Dissertation Boot Camp Resources
How to run your own boot camp
- Recruit a few other dissertation writers.
- Commit to meeting at a regular place and time.
- Tell your colleagues that you’re absolutely unavailable during that time.
- Get a supply of healthy snacks and drinks to keep in reach.
During the boot camp
- Set SMART goals for the week (see the goal setting tips below). Interact with this goal sheet every day, crossing off the goals you’ve achieved, breaking down a goal into sub-goals, and adding new goals as you progress.
- Set a timers for your writing periods if it’s helpful (see below for timer options). The Writing Center boot camp schedule is: 90 minutes with no internet, 30 minutes with internet, 60 minutes with no internet, then talking about your writing over lunch.
- Turn off your phone and your internet, stop talking, and start writing.
- Make an occasional appointment in the Writing Center to talk about your progress, to learn new writing strategies, and to keep yourself motivated.
- Smile. You’re doing a great job!
Workshop handouts specifically for dissertation writers:
- Audience analysis
- Defeating procrastination
- Developing work habits
- Focus checklist
- Goal setting tips
- Helpful services on campus
- Managing your research
- Out of my control
- Silencing your inner critic
- Taking inventory
- Time management schedule
- Three perspectives strategy
- Using writing to digest reading
- Writing possibilities
- Strategies for reorganizing drafts
- Formatting reference sheet
All Writing Center handouts and tips, writing strategy demos, and semester calendars:
Writing group resources
- Writing group starter kit
- Designing a work group
- Tips for a productive writing group
- Possible meeting spots for writing groups
- Doodle.com, an application that can help you schedule group meetings
- Whenisgood.net, another scheduling application
- Google docs, an application that can help you access your files from anywhere and exchange drafts
- Dropbox.com, another filesharing application
- https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4476/ (this one blocks certain sites for certain amounts of time-e.g. to keep self off Facebook)
- http://selfcontrolapp.com/ (for Macs, this one also blocks certain sites for amounts of time you set)
- Google calendar (allows you to color code for various deadlines)
Speech to text software:
- See this review of apps that allow you to dictate notes into various devices.
Time tracking applications (to see what you’re spending your time on):
Timers/alarms/bells you can set:
Interesting articles and tips
Formatting your dissertation
- Graduate School guidelines and resources http://gradschool.unc.edu/academics/thesis-diss/
- Mac Word 2011 http://www.lib.umich.edu/files/services/exploratory/pdfs/wordfordissmac2011.pdf
- Windows Word 2010 http://www.lib.umich.edu/files/services/exploratory/pdfs/word2010fordissertation.pdf
Inside Higher Ed series for graduate students
National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity
- Free membership for UNC students https://facultydiversity.site-ym.com/page/registration
Discussion of using the internet to procrastinate:
A very helpful list of tips (intended for online/distance students, but mostly useful for anyone):