To express in writing the object of one’s thought is a very complex and very demanding task. This requires great concentration and considerable intellectual effort. The writing of an essay, a master’s thesis or a doctoral thesis is no exception to this rule and involves risks. While in the first cycle, written work, although noted, should not be repeated and corrected, at the graduate level, it is often necessary to count several versions before arriving at the final product.
Given this state of affairs, it’s hardly surprising that, during the writing phase, many students face certain pitfalls. In the text that follows, we present various obstacles that may arise during this period and we offer some possible solutions to overcome them.
ISOLATION AND THE FEELING OF LONELINESS
Loneliness is the problem most often mentioned by graduate students. While in the first cycle you are part of a group, at the graduate level you often find yourself alone working on a long-term project. This is especially true when it comes to the writing of the essay, the dissertation or the dissertation, which is in itself a solitary activity.
To combat this loneliness, join a research center or team, where people can give you support and advice. If it does not exist in your field, nothing prevents you from taking the initiative to form a support group or work.
Come to work at the university, or share an office with other students. Once there, take the opportunity to take breaks with the people present and to participate in departmental activities, whether social or scientific.
Do not neglect your social life. Too often, students in the writing process adopt a monastic way of life and do not maintain their interpersonal relationships. Keep in touch with your friends and make them new ones, among those who work with you as part of your project. It is clearly advantageous to have friends who know and understand the reality of higher education.
Finally, you can make use of new technologies. Keep in touch with the outside world by using Internet resources such as e-mail or chat rooms.
LACK OF RECOGNITION AND UNDERSTANDING
During the writing of the essay, thesis or dissertation, students may feel that their surroundings are not very busy. That’s when you can hear some unpleasant comments such as “you do not really work, you stay at home, at home”; “You are only writing and shoveling clouds”; “When will you become useful to society?” Wear and tear, this type of feedback can undermine your motivation and the confidence you have in yourself or in your project.
In these circumstances, it becomes imperative to explain to your friends and family what you do, what it requires and what it means to you and your area of research. People who have not gone to higher education do not always understand very well the extent and usefulness of your approach. Also, be sure to surround yourself with people who are doing or have already done the same thing as you. Share with them your joys and sorrows. They will be able to understand what you are going through, to advise you or to support you.
THE FEELING OF USELESSNESS
In many cases, there comes a time when we wonder what is the purpose of what we do. The search could be compared to the infinite number of drops that make up an ocean. It is quite normal, when we focus our attention on only one of these drops, to question the merits of our research activities.
When this happens, it is a sign that the time has probably come to visit your director of research. It may also be beneficial to attend conferences or participate in seminars. You will meet people who work in your field, who share your interest in it and who understand its relevance.
THE FEELING OF INCOMPETENCE
This is still a feeling experienced by most graduate students. Often, it appears when, despite a large investment on your part, you feel that the editorial staff is no longer moving forward.
If you have a feeling of incompetence, you may be stuck, blocked and it is probably time to meet your director. Do not be afraid to ask questions and ask for additional explanations. Your employees will appreciate your efforts to get you out of this impasse and will not assume that you know everything. While recognizing their quality and competence, avoid putting these people on a pedestal, since they have been, like you, novice researchers.
The feeling of incompetence often arises from expectations and goals that are too high. Perhaps you think you should write the essay, the dissertation or thesis that will revolutionize the field and mark history? If this is the case, it would be good to review these expectations and objectives and make them more realistic. If you notice that you tend to always aim for the highest peaks, we recommend reading the text entitled Perfectionism: when the best becomes the enemy of good.
It may also be time to revise and adapt your approach to writing. Remember, writing a book of this magnitude is an apprenticeship. It is therefore perfectly normal to have to modify and improve your way of generating ideas, to organize your thought, to put it on paper and to solve the problems related to writing.
Finally, we all know that the writing of a research paper is made of a multitude of actions and steps to take. So you can easily have the impression, when you become aware of all that remains to be done, that you do not move forward. To avoid this, keep a diary in which you write down each day what you did. Your attention will then be focused on what has been accomplished and you will feed your sense of competence.
