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I regularly get requests for my writing graph either from people who read my book or a column I wrote at Inside Higher Education. If you landed on this page because of either of them or just curiosity, great! Here is both a Word and pdf version of my writing graph. By design it is very low-tech. Of course change the graph to make it work for you.


If tracking your writing works well for you on a phone or computer app, go for it. If have found that too often opening up an app to track writing time makes it too tempting to roll over and scroll through your Twitter feed or check new Instagram postings. Or, um, check whether the Celtics nabbed the top spot in the Eastern Conference or whether those purple suede kitten heels went on sale. If this pertains to you (it certainly pertains to me), then I suggest trying a straight forward paper writing graph.

Keep it simple, don’t make it too pretty. Just note your scheduled writing times and keep track of your actual writing times and your progress. Then move on with the rest of your day.

If you want other tips, pick up a copy of Demystifying Dissertation Writing by clicking on the button below. If you have found this graph or my book useful, please let others know. Why not post to Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter? Or, write a review at one of the bookstores? Together we can make the dissertation writing process a more productive and satisfying experience for all!



Single has written an amazing book for both advisors and students alike. I would recommend this book to anyone who works with any graduate students who are considering continuing their studies and those who are already in a doctoral program.

— NACADA Journal, National Academic Advising Association

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