Find out what your committee wants and expects from your work. Following the advice about feedback above, find out what kind of writing your committee expects. Read dissertations completed by students they have worked with before. Ask them often what kinds of expectations they have for your chapters, and your project: what kinds of sources, how footnotes get used, the structure of chapters, how they feel about headings, and more. Knowing expectations will help you write effectively to your audience, and communication is key to avoiding potential pitfalls.
Stop making excuses. There will always be a million reasons to not write. You have other work to do, you have papers to grade, you have jobs to apply for, you have meetings to go to, your back hurts, your computer is acting funny, the stars aren’t in the right position. There will always be reasons not to write. And it’s hard, but sometimes you pretty much just have to tell these reasons to shut up. Sitting down to write, even when it seems like you can’t, is the only way to get anything written.
Subject: Leave Application for Thesis Work
Now you have a working thesis! Included in this working thesis is a reason for the war and some idea of how the two sides disagreed over this reason. As you write the essay, you will probably begin to characterize these differences more precisely, and your working thesis may start to seem too vague. Maybe you decide that both sides fought for moral reasons, and that they just focused on different moral issues. You end up revising the working thesis into a final thesis that really captures the argument in your paper: