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How to Deal with an Unhelpful Dissertation Supervisor

Published by at August 13th, 2021 , Revised On August 22, 2023

A dissertation supervisor helps students with their dissertation, advises them about the project’s requirements and aids them throughout their research. Supervisors support us through our hard times and make sure that we overcome the academic challenges thrown at us.

However, there may be times when things might get heated between students and supervisors – when both are under pressure and looking to solve a lot of problems in little time. And at that very moment, you might want to learn more about how to deal with the unhelpful dissertation supervisor.

Expect to face many problems if you come across a dissertation supervisor who is not willing to help; is rude at times and does not seem to understand you as a student and the challenging phase you’re going through.

If you find it difficult to impress your dissertation supervisor and maintain a good relationship with them, some rules will get you through this challenging time. See below for some tips on ‘How to Deal with an Unhelpful Dissertation Supervisor’.

Also Read: How to write a dissertation – Step by step guide.

Tips to Deal with an Unhelpful Supervisor

Rule # 1: Communicate Effectively with Unhelpful Dissertation Supervisor 

Communication is the key. Even if your dissertation supervisor is unhelpful and does not offer any guidance, clearly mention all your dissertation-related concerns.

For example, there might be an instance when your unhelpful dissertation supervisor is in a perfect, understanding mood and could offer a workable solution to any problem you are facing despite their unhelpful nature. Keep the door of communication open at all times, and make sure to attend all meetings.

Stay determined, and you’ll be able to complete your dissertation successfully.

Rule # 2: Be Patient and Persistent with your Unhelpful Dissertation Supervisor 

Getting help from a dissertation supervisor who isn’t very accommodating can be daunting. There may be times when your supervisor might not help you at all, even if you’re badly stuck with your dissertation. In times like these, try to be patient and continue with your research.

Though it might be pretty tricky for you to continue in such a situation, there is nothing much that you can do about it. Changing an unhelpful dissertation supervisor or submitting an application for a supervisor change would take up a lot of your time. You could instead invest in focusing on your dissertation.

Stay determined, and you’ll be able to complete your dissertation successfully.

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Also read: How to Write a Dissertation in a Week

Rule # 3: Seek Help from Peers

When you’re finding it hard to seek guidance from your academic supervisor, get in touch with your peers. This may not sound like a great idea, but there is a chance that some of them might be in the same boat as yours.

Talk to them about the issues you’re facing in completing your dissertation and see how they can help you. Organising a group session once a week or two will help to address your dissertation-related concerns.

Discuss complicated aspects and sections of your dissertations and see how this works out for you.

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Rule # 4: Don’t Get Emotional

When you’re stressed and tensed about your dissertation, there are chances that you’d also get emotional. You might find no one to assist and guide you in times of need. However, to emerge successfully out of this situation, you need to make sure you keep your emotions in control and not let them get the best of you.

Emotions will further ruin your situation, and you’ll gain nothing from them. Stay strong and believe in yourself. In the case where you’re working on a PhD thesis, dealing with an unhelpful dissertation supervisor becomes even more difficult.

The situation intensifies because there’s a lot at stake, and you might be left scratching your head over how to deal with an unhelpful dissertation supervisor. Regardless of the situation, do not let the emotions get the better of you.

Keep the door of communication open at all times, and make sure to attend all meetings.

Rule # 5: Stay Assertive

Staying positive during difficult times is never easy, and you need to overcome this challenge. When working on your dissertation, make sure you’re confident of the elements you’ve included in your dissertation, and be sure that you’re working in the right direction.

Staying positive and assertive will help you learn a new perspective on how you can work without help and guidance. Thus, this way, even without a supervisor, you’ll be able to produce a flawless dissertation.

Dealing with an unhelpful dissertation supervisor is a nightmare but can be managed by following the tips we have shared with you. As a student, you should focus on your work and stay determined to complete your dissertation on time.

Your main goal should be to produce a dissertation that is perfect, as well as authentic and reliable. Thus, keep your focus on writing a dissertation to help you achieve an ‘A’ grade.

Here are some comprehensive guidelines for you to understand How to Write a Great Dissertation Paper.

How can ResearchProspect Help?

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Stuck with complicated elements of a dissertation paper such as Dissertation MethodologyDissertation Statistical Analysis, and Dissertation Findings & Discussion? Our writers have years of experience in developing high-class dissertation papers. Please sit back and relax while our experts do the hard work for you. Click here to fill out our simple order form to get instant quotes.

Frequently Asked Questions

While possible, it’s highly recommended to have a supervisor for a dissertation. A supervisor provides guidance, expertise, and feedback crucial for successful research and writing, enhancing the quality and validity of your work.

About Alvin Nicolas

Avatar for Alvin NicolasNicolas has a master's degree in literature and a PhD degree in statistics. He is a content manager at ResearchProspect. He loves to write, cook and run. Nicolas is passionate about helping students at all levels.