The Dissertation or Thesis Advisor: Roadblock, Tollbooth, or Overpass?

I’ve heard from many dissertation and thesis writers about what they perceive as obstreperous or controlling advisors, what we could think of colorfully as roadblocks or tollbooths that either block access to success or require tremendous payments in anxiety in order to finish a degree.  Rarely do I hear about thesis or dissertations advisors who help students race smoothly above the fray while encountering little traffic congestion.

But whether or not our perceptions of these people are accurate, there is a more productive way to cast the relationship between you and your advisor.  Your work is an extension of your advisor’s reputation—he or she has a stake in whether you graduate, since if you did not, your advisor would have made a poor choice in supporting your candidacy.

However tough the process may be, the advisor’s goal is to ensure that you graduate.  Working with a professional thesis or dissertation editor will not make your advisor magically change into someone more sympathetic, perhaps, but certainly will help both of you concentrate on the extra bit of research or citation required for your committee’s eventual OK.

And though sometimes a change of advisor is the only rational way to maintain everyone’s sanity, I’ve found that by focusing on the likely outcome, based on how academics really works, will help you maintain your equilibrium during a difficult process.

Jeff Karon

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