How to Write a Doctoral Dissertation in Two Months

Dissertation - navigating the forest of challenges

Don’t navigate through a forest of challenges.

Instead of taking two years to write your doctoral dissertation, what if you could write it in two months? Think you can do it? Yes, it’s possible, and it will depend if you can dedicate yourself and maybe request the help of one or two others who thrive at doing research.

Don’t try to navigate through unknown territory by yourself when writing a dissertation

When you discipline yourself, you can create an outline, define the steps for acquiring the data, and get a draft written in six weeks. However, you must set up deadlines for each phase, and it’s important that social invitations and other shiny objects that would tempt you to delay even one day in your deadline are not an option.

Here’s How to Begin This Academic Writing Task

Decide on a date when you will start and a date when you will stop researching and writing. Next, you’ll need a competent academic editor to go over your first draft, which will allow you another week to fine tune your final document before submitting it. If you can follow these rules, then you will finish writing your doctoral dissertation in two months.

Step 1:

Reassure your doubting brain that you can do this. Don’t share this information with family, friends, or anyone who is in your world. Why? Their opinions, thoughts, and suggestions don’t matter. You’re in this to complete your dissertation, not get feedback or approval from peers, family, friends, or strangers.

Step 2:

On a sheet of lined paper, write time slots down the left column. Then fill in the blanks for each time slot with a task that you will accomplish that day. Think of it as a tiny check list. You do one thing from 9:00-10:00. Take a 15-minute break. Then from 10:15-11:00, complete the next task. If you can work six hours in one day, then fill in the details for what you WILL accomplish in each of those time slots.

Step 3:

Establish a date when you will start this two-month project. Write the date on your calendar, and put a huge note in a place where you live to remind yourself of your starting date. Know in your heart and mind it’s a date that’s exciting and you’re looking forward to it.

Step 4:

Arrange for sufficient time to select your topic. This is one of the MOST important factors involved in this process, since this gives you the goal for your research work. If you allow one week to brainstorm ideas, and then choose one topic that you’re passionate about, the rest of your work will go more smoothly and quickly. NOTE: If you don’t complete this step in the time allotted, it could result in your inability to complete your thesis, and you could wind up delaying your thesis indefinitely. Stay positive. Stay focused. Complete this step!

Step 5:

Create a working outline. Below are bullet points to get you started. Reject, accept, or add more bullet points you’ll need to cover in your outline.

  • Jot down the key points and ideas that you’ll include in your project
  • Define how you will arrange your arguments and supporting paragraphs
  • Establish a method for recording your research notes in such a way that the details almost write themselves
  • Use your smartphone to take a picture of your bibliography sources from printed materials. Don’t waste precious time writing this down. Let a photographic image be your resource tracker.
  • Make a short list of anything that you ‘must’ cover and that you don’t want to forget about later.
  • Make a quick list of your analytical findings that you’ll use in your final statements and resolutions.
  • Finally, as the thoughts and impressions cross your brain, write down and record the results that you interpret from all your data gathering sessions.

Once you have your outline with you, it is then merely a 15-day task to write and proofread your thesis. If you have missed your earlier deadlines due to some reason, you can utilize the remaining time by staying focused and active. You will have to dedicate all your time to writing in the last 15 days. Do not let yourself take a leave under any circumstances. Write on a regular basis and dedicate at least half of your day to writing your thesis.

Step 6:

To complete your thesis writing project in less than two months, you must have your data and raw material assembled in a digital form that you can quickly look through to extract only the best information you’ll use during the writing process. Once you have researched your topic thoroughly and you know the results you want to present, then the writing process becomes much easier.


CAUTION: It you begin the writing process with only bits of information with the thought that you’ll stop and collect additional data and start the writing process again, this could increase the amount of time before you finish your dissertation. Be careful with this step. When you discipline yourself and proceed according to your deadline dates, you will write at an easier pace. Slow and steady wins the race, they say.

Step 7:

About halfway through your project, you might want to take a two-to-three hour break to walk in the woods, have a coffee with your friends, and get a little more rest to relax your eyes and hands and your tense deadline-driven brain. Reward yourself with a favorite food or beverage, knowing you’re 50 percent of the way finished.

Step 8:

Dedicate the last fifteen days to writing and editing your thesis. Do not let anything or anyone interfere with this precious time that you’ve set aside to reach your goal. Write every day, at the same time, and dedicate the time you’ve set aside to write, and only write. No exceptions.

Step 9:

Hire a reputable academic editor to review your document, and then allow sufficient non-rushed time to make changes, revisions, and finish your final document.

Step 10:

Submit your dissertation. Breathe a sigh of relief. Pat yourself on the back, and go celebrate. You did it!