What Qualities Should A Dissertation Advisor Possess?

Crafting a dissertation is no easy task. From the expenses that students incur simply paying for tuition to the task of researching and organizing the paper, the process is quite tedious and expensive. Your dissertation adviser is the one person who can help make the process more accessible. You might not have much choice in the person who works as your dissertation adviser, but these are the traits and qualities that will make that person helpful.

  1. Experience. Your dissertation adviser should have experience writing and advising. Even though every dissertation advisor has to start somewhere, hopefully you will end up with an advisor who has a few years of experience advising. If not, you can always ask for one. The dissertation is the most important paper you will ever write, so you want the best person working with you.
  2. Writing skills. It is important to have a dissertation adviser who knows how to write. Advisors with skills with grammar and mechanics will be able to help you with the rough patches and awkward sentence structures, paragraphing, and any other trouble spots you might discover. If your advisor does not have a good grasp of writing skills, you might have to turn to an outside source for assistance and that can be costly.
  3. Extensive knowledge of documentation style. Whether your dissertation requires the use of APA, Chicago Style, or another style, your advisor should be an expert and be just as knowledgeable as the style manual. You should be able to turn to your advisor for any questions about documenting sources, even the most peculiar of sources. If your advisor does not know the style guide very well, then you should invest in a style guide so you can become the expert. You might even be able to make a little money on the side helping other dissertation writers.
  4. Encouraging. Your advisor should be your cheerleader, helping keep you on track encouraging you to complete the task. She should be able to recognize when you are having challenges and be able to offer the advice you need to continue.
  5. Dedication. The best advisors are dedicated to their craft. They should love their subject area and the process of dissertation writing. They should not be competitive with their advisees and be able to help them through their difficult times. They should always be involved in learning more about the craft and content to help guide their advisees along their path.

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