If you’re just beginning to form your dissertation committee, the best piece of advice I can offer is to select an advisor that you can work well with. This means someone who is open, available, communicative, and wants to help you finish. If this is not possible, for whatever reason, here are some tips to work most effectively with the advisor you have: *Get clear on expectations. Make a plan with your advisor for key deadlines. Do these in 15 day increments for maximum momentum. *If you’re not sure, ask. You can save yourself a lot of angst and worry if you ask for clarification when you’re unsure. *Stay in regular contact. Take the time to stay in regular touch with your advisor so s/he can be aware of your progress. *Get outside support. Your advisory relationship will work better if you also have other people to lean on for support. *Clarify requests. When it’s not obvious, get in the habit of asking, "is this change for my dissertation now? or is it for later, when I’m publishing this manuscript?" This can save you from making unnecessary changes to the dissertation when your advisor was offering feedback for the manuscript.