Getting Dissertation Help: Where To Go When There's No Time To Think Twice

You’ve worked hard for years, and you’re in the final stages of your dissertation. You’re proposal has been approved, and your defense has been scheduled and is fast approaching. It’s the culmination of all your work since you began your program, and it’s turned into a shining jewel – something you can be proud of! And then the unthinkable happens. You’re re-reading and re-writing (for the hundredth time) and you realize a fatal flaw. Something small, or big, which could unravel all the work you’ve been doing. How could you have missed it? What are you going to do? There’s no time to read another book or 30-page paper to find the answer, and how would you find such a resource on such short notice? Panic sets in, and you’re suddenly not sure you can finish on time – or at all! Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and count to ten. Take a moment to be grateful you found the error. Then, spring to action! Here are some resources to help you when you need help, fast!

Get in contact with your mentor right away. This is no time to worry about bugging them, or being an inconvenience. They’ve been there with you every step of the way, should know your thesis better than you do, and should be the first call you make or e-mail you write. Then, get in touch with anyone and everyone else you know who could possibly help you. Other doctoral candidates in your field, past professors, or other people who have already received their doctorate. Send a mass e-mail asking for guidance and suggestions. Don’t be ashamed: everyone has been there in some form or another, and most people are happy to help in whatever way they can!

Do a Google search for whatever you need to resolve. Normally, this wouldn’t be ideal, as you know. After all, Google searches tend to produce a lot of fluff and not much substance. But this is a make-or-break moment, and it won’t hurt to see if there’s any literature out there that can help you out of this jam – at the very least, a result might set you on the right track to finding the book or journal you need. Control + F will be your best friend here; that’s the command to find specific words in a document, so use it to search huge documents and texts for exactly what you need.

Take to the forums. There are quite few online message boards that are specifically geared to people working on their dissertations, and you’ll be able to get support from fellow PhD candidates as well as people who have already been there and can give you advice on what steps to take next.

Pay for professional advice. When all else fails, you can turn to the pro’s to help you out. There are many professional dissertation assistance companies out there who are experienced in last-minute revisions and emergency situations. Beware of any company that claims they can deliver whole dissertations overnight, or who look like a pay-for-dissertation service; you don’t want a whole new paper, just someone to go over one trouble area with you, and those services are unethical and low-quality.