Writing is central for both working on a dissertation and for academic careers that often follow graduate school. Writing is what moves the dissertation along to completion, what provides research with its end goal, and what lies at the heart of the old “publish or perish” adage.

Because it only takes 30 minutes of daily activity to make something a habit, it isn’t terribly complicated to increase your overall writing-output. Tanya Golash-Boza wrote an article on her blog about how to write every day; here are some of the highlights.

Daily Dissertation Writing and Efficiency

In her article, Golash-Boza discusses a study that Robert Boice conducted and discussed in his book, Advice for New Faculty Members. In the study, Boice divided new academic faculty into three groups to study their writing productivity.

  • Group One kept their writing habits unchanged (usually writing in big blocks at a time with gaps in between these instances). In one year, this group averaged 17 pages of written content.

  • Group Two wrote daily, keeping a record of their progress. They averaged 64 pages in one year.

  • Group Three did everything Group Two did, with the addition of holding their writing habits accountable to a writing partner (or partners) on a weekly basis. This group averaged 157 pages of writing in a year.

In other words, not all writing-time is created equal. If you spend four hours writing once a week it is not necessarily the same as writing 30 minutes a day, every week. Writing daily can solidify a writing habit so that you can increase your writing productivity in the long run.

Dissertation Editing Counts as Writing

If Boice’s research is at all accurate, it seems that transforming writing into a habitual practice can have drastic effects on efficiency. But actually generating new content on a blank page every day can be daunting. One of the main thrusts of Golash-Boza’s article is that writing doesn’t need to be only generating new content. In order to form a daily writing habit, “daily writing” can mean any part of the writing-process: editing, brainstorming, note-taking, summarizing, etc. As long as you are working with information and the written word, you are honing your writing skills—and building a writing habit.

Dissertation Writing Community

The only difference between Groups Two and Three in Boice’s study is contact with a writing community. This single difference between the research groups more than doubled their yearly writing output. Dissertation writing, especially, can be very lonely. Connecting with a writing community can make a substantial difference. We would love to become part of your dissertation writing community. Our PhD-level editors provide top-quality consultation, editing, and formatting services. Contact us to talk about your project.

read the full article here: http://getalifephd.blogspot.com/2012/01/ten-ways-to-write-every-day.html
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