Dissertation Guide

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

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What is the writing process?

“All writers go through much the same process on the way from woolly thoughts to satisfactory coherent text that they are willing to release to the general public. I would use ‘the writing process’ as an umbrella term which includes almost everything – finding a place to work and a way of writing, reading, researching, thinking, planning, generating structures and outlines, managing time, generating drafts, staying motivated, managing ups and downs, rewriting and revising, negotiating feedback, editing, improving style, etc, etc. Amateurs and professionals do much the same things but maybe the pros do it quicker.”

“Writing is a messy and complex business, like so many other processes. If you watch people cooking a meal, they are all over the place. They may be preparing one part of the meal, cooking another, thinking about the guests, cleaning the kitchen as they go, thinking about what dishes to use, etc. And everybody goes about it in a different way.”

“The bigger questions are about how we become better writers? How do we unpack the process of writing when it often takes place behind closed doors? Have you ever heard of anyone work-shadowing a writer?”

“It’s only after writing a PhD thesis that you know how to do it.”