to meticulous planning, and try to overcome problems before they come up by setting up a contingency plan.

Image title: A woman with a laptop
Alt-text: A woman working on her dissertation on a laptop

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