If you have not already done so, I suggest creating a Dissertation Completion Plan. There is quite a bit of planning to do for your dissertation, but when you take the time to plan well, you will get much more work done because you will have clarity about exactly what you need to do and when it needs to be done. Don’t be afraid to revise your plans as new information is discovered or life events occur.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with this famous quotation: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Good advice. I suggest that you start with the date you plan to graduate and work backwards to the present. In inverse order here are the important events to include in your Dissertation Completion Plan: graduation date; final draft accepted; oral defense passed; chapter five; chapter four; data collection completed; IRB application approved; proposal approved; chapter three; chapter two; chapter one; and prospectus or concept paper approved. When you attach dates to these and other events or stages in your dissertation process, you have created a so-called road map to your goal of finishing your dissertation. You’ll find it’s worth it to do so.