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Average dissertation writing pace


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Hi all,

 

I realize how vague this question is, but I was wondering for people in the humanities, what is your average pages per month writing pace for the post-research period? I'm trying to plan out the next year or two of dissertation writing, and have a hard time gauging what is a viable target, assuming that you have completed at least a full year of fruitful research. 

 

Thanks. 

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I haven't started my PhD, so I don't know if this is realistic or will help, but once I have everything organized (and I mean really organized, in detail, solid outline, etc.), I move at a pace of about 10 good pages a week. This is what I did for my undergrad thesis and am doing for my current MA thesis. Breaks from that pace happen when editing sections, incorporating revisions, etc., but when everything else is in order, that's the pace I aim for.

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  • 1 month later...

From what I have heard from younger professors, advanced students, and from my own experience writing my master's thesis a few years ago,  the simple goal of 1 page a day is a great goal. That puts you at 30 pages a month. For a fantastic book resource on this, see Writing Your Dissertation Fifteen Minutes A Day: http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Your-Dissertation-Fifteen-Minutes/dp/080504891X

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The 15 minutes a day advice always reminds me of this: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1597.

 

I think the one page a day goal is good, especially for people who have a hard time writing. I think my experience is mostly incompatible with this approach, though. I always do my writing in chunks. Some writing, some research, rinse, repeat. During periods of writing, I normally write a good 5-6 pages a day. If I know what I want to say, I can write a whole paper (/chapter) in about a week, using the "don't look back" method. I write a full draft, then revise. I'm a fast writer so once I have a full idea in my head it doesn't take too long to get it onto paper and I don't get hung up on wording at all--that's what revisions are for. I also almost always have handouts from presentations of my work so I never start from scratch, there's a lot that can be copied into the paper from previous iterations of the work. My current plan is to get about 1.5 chapters of my dissertation done by the end of summer, which is probably about 50 pages. I think I can do it, but we'll see. I may end up writing only 30ish pages if the research for the half-chapter I hope to write during the summer turns out not to work out as I hope (and that is now looking like a likely possibility, unfortunately). 

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