Surviving your PhD Thesis

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  • October 27, 2016
  • Even the best of PhD students feel a sense of frustration over their academic progress, despite years of research and hard work. This fear is compounded when it comes to writing a thesis, especially if the student has none or little to show for any academic publications. Spending more time and effort in writing the thesis resolves nothing and only adds to the student despair.

    Listed below are some common tips that you, as a PhD student, can follow to not only survive, but also deliver a high-quality PhD thesis:

    • Start early with your thesis.

    Do not delay the start of your thesis writing. Start early and plan enough time for not only writing but also efficient editing of your thesis.

    • Do not treat thesis writing as a 9-to-5 job.

    Spending an entire day in front of your laptop computer should not be the approach. Set a time limit (starting with 30 minutes initially and then increasing it gradually) or a word limit (example, 500 words a day) to work on your thesis. Once decided, follow this routine each day with discipline.

    • Fill your thesis with only required content.

    Do not focus on making your thesis long and lengthy. As long as you meet the project guidelines, concentrate on only including the required content in your thesis. Remember that it is the quality of your thesis that matters, not its length.

    • Work on the easier sections of your thesis first.

    All the sections of your thesis will not have equal importance. Work on the easier sections first, and plan more time and effort on the harder and more important sections.

    • Take regular breaks.

    Taking regular break away from your thesis writing is important, even for PhD students. A fresh and relaxed brain can do wonders to your scientific thinking, hence both your physical and mental health should be of the top order to survive all PhD challenges, including your thesis.

    • Jot down your ideas.

    Make a regular habit of jotting down your brilliant ideas using a notepad. Keep pen and paper always with you for your convenience.

    • Engage in physical workouts.

    Physical fitness is important for hard-working PhD students also. Morning rituals of 30-minute exercising or joggings can do wonders for your overall energy and attention. If time permits, you can also try a 5-minute physical warm up before starting your computer work.

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