Pencils and Dissertations

March 30th is National Pencil Day. Let’s talk about sharpening your pencils for your dissertation…

Pencils as we know them have been around since at least the 1800s. A patent for attaching erasers to the end of pencils was awarded in 1890.

Many famous writers including Vladimir Nabokov, John Steinbeck, and Roald Dahl were known to write and rewrite entire manuscripts using pencils. What is the big deal about pencils?

Before modern editing software made it so easy to make changes to your manuscript, writing in pencil allowed a writer to make changes using an eraser rather than having to mark through what he or she had written in ink. It was also quite a bit more convenient to not have to lug a bunch of ink around to write with.

Do you still use a pencil and paper or pen and paper to write your dissertation? Some students find it useful to use a pencil and a sheet of paper to sketch out a rough outline before they begin typing directly into their dissertation.

If you are having difficulty staying concise, consider jotting down your main points on a sheet of paper before you begin writing. I doubt you’ll want to write your entire dissertation using a pencil, but you might find you the act of physically writing versus typing can inspire a slightly different type of creativity.

Still need help sharpening your pencil? Click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good fit for our Fast Track Your Dissertation Coaching Program. If you are, then I’ll invite you to join the fastest group of dissertation students out there and help you to reach graduation a good year or two faster than you would on your own.

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

Let's Talk About Your Dissertation
Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.

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