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How to stay motivated while writing your thesis

Apr 10 2015

A thesis or dissertation is a huge undertaking, and many students and researchers can feel overwhelmed by the daunting task that faces them. Whether you’re currently in the middle of writing your thesis, or just about to embark on your journey, here are some great tips to help you stay motivated through the good and bad times ahead...

  • Keep reading – Reading sparks creativity so it’s important to keep reading new and existing publications in your field. Was your thesis inspired by a particular paper? Reread the paper to get your creative juices flowing again and remember why you started your own paper in the first place.
  • Edit a previous chapter – You might be struggling to get new words on the page at the moment, so use this time to go back and edit a previous chapter. Rereading your own work and making necessary edits is something that needs to be done regularly and it can also help to bring your focus back in line for the next chapter.
  • Speak to your advisor – If you’re really stuck and starting to doubt the quality of your work then it’s important that you don’t suffer in silence. Your thesis advisor is there to guide you through the process and help you overcome any difficulties that you are facing so make sure you use their expertise regularly.
  • Take a break – No one can work constantly on one thing without their concentration waning to the detriment of their writing. Take regular breaks throughout your writing sessions to ensure that you’re eating and drinking properly. It’s also important to take a few days off here and there too. Have at least one day or evening a week where you catch up with a friend or watch a film – anything that takes your mind off your work and helps you to relax.
  • Be patient – Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The desire to finish your thesis will be strong but it’s important not to rush it. Set yourself a realistic schedule that breaks the work down into mini deadlines, and check each one off in turn. Breaking your work down into bite size chunks will make it more digestible and enjoyable in the long run!
  • Reward yourself – Once you’ve completed a thesis-related task or met a particular deadline it’s important to reward yourself. Have a night off from work, treat yourself to something new, or just enjoy a relaxing bath – anything that makes you feel happy and rewarded.