The Basic Of Successful Ph.D. Dissertation Writing


A Ph.D. dissertation is written proof and record of a Ph.D. degree. Across all fields, the Ph.D. thesis is considered a major milestone towards completion of the course. Therefore, penning it needs skill and perseverance. The composition of the dissertation requires a proper plan, execution, and multiple revisions. Following are some of the basics to successful compilation:

  1. Initial basic writing of Ph.D. work should start as soon as possible; a student should not wait to write at the end moment of Ph.D. study. This is because a Ph.D. thesis is written a record, of the research work carried out towards reaching a given objective. Universities approve a student’s research title (research topic) at the beginning of his or her study according to the proposal of the student. The Ph.D. study, unlike other post-graduate study, requires much longer time to complete: between 3 to 5 years and in some cases even more. It is difficult, and almost impossible to write a comprehensive thesis, by starting to write at the end of a Ph.D. study. Therefore, it is students’ responsibility to keep a written record of his or her literature reviews, scientific methods, analysis, results, and conclusion. In this regard, a student should start to write a dissertation as soon as possible.
  2. A Ph.D. dissertation should follow the structure set by the students’ University. Most Ph.D. compositions have three major parts a) Preface, b) Main body, and supplementary material (annexure). A student should get a handy copy of University rules for formatting and style of such document.
  3. A student should make a proper plan for the dissertation, by reading and recording literature from relevant scientific journals of his or her area. Also, they should select a peaceful time in a day to write few paragraphs or few lines of selected chapters. In this way, one will not feel the pressure of rushing to write too much in too less time.
  4. Don’t try to write the main body of the whole document in a sequence. Main body of comprises of multiple chapters, which follow following sequence a) Introduction, b) Literature review, c) Materials and methods (methodology), d) Results and discussion, and e) Conclusion. One may like to follow this sequence of penning; however, supervisors and senior researchers suggest that a student should be flexible in switching between chapters based on requirement. Ph.D. research students should start by writing “Literature review” and “methodology” as it helps them to know better his or her research area. This should be followed by “Introduction” and other chapters.
  5. Preparation of Ph.D. thesis is an interactive and progressive process. Therefore, students should not try to achieve perfection in his or her first draft.
  6. Formatting and type casting can be left for the last. However, in the beginning one should select a familiar and robust word processing application; this will ease the process of formatting at the end.
  7. Proofreading and editing can be done after a chapter is complete. Though there are no set rules, but it is always convenient to proofread chapter by chapter. In fact, one can start early and save time for editing since it can consume a significant amount of time. It is always recommended to get a help of professional proofreader for a final check.

Here, we discussed basics of successfully writing a Ph.D. dissertation. These are only basics; every student can make his or her own rules to complete a Ph.D. Work by incorporating above steps of writing according to his or her flavor. Also, students should seek timely advice from his or her supervisors for finer details on each step of writing. Further, one should discussion problems and shares the solution with peers and friends for the fruitful and satisfying outcome.

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