- By Daniel Millions
- Published 11/19/2008
The task of researching, planning and writing a thesis for a PhD is probably one of the most soul searching tasks that you are likely to undertake in your life. The process is a complete journey of excitement and despair that will test your character to the core. Writing a thesis is not as easy as it sounds and at times can become a very lonely space that will leave you doubting your ability and your interest in what you are actually writing about. However, completing the thesis will also be one of the most satisfactory moments you can experience. With this in mind it is absolutely crucial that you give yourself the best possible chance of working through the thesis until its completion. This article will talk about some of the major considerations that you should make in order to reach the finish line. The first major consideration is planning. If you do not start as you mean to go on and properly organize your work then you can expect to become incredibly frustrated by the disorganized and slow progress. I suggest that you create good habits early by developing a simple filing system; this should be done both on the computer and in paper format. You should create and allocate folders to each chapter and sub-chapter. Remember to regularly back up all important computer files. You should also plan any important deadlines in to your schedule so that you are not forced to rush any part of the thesis.
At the planning stage you should also develop an outline of the entire thesis, so that you have a roadmap and a str
uctured path to finishing the project. At this stage you should construct chapter headlines and also a brief description of what each chapter aims to address. This is especially useful in helping to break the entire thesis down so it feels far less daunting. You will complete the project quicker by finishing smaller parts of it one at a time. A major consideration of the PhD thesis is the style of the work. This is important because you need to engage with your target audience correctly. So for example if you are writing a thesis on a scientific subject then you would be expected to use the relevant technical and scientific language. Conversely, the use of slang will make it harder for the reader to understand the meaning of your work. It goes without saying that that your work needs to use the correct grammar and spelling. As you approach the end of the thesis do not become distracted by the need to make the thesis look visually attractive. There are many candidates in the past that have neglected the actual work by focusing on improving diagrams or creating fanciful cover sheets. At the end of the day your success or failure will be decided by the words on the page and not by any other factor.
The final advice that I have for writing a PhD thesis relates to finishing the project. As I have already stated the writing of a thesis is a long and arduous task and no matter how much time you spend on it there will always be something that you could improve. My advice is not to become driven by perfectionism and instead aim to complete the work by the deadline set. Providing you have covered all of the major expectations for the thesis then you will be fine in achieving success.