How to Get Through Writer’s Block When Completing Your Dissertation

You have a submission deadline in three weeks. You sit down to write. Thirty minutes down, and you’re still staring at the blank page on your computer screen. Sounds like a familiar agony? Writer’s block is an impediment that almost all writers experience. Got a dissertation due soon? Here are five ways you can get through the writer’s block.

1.     Write Now, Edit Later

The most significant contributor to a writer’s block is decision paralysis. However, you need to understand that what you write for the first time doesn’t have to perfect. It’s important to write than write perfect sentences that string together into a well-framed argument. You can always edit your work later.

2.     Write with Someone

Talk to a friend during the writing phase so that they can help you work through the tricky parts of your thesis. You can be each other’s writing buddies. If there’s a writing center at your university, ask them if they host writing groups.

3.     Unplug

Distraction-free writing is the best kind of writing. Turn off your Wi-Fi and phone, and don’t look at your reference list. Just write and let the words come out of your mind onto the Word document. You can reconnect after you reach 500 to 1000 words. This method isn’t sustainable, but you can get out of the slump if you try.

4.     Brain Dump

If you have several ideas on your mind that hinder your ability to write, have a brain dump activity. Jot all your ideas down so that you don’t forget them. Now read through the ideas, and you’ll see a pattern emerge that you can string into a chapter later.

5.     Write What You Know First

The best way to get back to writing if you have writer’s block is to finish your dissertation’s formulaic parts, like results or methods. When you make significant progress in these sections, you’ll feel confident to tackle the introduction, discussion, and conclusion sections.

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