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12 Steps to plan, draft, write and finish a PhD thesis or dissertation?

Here's a concise summary of the key steps to plan, draft, write, and finish your doctoral research:

Dr. Sowndarya Somasundaram

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Table of contents

1. selecting a research title to write a phd thesis, 2. creating a structured plan:, 3. literature review:, 4. formulating a research design:, 5. data collection and analysis:, 6. writing the dissertation:, 7. seeking feedback:, 8. revision and editing:, 9. managing your time effectively:, 10. overcoming challenges:, 11. celebrating milestones:, 12. finalizing and submitting:.

The journey to write a PhD thesis or dissertation is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and execution. This article aims to provide a comprehensive roadmap, from the initial planning stages to the final touches, to help you navigate the complex process of completing your doctoral research.

Write a PhD thesis: A Comprehensive Guide to Planning, Drafting, and Finishing Your Dissertation

Choose a specific, relevant, and feasible research title aligned with your interests and the existing literature.

Develop a detailed plan with milestones, deadlines, and tasks to serve as a roadmap throughout the research process.

Conduct a thorough literature review to identify gaps and controversies, providing a strong foundation for your research.

Clearly define your research methodology, justify your choices, and seek feedback to ensure the robustness of your design.

Research Design iLvoePhD

Systematically collect and analyze data , keeping detailed records and being open to modifying your approach based on findings.

Start writing early, maintain a consistent schedule, and develop each chapter cohesively with a logical flow.

Share drafts regularly with advisors and peers to receive constructive feedback, enhancing the quality of your work.

Allocate time for thorough revision, checking for clarity, coherence, consistency, and proper formatting.

Create a realistic timeline, break tasks into manageable chunks, and adhere to deadlines for effective time management.

Anticipate challenges such as writer’s block, setbacks, or unexpected findings, seeking support from advisors and colleagues.

Acknowledge and celebrate small victories along the way to maintain motivation and recognize progress.

Proofread your dissertation carefully, ensuring proper formatting and adherence to institution guidelines before submission.

With meticulous planning, dedication, and persistence, you can successfully navigate the challenges of write a PhD thesis or dissertation and contribute meaningfully to your field. Good luck on your academic journey!

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Dr. Sowndarya Somasundaram

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How to Write a Doctoral Dissertation in Two Months

writing phd thesis in 2 months

Don’t navigate through a forest of challenges.

Instead of taking two years to write your doctoral dissertation, what if you could write it in two months? Think you can do it? Yes, it ’ s possible, but your success will depend upon dedicating yourself to the task and, if needed, requesting help of others who thrive at researching.

Avoid navigating through unknown territory alone

When you discipline yourself, you can create an outline, define the steps for acquiring your data, and write a draft in six weeks. However, you must set up deadlines for each phase, and it ’ s important to note that social invitations and other shiny objects that might tempt you to delay even one day in your deadline are not an option.

How to Begin your Writing

First, decide on start and stop dates for your researching and writing. Next, find a competent academic editor to review your first draft, which will allow you another week to fine-tune your final document before submitting it. If you can follow these rules, then you will finish writing your doctoral dissertation in two months.

Reassure your doubting brain that you can do this. Don ’ t share this information with family, friends, or anyone who is in your world. Why? Their opinions, thoughts, and suggestions don ’ t matter. You ’ re in this to complete your dissertation, not get feedback or approval from peers, family, friends, or strangers.

writing phd thesis in 2 months

On a sheet of lined paper, write time slots down the left column. Next, fill in the blanks for each time slot with a task that you will accomplish that day. Think of it as a tiny check list. You do one thing from 9:00-10:00. Take a 15-minute break. Then from 10:15-11:00, complete the next task. If you can work six hours in one day, then fill in the details for what you WILL accomplish in each of those time slots.

Establish a start date for your two-month project. Write the date on your calendar, and put a huge note in a place you can’t miss to remind yourself of your start date. Know in your heart and mind that it’s an exciting date and you’re looking forward to it.

writing phd thesis in 2 months

Arrange for sufficient time to select your topic. This is one of the most important steps in this process because it sets the goal for your research work. If you allow one week to brainstorm ideas and choose a topic that you ’ re passionate about, the rest of your work will go more smoothly and quickly. Note : Not completing this step in the time allotted could mean you won’t be able to complete your thesis, and you might wind up delaying your thesis indefinitely. Stay positive. Stay focused. Complete this step!

