Written for researchers and graduate students writing dissertations, this unique book offers detailed advice and perspective on many issues that can stall a research project and reveals what can be done to successfully resume it. Using a direct yet conversational style, author Paul C. Rosenblatt draws on his decades of experience to cover many diverse topics. The text guides readers through challenges such as clarifying the end goal of a project; resolving common and not-so-common writing problems; dealing with rejection and revision decisions; handling difficulties involving dissertation advisers and committee members; coping with issues of researcher motivation or self-esteem; and much more.
When to Quit
Giving up on a stalled project is always an option. I do not advocate that all stalled projects should be restarted and seen through to completion. Researchers sometimes hold on to a project that they have invested time, energy, money, personal reputation, and hopes in when in reality they are not going to be able to complete it or are not motivated to complete it. Perhaps they have good reasons not to complete it—for example, the data, theory, or scholarship are not good enough and cannot be sufficiently repaired. Perhaps key aspects of their motivation and interest have been lost. Perhaps they will never have the time to complete the project in the way that the project needs.
To pull the plug ...