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10 effective doctoral thesis writing tips

Surviving the doctoral thesis is the ultimate goal for most students. To make survival more of a possibility and less of a dream here are 10 tips to keep in mind.

  • Tip 1 – Academics need you: It is important to remember that you are filling a vital role in the process of education. You are learning but you can also help others learn too.

  • Tip 2 –Take ownership: The thesis is yours and only you can have the final say on what does and does not go end. Take the suggestions and listen to advice but you have the final say in what your thesis is like and what is contains.

  • Tip 3 - Write all the time: Far too many students put off writing because they are intimidated by the idea of the task. But it is better to write a little every chance you get for the few years you are working on the degree rather than saving it all for your final year. 

  • Tip 4 – It will be a love-hate relationship: It is ok and perfectly normal to feel confident in your paper one day then to feel like a failure the next. Burn out is common and if you are overly stressed then make sure you take time to relax and take a break when you need it.

  • Tip 5 – Better to be finished: The goal is to do your best and many students strive for perfection. Do not get hung up on perfection and be content to finish and submit!

  • Tip 6 – The Thesis is not the full PhD: The thesis is a large part of the PhD but your pass or fail is not solely determined by the thesis review. So this should help take some pressure off you as you write.

  • Tip 7 – Enjoy the review: It can be a time to talk to others about something you are passionate about and learn from others who have experiences to share. It can be stressful and intimidating but you can also make it into an enjoyable experience.

  • Tip 8 – Think about life after the PhD: After spending so much time focused on the thesis, it can be hard to know what to do with yourself when you are done. Make plans and dream big so you have something to look forward to when you are done!

  • Tip 9 – It is worth it: In the heat of working on the paper, it can seem like a waste but the end results really can be worth the blood sweat and tears you put into it!

  • Tip 10- Make it Memorable: The thesis and the path to your PhD is a once in a life time experience for most students so make the most of it and make it memorable!