Sunday 23 July 2017

The 10 Core Components of Thesis Success

The 10 Core Components of Thesis Success

The Academic Coaching team works on the philosophy of developing 10 core components to dissertation success. We’ve found that these skills are vital in making sure that those writing a thesis can work effectively and complete their thesis in good time. We structure each of our resources and coaching materials around one or more of these core components.
The 10 core components are:

Motivation: The ability to find energy and drive to do your research and writing. You need good reasons to keep working on your thesis, and you need internal motivation to return to it as often as possible even when you might have other commitments or feel discouraged. Being motivated means that you can be positive about your work and have clear goals that you are driven to work towards.

Endurance: Mental endurance is the ability to work for long stretches of time and to be productive when you sit down to work. Having endurance means that you push through feelings of frustration, boredom or intimidation when you sit down at your desk, and you can complete sessions of work that get you closer to your goals without procrastinating or being distracted.

Confidence: Having confidence is one of the most important ingredients in thesis writing, and might be the single factor most responsible for the majority of discontinuations. You need to be confident in your ability to work on your thesis and to do a good job of your research. You need to have adequate self-esteem and see yourself as a skilled thinker and as adding to the academic discourse. Confidence is about recognizing your own strengths and being willing to face challenges head-on.

Knowledge: In order to do well as a researcher, you need to have a good background of knowledge in your field. You need to know a fair amount of the conventions and the ideas of the major scholars. You need to be able to speak with some authority and carry on a conversation with others in your field. Without a good foundation of knowledge, new information will be difficult to integrate, and you might not be able to put together a coherent thesis or develop new ideas.

Congruence: Congruence is about how compatible you are with your chosen field or topic of study. If your abilities and interests line up with the requirements of your field, you’re very congruent with your work. If you are passionate about the research you are doing, and if you believe in the merits of your work, it becomes much easier to work on your dissertation. Congruence is about being well-matched to the dissertation you’ve chosen to write.

Social Support: Along with confidence, social support might just be one of the biggest determining factors of thesis success. You need support from friends and family during the very difficult times that usually arise while writing a dissertation. You also need a good relationship with your supervisor, with a study group and with other support structures in order to do well. Finally, social support is about having someone to talk to or blow off steam with when the stress of your dissertation becomes too much. If you feel like others aren’t supporting your work, you’ll probably struggle to find the motivation to keep going. If you’re not getting help and advice from people you trust, you might feel like you’re completely isolated and begin to dislike your research.

Inquisitiveness: You’ll be learning a lot while you work on your dissertation, and dealing with large amounts of data and information. A love for learning is usually an important trait for a successful researcher. If you aren’t curious about your world, and if you’re not open-minded and a critical thinker, you might find every new article or book to be frustrating. Developing your inquisitiveness could help you to begin to truly enjoy working on your thesis.

Tenacity: Tenacity is closely linked to endurance, but it is more long-term than only pushing through individual work sessions. Tenacity is the ability to not give up on the very long road to completing your thesis. It is also called grit, perseverance and hardiness. If you are tenacious, you can roll with the punches and push through the hard times. You can stick to your goals and you can maintain your motivation all the way to the finish line, rather than simply feeling motivated for short bursts. Tenacity and grit are almost always defining characteristics of highly-successful people in any field; they had to keep going even when things got tough.

Mental Health: Your mental health is a very important factor of an undertaking as stressful and taxing as writing a dissertation. You need to be sure that you are constantly taking care of your mental health, and not allowing yourself to burn out or to become overwhelmed with your work. Those with good mental health can take time for themselves, and they have good emotional resources and coping strategies to work through hardships and setbacks. Your mental health is about understanding your feelings and getting help when you need it.

Writing Ability: Finally, a factor that might feel very demoralizing for students and researchers is writing ability. All of us have something to learn in writing, and there are many conventions in academic writing that make it especially challenging. Working on your writing ability is about going through multiple drafts, and finding an editor and advisors who you can trust. Many guides on developing your writing ability can be found on the Academic Coaching website, and you can also find our professional editing and coaching services.

These 10 core components all work together to help you make a success of your thesis. The key is to recognize where your personal challenges lie, and then to work on those aspects as early as you can in your dissertation writing process. If you allow certain areas for growth to go unchanged, you might find that your dissertation suffers because of it.

Take the dissertation readiness quiz now to find out what your strengths and challenges are.

Review Your Learning:
      Each of us has certain strengths and challenges in our academic writing. Understanding your strengths and challenges can help you to ensure that you succeed at your thesis
      The 10 core components of thesis success are writing ability, mental health, tenacity, inquisitiveness, social support, congruence, knowledge, confidence, endurance and motivation.

      If you have challenges in any of these fields, it can cause you to have serious setbacks in your dissertation writing.