Guides from Alumni: How to Write a Solid Doctorate Thesis
Alumni understand all the pitfalls you can get in while working on your doctorate thesis. They also have learned several strategies and techniques that can help you write a solid paper; some of them are listed below.
Consider Different Writing Strategies
- When you are writing, do not revise the text; just write it down. Do not try to correct the misprints or instantly work on a word choice, move forward, and continue writing.
- It is a great idea to write in layers. You have to write the main ideas first, then fill in the gaps, and finally add necessary citations.
- Some students agree that it is better to start with the material that they already fully understand. You can even pretend that you tell your supervisor a story about what you have learned.
- You should write every single day without excuses; any one page is fine, do not try to write them in order.
- Visit your supervisor and show your draft frequently because you need feedbacks.
Set Goals and Develop a Plan
- It is more useful to set several small goals; break you work into small tasks and complete them one by one.
- Your goals should be measurable and specific. It is better to think in terms of pages per subchapter; keep it narrow.
- Develop a plan of your progress, schedule the deadlines, and keep a track.
- You write faster and do not waste time when you time yourself. Many students use popular “pomodoro” timers. They set “pomodoros” for 25 minutes and spend this time writing.
- Do not forget to take small breaks, walk around, and have a snack.
Create a Comfortable Working Environment
- Create a comfortable working place, gather everything you need at one place and do not put books, notes, or manuals elsewhere.
- It is better to prepare the night before and start working as early in the day as you can.
- You can come up with new ideas if you change physical environments from time to time. It is a good idea to write in a café or in the library. However, keep in mind that the place should not be too disruptive.
- You are not alone; you can join a PhD study group and write with them. It is helpful if you can focus on yourself and do not compare with others.
- When you reach a milestone, you should reward yourself. Even a small reward can help you stay motivated and become more productive.
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