phd writing




Summary of Key Ideas of Thesis Proposal Writing and Writing a Thesis

Stage 1: The ‘Thinking About It’

- Make sure you write down all of your ideas. 

- Don’t be influenced too much by others – remember it’s your own research. 

- Always set realistic goals for your thesis. 

- Set realistic time deadlines for yourself. 

- Take regular breaks.


Stage 2: Proposal Preparation

- Make sure you look and read other proposals. 

- Make sure your literature review is comprehensive.

- The proposal should be the first three chapters of your thesis. 

- Focus on the research. 

- Make sure you include a title in your proposal. 

- Organise your proposal around a set of questions.
- Make sure you adhere to the requirements of your advisory committee.
- Find a faculty that will support you in your research.
- Remember your professor is your ally.
- Plan regular proposal meetings with the faculty and your professor.


Stage 3: Thesis Writing

- Write the sections up first that you know well.
- Rewrite the proposal into dissertation sections.
- When printing out the drafts of your thesis, make sure you use different coloured paper each time with every draft.
- For graphs/tables – draw them by hand initially to save time.
- Make sure your writing is unambiguous and clear.
- Also look at others’ theses before you start writing.
- Make meaningful suggestions for further research.
- Chapter One should always be written last.

Stage 4:
Defending Your Thesis

- Make sure you can attend others defence meetings.
- Discuss your research with other people as much as you can.
- The defence meeting should be both you and your adviser acting as a team.
- Don’t get defensive at the meeting.
- Organise your defence as a presentation.

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