Preparing for the Semester: The Dissertation Calculator

The semester is due to begin any minute and for some it's already started. In preparation for the new semester we are cleaning our desks, preparing ours lectures, and maybe even reviewing an upcoming reading lists to get a headstart. But in all the rush don't forget to make preparations for the most important part of your work: the dissertation.

Earlier this year the University of Minnesota, developed the DISSERTATION CALCULATOR, the easiest way to plan your dissertation from start to finish.

To get started, simply input the start date–either today or the beginning of the semester-and set the target date for the completing of your dissertation. The calculator is pretty straightforward. Based on your timeframe, it outlines 18 stages to help you complete your dissertation on time. The website also provides you with a printer-friendly version of the plan as well as a bibliography of books and articles to help you with the physical act of writing the dissertation.

Of course it can't calculate changes in your project or other factors that may stall your dissertation research and it doesn't factor in coursework, internships, and other requirements you may have for your program. Every degree program is different so you may need to tailor the outline a bit but the idea is fool proof; set realistic deadlines for the necessary steps and the PhD is well within reach.

The calculator can be used to plan a Master's thesis as well and for general research papers or publications, there's a Research Paper Planner. If you need help crafting your thesis statement check out the Thesis Generator. After filling out a few text boxes and hitting "Submit," you will be provided with a five-paragraph statement that will give you the general structure to guide your research. A few tweaks and you'll have nice product to show your professors.

How are your preparing for the semester? Leave your comments below.

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