Dissertation Guide

Our comprehensive guide to the process of writing a dissertation or thesis. Back to Student Resources

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I find writing very slow – what can I do?

“When I do workshops with thesis writers, I often do an exercise where I ask groups of four to read a selection of half a dozen classic articles on writer’s block and then come up with a list of suggestions for loosening the block. Here’s the sort of thing they usually come up with: make writing a more habitual process; get something (anything) down on paper (whether through freewriting, getting in touch with your anger or frustration, calling it an experiment, lowering your initial standards or taking no initial pride in the writing); have more fun with the writing, put in a few jokes that can be taken out later; write a letter to a friend about your thesis, i.e. address a more friendly reader; write for a day or two under a pseudonym; talk to a friend about your thesis, tape the outcome and transcribe the tape; stop in mid-flow so you know where to start next time; write an easier bit of the thesis; don’t judge yourself – don’t expect it to come out right first time; move to a different writing place; and so on.”