We were inundated with tweets and emails — and AcademiaObscura helpfully created a Storify of the tweets. Below is a selection of the best tips. One supervisor told his student that a PhD was about pages long so he wrote pages. Unfortunately the supervisor had meant double-spaced, and the student had written single-spaced. Getting rid of 40, extra words with two weeks to go is not recommended. But your most important work will come later.
Think of your PhD as an apprenticeship. Your peers are unlikely to read your thesis and judge you on it. They are more likely to read any papers articles, chapters, books that result from it. It allows you to make checklists too so you know that all of your important stuff is listed and to-hand, meaning you can focus on one thing at a time.
On the contrary, actively draw attention to them; identify them in your conclusion as areas for further investigation. Repeatedly reprinting and editing draft thesis chapters has two very helpful functions. Firstly, it takes your work off the screen and onto paper, which is usually easier to proof. Secondly, it gives you a legitimate excuse to get away from your desk. Remember that you are the expert in your specific field, not the examiners, and ask your supervisor to arrange a mock viva if practically possible.
What I found constructive was paying attention to the work of novelists I enjoy reading. It's surprising to see that many students have some level of confidence during the previous two stages of the process, but they crack when they realize they don't really know how to write a dissertation.
Everything is easier when you have a plan. You already have the dissertation proposal, which is a preliminary outline for the actual dissertation. However, you still need a more detailed outline for the large project. Did the research stage lead you in an unexpected direction? Make sure to include the new points in your outline. The first chapter should include a background of the problem, and a statement of the issue.
Then, you'll clarify the purpose of the study, as well as the research question. Next, you'll need to provide clear definitions of the terms related to the project. You will also expose your assumptions and expectations of the final results. In this chapter of the dissertation, you will review the research process and the most important acknowledgements you've come down to.
This part of the dissertation is focused on the way you located the resources and the methods of implementation of the results.
If you're writing a qualitative dissertation, you will expose the research questions, setting, participants, data collection, and data analysis processes. If, on the other hand, you're writing a quantitative dissertation, you will focus this chapter on the research questions and hypotheses, information about the population and sample, instrumentation, collection of data, and analysis of data. This is the most important stage in the whole process of dissertation writing, since it showcases your intellectual capacity.
At this point, you'll restate the research questions and you will discuss the results you found, explaining the direction they led you to. In other words, you'll answer those questions. In the final chapter of the dissertation, you will summarize the study and you'll briefly report the results. Don't forget that you have to explain how your findings make a difference in the academic community and how they are implied in practice.
Explain why you suggest this research and what form it should take. Use the recommended citation style for your field of study, and make sure to include all sources you used during the research and writing stages. You'll need another timeline, but this one will be focused on the writing process.
Plan how to complete your dissertation chapter by chapter. When you have attainable goals, it will be easier for you to write the project without getting overwhelmed by its length and complexity. There is no life-changing advice to give at this point. You just need to stay away from distractions, stick to your timeline, follow the outline, and complete the first draft.
You already have what it takes; now you're ready to do the real work. Now that you've completed the first draft of the paper, you can relax. Don't even think about dissertation editing as soon as you finish writing the last sentence. You need to take some time away from the project, so make sure to leave space of at least few days between the writing and editing stage.
When you come back to it, you'll be able to notice most of its flaws. There is a substantial difference between editing and proofreading: You need to deal with the essence first, since it would be silly to proofread the dissertation to perfection and then start getting rid of unnecessary parts and adding more details.
Pay attention to the logical connection between each argument. Are there any gaps in information? Fill them in with more details you collected through the research stage. Maybe you got carried away with the explanations at some point? Make sure to reduce the volume of those parts and clarify them as much as possible. The point is not in quantity; it's in quality and clarity.
Finally, it's time to do the final few readings and catch all spelling, grammar, and style errors you made. Read word by word, sentence by sentence, and consult a dictionary or thesaurus if you have any doubts. If you notice that you're struggling through the stages of editing and proofreading, you should know you're not the only one with such problem.
You are too attached to this project and it's difficult for you to see the flaws in it. That's why it's recommended for students to use an editing service that will bring their projects to perfection. This is a smart investment that will save you from embarrassment after all that effort and stress you went through.
Start with a friend or colleague who has knowledge in this discipline. You need to trust this person, since the dissertation is your unique intellectual property. Ask about their opinions and suggestions for improvement. Then, discuss the project with your mentor. The dissertation writing process is a great challenge, which not all students are capable to cope with.
You need to keep in mind that you've come this far in your studies, so there is no other way to go but forward.
How to Write Your Best Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide. When you get to the point of writing a dissertation, you're clearly near the end .
1 How To Write a Good (no, Great) PhD Dissertation Priya Narasimhan Assistant Professor Electrical & Computer Engineering Carnegie Mellon University.
How To Write A Dissertation or Bedtime Reading For People Who Do Not Have Time To Sleep. To The Candidate: So, you are preparing to write a Ph.D. dissertation in an experimental area of Computer Science. Unless you have written many formal documents before, you are in for a surprise: it's difficult! How I wrote a PhD thesis in 3 months August 13, February 28, by James Hayton Before reading this post please note: it took three and a half years of full-time research to gather the data for my PhD thesis; the three months refers only to the writing, which I did quickly at the end.
GUIDELINES. FOR WRITING A THESIS OR DISSERTATION. CONTENTS: Guidelines for Writing a Thesis or Dissertation, Linda Childers Hon, Ph.D. Outline for Empirical Master’s Theses, Kurt Kent, Ph.D. How to Actually Complete A Thesis. Writing up a PhD can often take place in a frenzy of activity in the last few months of your degree study, after years of hard work. But there are some steps that you can take to increase your chances of success.