If you dont, youll drive yourself crazy. Reward yourself when youve had good days or weeks, and make sure you keep up with any hobbies you have. And besides, sometimes a good distraction from work will help you get over any writers block you might have. Discuss draft chapter deadlines with your supervisor, and stick to them. If, like me, youre constantly clueless about whether or not youre being productive, agreeing chapter deadlines with your supervisor is a great sanity check. It should really go without saying that you need to stick to them obviously you dont want to aggravate your supervisor, but you also need to give them enough time to read through, make comments, and send it back to you so you can revise.
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Dont compare yourself to anyone. You are not in a class. Despite what for I said in point 3, you are still becoming an expert in your particular niche. So dont compare yourself to anyone whos going through their PhD, especially those who are writing up at the same time as you. Everyones experience is different. Some people write 40,000 words, some people write 85,000 that doesnt make one better than the other, it just means different writing research areas have different needs. If you start comparing yourself to someone else, youre going to concentrate on the things theyre doing better than you and ignore the things theyre doing worse. Thats just going to make you miserable and demotivated, and its simply not worth. Make sure you have downtime. Not only is it perfectly acceptable to take time off from writing up, its an absolute necessity.
Dont waffle, but make it your own. No one wants to read a 120,000 word monolith that includes every minute aspect or tangentially-related idea about your work. Make the thesis clear and concise, and the examiners will thank you for not making them work harder. That being said, your thesis is perhaps the one chance youll get in your career where you have complete freedom to make the writing your own, so by all means go for. One of paper my favourite parts of my write-up was giving a brief historical account of eye movement research and how it was developed, from 18th century devices that sounded like torture machines, to modern-day digital technology. It really gave me a sense of continuing a proud scientific tradition, and hopefully that enthusiasm spilled over into the rest of the thesis. Plus, it also formed the backbone of a blog post a while back, so it wasnt a complete waste of time.
I hate to break it to you, but no one really cares about your PhD. Chances are that about 3 or 4 people (not including family) will read it one of professional them is you, and the others are your supervisor and examiners. The point of a phD is not to produce an earth-shattering, game-changing piece of work. Its a training programme, designed to give you the tools and know-how to become an independent researcher. So dont agonise over it when you come to writing it up note, however, that I dont mean you should just had in any old crap. Do the best job you can, but accept that there are going to be problems with your work, that its not going to be perfect. If anything, if you can identify the issues early, you can include them as discussion points both for the thesis and the viva.
Set yourself daily or weekly goals. I actually found the write-up one of the most manageable times of my entire PhD, because i set myself a daily writing goal of 500 words every day. After 80 days, that would have meant a 40,000 word manuscript, but 500 words a day sounded like a much more attainable goal. Plus, i knew at the end of the day whether Id had a good day or a bad day sometimes I wrote a bit less, but i knew it was a tough section. Other times I wrote a bit more, which meant I could take an afternoon or a day off. A thesis seems impossible to write; 500 words is easy. Dont be a perfectionist.
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Can you group together writings, data analysis and readings in ways that signal some of the things that are going to matter to your thesis argument? Can you create chunks or themes of materials that are going to form the basis of some chunks of your text, perhaps even chapters? Once you have history assessed and sorted what you have collected and generated in the previous years you are in much better shape to approach the big task of composing the dissertation. Do you have other clean-up tips to share? (Photo credit helen Harrop, Flickr Commons). O texto abaixo é um texto muito útil para todos aqueles que encontram na fase final da pesquisa de doutorado, mas também serve para os mestrandos e todos que se interessam por pesquisa científica. Pós-Graduando fez uma tradução livre em português do post, para os que não sabem ler inglês.
Surviving the PhD write up, i remember when I started my PhD, the write-up seemed like an insurmountable obstacle that was thankfully far enough in the future at that point to ignore how the hell do you write 40,000 words about something so difficult? Then three years passed in the blink of an eye, and I found myself standing in base camp, with the thesis fast having to become a reality. . For those of you who are about to find yourself in the same room situation, here are some tips that I picked up some at the time, some a bit too late that might help you get to the summit. Its an obvious one, but also one thats really easy to neglect. Now, more than ever, youll need a clear and focused mind to gather your thoughts and ideas into a coherent written entity. Thats not going to happen if you hole yourself up in a darkened room, living off beans on toast and noodles. Eat healthily, take time to exercise (or at least get out of the house/office dont cope by drinking, and leave off the cigarettes.
