Complete your thesis with SMART goals

I have often seen candidates missing their deadlines, simply because the goals they had set were not appropriate. They had failed to plan, and in effect, planned to fail. If you overload your schedule and expect too much too soon, then there is a high probability that you will not be able to execute your plans. Hence, I always advice scholars to set objectives that are SMART.


Assess the research goal before you start to explore it. Is it too vague or has a wide scope? For example, if your objective says “studying health problems in developing countries”, then I have genuine doubt that you will attain any concrete result. Clearly defined, very specific goals will make your research worthwhile.


Apart from being focused, the research goals must also be measurable. In any case, a research project will involve data analysis to seek a certain result. You must be able to measure how your study influences the issue being discussed.


There are many limiting factors which must be considered while setting a goal. How much time have you got to complete the research? What are the resources at your disposal? Will you be able to gather the required data? The objectives of research must be set keeping in mind all these aspects. Once you are sure that you have the time and resources needed, you can expect to achieve the goal.


It is fine to be innovative while choosing a dissertation topic, but don’t be too creative. It should not be something out of your dreams. Do a study of the feasibility of the research objectives.

This also applies to the goal that you set for the task of writing the dissertation. If you plan to finish your report in a few days by writing scores of pages every day, God save you! Start early, plan to finish about five pages every day and stick to the plan to meet the deadline.

Time Bound

Here again, the time allowed by your committee for completing the project must be considered. Do not hope to get an extension for submission of the report. A fool-proof plan is one that allows for some delay. So, you should not get jitters in case you are not able to arrange the equipment, or conduct the interviews as planned.

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Steffi Loreti

Dr. Steffi Loreti has earned her PhD in Social Psychology. She has taught history and sociology for over fifteen years and has published forty seven research papers in impact factor journals. She has seven years of hands-on experience in reviewing and editing dissertations, proposals and technical manuscripts. She has chaired over 100 dissertations in the past. She has been supporting scholars through her company named 24x7 Editing, which offers detailed proofreading, editing and formatting services.

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