How to write a Ph.D. Thesis Faster and Beat Deadlines
Deadlines are real. When you study Ph.D., you will realize that you don’t have the luxury of time to procrastinate. Unfortunately, getting your paper done on time is your only ticket of getting a Ph.D. degree.
If you’re going to write a Ph.D. thesis that works, you need a solid game plan. Remember that your paper will explain all the research and experiments you’ve gone through your four-year journey.
So if you think there is no other way, think again. Fortunately, there is a plan on how you can write a decent Ph.D. thesis faster that will nab you a place on the stage for graduation.
In this article, I will share with you a minute-by-minute guide on how you can complete your Ph.D. thesis in approximately two-week time without losing your sense of style and fancy.
Tip 1: Establish your thesis statement
Producing a quality Ph.D. thesis in a short time depends on how well you understand your topic. We all know that a research paper is where you make an assertion or prove something that is novel to the academia.
So ask yourself these questions. What are you trying to prove? Are the issues presented in your thesis something new and interesting? Do you think your supervisor would approve your topic?
Your thesis statement should be succinct and thought-provoking. It could be an old assumption that you want to challenge through new scientific methods or a novel discovery that you want to establish as true to the people.
As you see, before you can write anything you first need to determine your thesis statement. Once you’ve laid down the premises, more brilliant ideas will follow through.
Tip 2: Browse the internet for a 30-minute basic research
If your deadline is two weeks away, you won’t have time to manually scan through your library’s card catalogs. Hence, the fastest medium you can ever turn to is the internet.
There are quite a few ways on how you can use the internet to hasten your actual writing process. First, use it to search for relevant information from different educational websites. In order not to waste time your time with ads, you need to use a few significant research rules like adding terms like “.edu” or “.org” at the end of the words you’re trying to search.
Second, ask help from Mr. Wikipedia. While universities highly discourage using Wikipedia as a resource, you can use it to look for valuable authors and references. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a productive list of references which you can examine to add more content to your paper.
Third, research some Google books or download free e-Books. The advantage of using electronic materials is the capability to use Ctrl+F. Just prompt the command and you can jump to the exact phrase you’re looking for. Instead of typing the text from scratch, you can also leverage the Copy & Paste command in order to add an entire paragraph to your document. Then you can just paraphrase the text and acknowledge the author.
When you’re able to save a lot of time by researching online, you can use the rest of your remaining time to search information from traditional books. Remember that books are also important. You can’t submit a thesis solely based on online references.
Tip 3: Create an outline
Every Ph.D. thesis follows a prescribed outline. Normally, you’ll have an introduction, abstract, review of related literature, body, and then your conclusion.
Thesis and research papers are designed to be this way so they are easy to read and at the same time, easy to write. But just because you have an outline doesn’t mean that you have to fill them in a chronological order.
What I mean to say is that you don’t need to waste 10 hours trying to figure out what to place in your Abstract just because it is the first in line. An abstract is the summary of your paper and you won’t be able to figure it out until you’ve finished your paper.
So for now, you can focus on other sections. For example, if you think you can finish the Review of Related Literature faster, then I advise that you do it first. If you are doing a lab experiment and you’re making discoveries, write it in your paper. The rest of the sections can come next.
Tip 4: Think from the opposition’s point of view
Always remember the basic rule in writing a Ph.D. thesis – it has to make a stand. The best way to compose arguments is to put yourself in the shoes of your opponent. What are the possible counter-arguments that could possibly attack your thesis statement?
For example, if your thesis statement is about “efficacy of Chinese herbs as an alternative to Chemotherapy”, think about the opposite. Why shouldn’t it be used as an alternative? What are the cons of using Chinese herbs? Do you have a proven and tested research to support your argument?
These are just the possible questions that lead to more rebuttals on your side. As you write further, you’ll discover that your thesis is just becoming more interesting. Then you’ll find yourself more and more eager to write.
Tip 5: Type fast for 30 minutes
When I say you need to type fast for 30 minutes, I literally mean it. Avoid spending time on editing grammars and spelling mistakes or stop worrying if you’ve missed out certain details. You can always come back to it later.
If you keep on going back for spelling and grammar check after every paragraph, you’ll tend to forget relevant details that could have helped enrich your paper.
So don’t worry if you’ll have red and green lines. For now, just keep your thoughts flowing and get all your ideas on your paper. The point is to record as many information as you can before you even forget them.
Tip 6: Take note of your references from time to time
Make it a habit to record your references after checking a book or website. One of the most time-consuming parts of the actual writing process is organizing your bibliography or references.
If you don’t take note, you’ll be spending a lot of hours scavenging through your papers in the hope of remembering your references.
For online resources, make sure that you have the title of the article, author, link, and date of access. If you are reading a book, take note of the authors, title, edition, date of publication, and place of publication.
Don’t worry about arranging them for now. Just make a brief and quick record of your references and save it for editing later.
Tip 7: Ask help when necessary
Have you ever experienced sitting for a few hours not knowing what to write? Or there’s a very confusing question that has been bothering your mind lately and you can’t write because you don’t know the answer.
Well, desperate times calls for desperate moves. While I always mentioned how busy supervisors can be, it doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help. Email or text your supervisor about your dilemma. If you’re lucky your supervisor can reply right away but if not, you can call a friend or consult a professor who is an expert in a particular field.
Believe me, there are professors in the university who are gifted with warm hearts. Just have a thick skin and approach them instead of wasting time in waiting for that light bulb to pop into your head.
Tip 8: If you skip a day, make it up twice the next day
Okay, I know we all get tired. Writing can be very tedious and stressful for the brain. So now you’re asking me if you can take a break for a day.
If your thesis’ deadline is in a week or two, the ideal answer is NO. You need to glue yourself in your chair and face your computer. Finish your target section today and reward yourself a rest. But we all know that this is a lie we tell ourselves.
If you really can’t help yourself but sleep, fine, you can take a break today. However, I’m warning you that it is going to be very risky because you might get tempted to do things that will make it hard to wake up the next day.
My tip to you is to make a commitment that you’re going to make up. For example, if you failed to make one section today then you must be able to make three sections the next day. That’s how the rule should go otherwise, you won’t be able to make it.
Tip 9: Skip parties and gatherings
I’m sorry to say but your guilty pleasures must be on hold for now. At this point, you must focus on your deadline and not on the exciting parties that you’re missing. Parties can wait until you’ve successfully submitted your paper.
Avoid distraction by putting your cell phone on silent mode. It’s okay not to reply to party invitations or better yet tell your friends that you’re doing your Ph.D. thesis. They are old enough to understand.
When using the computer, don’t login your social media accounts. Oftentimes, social media can be a great distraction. It takes away a lot of time that could have been spent on your paper. I highly advise that you follow a stern schedule. Increase your time for writing and minimize your time for Facebook or Instagram.
Tip 10: Edit and Proofread only after you’re done
Editing should only come last. As I said, it is not advisable to spend a lot of hours editing your thesis if you are not done. Your ideas can change over time. In fact, your supervisor can ask you to revise your thesis depending on the modifications made in your methodology or recent discoveries.
Once you’re all done, it’s wise to reserve one day only for editing. Look for spelling and grammar mistakes. Make sure your ideas are responsive and coherent to the chapters. Review hard facts like theories and formulas.
You can also hire a professional editor and proofreader to make sure that your thesis is 100% error-free. These people can also give you extra insights on how you can improve your writing.
So these are the tips you can apply in real life if you’re trying to write your thesis faster. One most important thing is that confidence will truly get you through the process. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Good luck in writing your thesis, I’m sure you can finish it in time.
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