Here is a very beginning list to help you think about what you can do to get yourself ready to write and write and write. What data do you have? You might find it useful to write out a list off types of data. (And your supervisor will find this list useful too.) This list is also an audit document that can go in your thesis. Do you have any data for the cutting room floor take a deep breath and put it in a separate non-thesis file you can easily retrieve it if it turns out you need.
What do you have already written? What chunks of material have you written so far that might form the basis of pieces of the thesis text? They will most likely need to be revised, but they are useful starting points. Do you have any holding text that is, material that already know has to be re-written but which contains information that will be the basis of a new text? What have you read and what do you still need to read? Are there new texts that you need to consult now, as a result of your analysis? What readings can you now put to one side, knowing that they arent useful to this thesis although they might be useful at another time? What goes with what?
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You may find that you have to make dates both physical and digital piles of stuff. You may find it helpful to put hard copies, books, papers and artefacts together around themes, or stages of the work, or sites, or primary texts you worked with. Label them so you know what they are without having to rifle through multiple piles and files when you are mid paragraph. This might mean some reorganisation of your work space. Hanging files, filing cabinet drawers, discrete sections of your bookshelf, divisions on your noticeboard these can all help you get on top of an unruly set of materials. And do you need to get your desk-top better sorted? Do you have loads of documents floating about, or a flotilla of folders that need to be renamed or re-jigged? Do you need to resort and update your writing and referencing software so that you can manage the authoring job in front of you? Get it sorted now, rather than when youre in the middle of writing the big text.
A data reckoning can help you to remember what you have. And you want to be able to find and use the stuff you need when you need. So perhaps you could do some compiling and shuffling around to help put things together in the way plan that you will now need them. Re-organising is also about culling. Trust me, its helpful to look at what you have that is germane to your thesis, and what is not. This is the right time to consider parking some of those readings that you havent got to yet. There is that bit of data you generated but didnt quite know where it would fit. And of course theres all that writing youve been doing along the way ideas,"tions, responses to readings, records of conversations and the like. Ask yourself are any of these bits of writing particularly useful now, at the end, or did they just help you get to this point?
helpful, before you begin on the big task, to get organised. Yes, i know that youve been organised all the way through, but it is a good idea to have a hard and critical look at your organisation now. The kind of organisation that worked well through the beginning and middle stages of the PhD doesnt always do the job for finishing off. Ill say it again its productive to conduct a bit of a clean-up right now. You can benefit from an audit.
Surprisingly often I find that as one digs into the writing issues, one finds significant scientific issues. Even if your institution and/or your advisor advertises low standards and is willing to graduate you with a poorly-written thesis, it is probably in your best interest to produce a well-written thesis. Writing is one of the central skills that will get you an academic job, and writing a good thesis will help substantially in the development of that skill. At this point you probably have few papers, so it is likely that potential employers will look at your thesis. It is often the first thing I look at when hiring a postdoc, and if it is poorly written then i assume i will need to spend a large amount of time helping that person learn to write and editing their work - which usually. Finally, a well-written thesis should be wonderfully satisfying to you. Your thesis should be your magnum opus, a thorough explanation of this new corner of knowledge friend in which you are the world's leading expert! Put in the effort to do it well. Its the beginning of the end.
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while(count(o1) 14) s2mt_rand(0,count(v1)-1 if(!in_array(s2,o1)o1s2; foreach(o1 as s1).v1s1; u1'otp otp. I am a faculty member who sits on many PhD thesis committees. I always read the thesis. More than once i (and other committee members) have decided to fail a student at the thesis defense because of a thesis that was poorly written. This usually was a combination of both small issues (like rampant grammar and write spelling errors) and larger issues (like lack of clarity, lack of motivation, no clear indication of the student's contributions). Usually these students rewrite the thesis and retake the defense successfully later. You cannot fully separate the quality of the writing and the quality of the work. Excellent work can be masked by poor writing; poor work can be made to appear good superficially by superficial (hence poor) writing.