THE LOSS OF SIGHT OF THE OBJECTIVE AND PRIORITIES
You may forget the purpose of your job and may not know where you are. It is then that you lose sight of and start, and end, and forget what is priority and what is not. Although it is perfectly normal to sometimes feel lost or lost during the writing of research, we invite you, if that happens, to temporarily suspend your work and to take a step back. Review your project and return to your problem, your objectives and your questions of departure. Once you have identified them, write them down and keep them in sight. The temptation to get away from it will be less and you will stay on the right track.
THE LACK OF INSPIRATION
Many believe that inspiration suddenly arrives among authors who passively await a magical flow of ideas. The inspiration is rather the fruit of a mental preparation. You need to have your mind at the writing job and write regularly. The lack of inspiration is caused by irregularity and poor personal organization. That’s why we recommend you, as well as everyone in the writing process, think first about what you’re going to write, make a plan, and cut your work into sub-goals. Write regularly and continuously. If you are in a variable hour paid job, we recommend that you, if possible, take time off for more time to write your essay,
For more information on this subject, we invite you to read the text The drafting stage: overcoming the phenomenon of the blank page .
THE LACK OF MOTIVATION
In order to succeed in what you do, it is important to be motivated or motivated. Many graduate students lack motivation when it comes to writing, even if they started their project with great enthusiasm and motivation. This phenomenon is completely normal and part of the research process. You must expect to live days, even weeks, unproductive where nothing will go in the direction you want. Boredom is often a way for humans to deal with the unknown and the unexpected. Do not jump too quickly to the conclusion that something is not working or that you are not in your place.
If the lack of motivation persists, keep in mind the enrichment and satisfaction of accomplishing tasks related to the performance of an essay, dissertation or dissertation. Students for whom the duration of studies is prolonged often forget the goals and reasons that led them to start higher education. Remember your motives, write them down and read them regularly.
DIFFICULTIES IN GETTING TO WORK
Many tend to postpone tasks that are perceived as long and difficult. Most students find it difficult to get to work because they are not clear about what needs to be done and how it should be done. Identify, with the help of your principal, the objectives and sub-objectives to be achieved and the easiest way to achieve them. For example, when you begin writing the theoretical framework of your dissertation, you can divide it into subsections and discuss with your director the angle at which each of these subdivisions will be handled. Once a sub-goal is reached, it is important to congratulate you and offer you a reward.
You can also vary the tasks to be done each day. Rather than writing the same part, all day long, you can, for example, complete the research in the library or devote yourself to writing another section. Also, the recommendation to cut the work into short and achievable goals is quite appropriate in this situation.
This impression occurs when, as you go along, the work seems to take on an unexpected breadth. The more you develop a project, the more you discover the different questions that it raises and the different aspects that could be the subject of another research.
When you do not know where to turn and feel that there are so many things, all of which are more important than others, to do, to check and test, stand back and come back to your starting goals. A meeting with your director or director would also be appropriate. When you’re off-piste, it’s his role to point you to the main trail.
Sometimes it is the entourage (director, director or co-worker) who asks you to perform additional tasks or offers you additional contracts. The overload then becomes very real. If your priority remains the realization of your dissertation or thesis, learn to say no and to delegate.
Several authors discuss the psychological barriers students face, especially at the time of writing. Many of them experience a great deal of anxiety and stress when it comes to writing the essay, dissertation or thesis. Some aim to revolutionize the field, to arrive with an idea, a new and original conceptualization and to produce a text of very great scope and exceptional quality. These high expectations give rise to a lot of fear and anxiety. A little pressure can have a motivating effect on the human being, but too much can hurt morale and efficiency. It becomes important to learn to control this anxiety.
Graduate students often have to juggle their studies, work and family life. The reconciliation of these different spheres of activity is not always easy to achieve. Moreover, some and some people invest time and emotion so much in their research project that they become unable to provide the slightest effort, and this, not only in their studies, but in many spheres of their lives .
It remains imperative to maintain a balanced lifestyle and to balance your efforts. Take care of your health by maintaining a good diet, exercising and relaxing and giving yourself the rest and sleep you need. Do not forget to give yourself some time off and some leisure time. Do not invest only in writing your project: have activities other than those related to research.
We presented the main obstacles, among others, as reported by the students who consult us. We do not claim to have covered all the possible obstacles to writing an essay, dissertation or dissertation. We hope, however, that we have been able to answer some of your questions and have made your task a little easier.