Are you about to start writing your PhD thesis?

10 things you should know about thesis writing.

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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