PhD Dissertations are Hard to Write
Writing a dissertation is one of the most challenging assignments that any college student will ever undertake, which is why it is in the PhD program and not in an undergraduate program. Most PhD programs require students to write a dissertation before they are awarded a doctorate degree. There are several reasons why writing a dissertation is the most difficult assignment in any student’s academic career.
The size of the project is the most challenging part of the project. The challenge is not just the sheer size, but that many universities do not dictate a minimum or maximum size, everything is left up to the students. Some students appreciate having structural requirements, but as doctoral candidates, universities are confident leaving the decisions up to their students. Some candidates become anxious just thinking about the mistakes they could make selecting the size of their papers.
Another challenge with dissertations includes content choices. Doctoral candidates choose the focus and design of their dissertations, without any guidance from a manual. Most students who are working on a dissertation do have an adviser who will help them along the way, but those advisers will not make decisions for them. Most doctoral candidates really want to create a perfect paper, which makes it difficult to accept any errors, especially when they are in charge with taking complete control over their papers.
Along with the freedom to create the topic and choose the length of the paper, doctorate candidates also have to create their own deadlines. For over 15 years, doctoral candidates have had deadlines set by the teachers and professors, but once the dissertation comes along, students have to do it themselves. These self-imposed deadlines are easy to break, because there is no one to disappoint, other than themselves.
Another challenge that makes writing a dissertation difficult is the constant scrutiny which comes not only from advisers, but from the students themselves. They continually second guess everything they do and they have very few, if anyone else who can help them make any decisions along the way. The personal scrutiny makes writing a dissertation a lonely endeavor because even your closest friends and family often do not understand the challenges that comes with this project.
The final challenge comes when the project is completed and you have to read the reviews and listen to the committee that will approve or deny your request.