Rachna Jain Dissertations

What It Takes to Finish The Dissertation in a Year or Less

(Over 1000 ABD’s have used this system to become PhD’s.)

Moving from ABD to PhD is not an easy task for everyone. It is all too common that graduate students complete all their coursework and other requirements and then get stuck when it comes to attempting to finish the dissertation in a year or less. There can be many reasons for this dissertation derailment; including change in life circumstances, working full-time, or managing a persistent illness.

The other element that nobody really talks about is the fact that, for many ABD’s, the PhD dissertation represents the first and most major departure from a structured program of study. If you are anything like I was in graduate school, I found a lot of satisfaction in crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s- making sure I had all my required classes, and practica, and supervision. To achieve this, all I needed to be was organized and able to follow directions.

Yet, when it came to write my final paper, the process was so much different. I suddenly had to figure out what my project would be, design it, develop it, and implement it- while I was working full-time at my clinical internship. I will say, without exaggeration, that year was one of the most strenuous of my life. Not just because I was working hard- I’ve always worked hard, maybe like you- but more because there was so much uncertainty and second-guessing about my project.

It was exhausting.

What I Learned From Trying to Finish The Dissertation

What I learned in my own dissertation process, though, was to become the foundation of the Get it Done! Dissertation Completion method, the one that I have used, successfully, for the past sixteen years to help more than 1000 ABD’s become PhD’s. And most of them achieved this in a year or less- even those students who had been ABD for 10 or more years, and were in danger of losing their program placement.

Can you imagine working so hard, getting so close, and then being stuck for 10 years or more? (This might even be what you’re living through right now.) It may seem impossible to ever finish the dissertation, but I assure you, it’s not.

Whether you’re in danger of losing your program placement, or if you’re just a little bit stuck, I’m glad you’ve made it here. My site has more than 300 article on completing the dissertation, and I have written several books on this topic as well. You can finish the dissertation, and probably in less time than you think.

If you’re looking for direct expert help, I offer some dissertation coaching services, too. These services have been so valuable to my clients who have used them to successfully finish.

Again, I’m glad you’re here and I hope you will be able to finish the dissertation- to move from ABD to PhD as quickly and happily as possible.


I took a few rounds of your coaching sessions in 2014 and 2015, and just wanted to let you know that I defended my thesis on the 2nd of May, ten days ago. (It is an anthropological study about manufacturing in South America, you may remember the topic from our Skype meetings). It passed with great success.

I mention you in my acknowledgements, but would also like to send you this:

Thank you so much for your input, Rachna - I used (I still use) many of your concrete advice on how to make small steps and acknowledge progress, but also on how to build up a support team, how to manage feed back (and lack of feed back), and on the balancing of relations within the academic world (with supervisor/no supervisor/new supervisor, work on the side/economical support/lack of economical support etc).

I truly wish you all the best with your coaching sessions and I hope you do continue - it was one of the most positive and constructive aspects of my PhD process,

Dr. A. C., 2017


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