Are you about to start writing your PhD thesis?

How to start writing your PhD thesis?

10 things you should know about thesis writing.

๐Ÿ. ๐”๐ฌ๐ž ๐‹๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฑ, ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐Œ๐’ ๐–๐จ๐ซ๐: Writing a 100+ page document in MS word can become a headache. Arranging headings, tables of content, references, etc can become a challenge. So, instead of MS word, use Latex. It will take care of all such things. Also, Latex has many add-ons available that can help with difficult stuff like making tables in Latex.

๐Ÿ. ๐ˆ๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ฒ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ: Before starting your thesis, identify 10-15 exemplar theses that is within your research area or the PhD is carried out in a similar fashion as yours. Skim through them especially the first chapter to understand how to structure your thesis.

๐Ÿ‘. ๐๐ฎ๐ข๐ฅ๐ ๐š ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ: During your PhD, you work on different papers that might not be totally linked in a straightforward way. Put these different pieces in front of yourself and think about how to make them link with each other and make a smooth story.

๐Ÿ’. ๐ˆ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐จ๐ซ ๐›๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ค: This chapter summarizes your whole thesis and leaves an impression on the reader/examiner. Invest the most amount of time in writing this chapter. Amongst others, clearly mention upfront the research papers you have published during your PhD.

PhD students โ€” How to 10x your PhD productivity?

๐Ÿ“. ๐‚๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฉ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐›๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ: Mention within 3-4 lines the concrete problem you have solved during your PhD. Also, examiners look for 3-4 solid contributions made by the PhD student. Donโ€™t make them search for them. Present these contributions upfront in the Introduction chapter.

๐Ÿ”. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ ๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ณ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ฏ๐ข๐š ๐š ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž:ย  PhD thesis is a very long document. Navigating through it can be a challenge. Include a figure in the Introduction section that shows the organization of the thesis including the various chapters. A reviewer can just print this figure and keep it in front of himself/herself to navigate through the whole thesis.

๐Ÿ•. ๐†๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž: Donโ€™t leave thesis writing until the very end. Depending upon the situation, at least leave 4 months for thesis writing.

๐Ÿ–. ๐’๐ž๐ž๐ค ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐๐›๐š๐œ๐ค: Manage your writing in a way that each part gets reviewed. If you are running short of time, you can send each chapter separately as it completes to your supervisors for feedback.

๐Ÿ—. ๐“๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐จ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐: One of the most common comments from thesis reviewers is to fix the typos. Proofread your entire thesis a couple of times before submission to avoid getting this comment.

Why should you do a PhD?

๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ. ๐‹๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ: Make sure that the chapters are linked together. For example, it shouldnโ€™t appear that when the reviewer starts reading chapter 4, it is completely different from chapter 3. At the start of chapter 4 or end of chapter 3, mention how they are linked.

Writer: Faheem Ullah
Assistant Professor
Computer Science, Australia

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Matthew Jones
Matthew Jones
I'm a long-time traveler here, sharing my tips and experience. I concentrate mainly on packaging tips, luggage reviews, travel tips and travel accessories.

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