Black graduate cap next to a rolled up diploma

The “Good Enough” Dissertation

“The best dissertation is a finished dissertation.” “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Spend enough time in graduate school, and you’ll hear both of these truisms at least once. Probably many more times once you start on the road toward writing your dissertation. Alison Miller, PhD, owner of The Dissertation Coach, has written about the danger of perfectionism. In dissertation writing, as in life, perfectionism—the need for every sentence to be nailed down and correct before being able to move on, for example—is

Number 2 pencil broken in half

Stop Dissertation Perfectionism in its Tracks

Perfectionism is a very common obstacle to productivity among graduate students. Perfectionism is generally defined as maintaining standards that are unrealistically high and impossible to attain. Some students impose excessively high standards for their writing that are unrealistic and unattainable. For example, many students believe they should be able to write a first draft that is ready to be reviewed by their advisor. Other students believe that their dissertation chairperson, committee members, or other academics hold extremely high standards for their work that must be met

Green road sign with white lettering that reads self care straight ahead

Self Care for Graduate Students When Time and Energy Are Tight

During my sessions with clients, I often notice that they sound stressed, anxious and tired. In some cases, they are worn out to exhaustion. I’ve come to expect this now from dissertation and thesis writers, and with good reason. After all, writing can be stressful all on its own, and even more so when you are working with an academic committee. That said, there is a cult of productivity that academia fosters. It seems like in academia, we must always be working. Like it’s a