Create a working outline. Below are bullet points to get you started. Reject, accept or add more bullet points as needed.

writing phd thesis in 2 months

  • Jot down the key points and ideas that you’ll include in your project
  • Define how you will arrange your arguments and supporting paragraphs
  • Establish a method for recording your research notes in such a way that the details almost write themselves
  • Use your smartphone to take a picture of your bibliography sources from printed materials. Don’t waste precious time writing this down. Let a photographic image be your resource tracker.
  • Make a short list of anything that you ‘must’ cover and that you don’t want to forget about later.
  • Make a quick list of your analytical findings that you’ll use in your final statements and resolutions.
  • Finally, as the thoughts and impressions cross your brain, write down and record the results that you interpret from all your data gathering sessions.

Once you have your outline with you, it is merely a 15-day task to write and proofread your thesis. If you have missed your earlier deadlines for some reason, you can utilize the remaining time by staying focused and active. You will have to dedicate all your time to writing in the last 15 days. Do not let yourself take leave under any circumstances. Write on a regular basis and dedicate at least half of your day to writing your thesis.

To complete your thesis writing project in less than two months, you must have your data and raw material assembled in a digital form that you can quickly look through to extract only the best information you will use during the writing process. Once you have researched your topic thoroughly and you know the results you want to present, the writing process becomes much easier.

Caution : It you begin the writing process with only bits of information, thinking that, if needed, you will stop and collect additional data and then start the writing process again, this could increase the amount of time you need to finish your dissertation. Be careful with this step. When you discipline yourself and proceed according to your deadline dates, you will write at an easier pace. Slow and steady wins the race, as they say.

About halfway through your project, you might want to take a two-to-three-hour break to walk in the woods, have a coffee with your friends, or get a little more rest to relax your eyes and hands—and your tense, deadline-driven brain. Reward yourself with a favorite food or beverage, knowing you ’ re half-way finished. That’s good!

writing phd thesis in 2 months

Dedicate the last 15 days to writing and editing your thesis. Do not let anything or anyone interfere with this precious time that you ’ ve set aside to reach your goal. Write every day. Write and only write at the same dedicated time. No exceptions.

Hire a reputable academic editor to review your document, and then allow sufficient non-rushed time to make changes, revisions and finish your final draft.

writing phd thesis in 2 months

Submit your dissertation. Breathe a sigh of relief. Pat yourself on the back, and go celebrate. You did it!

Things to keep in mind 

Following the above procedure and completing your thesis within two months is no mean task. Apart from the meticulous planning elaborated above, there are certain other things which you will need to concentrate on as well. The most important of these is maintaining a positive mindset.

writing phd thesis in 2 months

Psychology plays a great role in our success, and it is extremely important when you are trying to complete a thesis in just two months. Practice meditation or spend some time for exercise on a daily basis. This helps to keep your body and mind in good shape and, hence, improve your productivity. Be aware of the situation when you are feeling stressed out and be sure to have a few emergency stress relief mechanisms planned out when needed.

writing phd thesis in 2 months

Discipline is also necessary. Successful completion of all the above steps is predicated on your ability to be disciplined throughout the span of work. No compromises should be made on the deadlines that are set up for completing each of the subtasks.

writing phd thesis in 2 months

Possessing a good working relationship with your editor also helps make the whole process more efficient. Make sure that you invest some time finding the right editor for you. Maintain a good line of communication and give your editor full cooperation.

While completing a thesis in two months is a tough task, it is definitely achievable. With proper planning, a conducive mindset and efficient execution, the goal can be achieved—even with a bit of time to spare.

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Tips for writing a PhD dissertation: FAQs answered

From how to choose a topic to writing the abstract and managing work-life balance through the years it takes to complete a doctorate, here we collect expert advice to get you through the PhD writing process

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Embarking on a PhD is “probably the most challenging task that a young scholar attempts to do”, write Mark Stephan Felix and Ian Smith in their practical guide to dissertation and thesis writing. After years of reading and research to answer a specific question or proposition, the candidate will submit about 80,000 words that explain their methods and results and demonstrate their unique contribution to knowledge. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about writing a doctoral thesis or dissertation.

What’s the difference between a dissertation and a thesis?

Whatever the genre of the doctorate, a PhD must offer an original contribution to knowledge. The terms “dissertation” and “thesis” both refer to the long-form piece of work produced at the end of a research project and are often used interchangeably. Which one is used might depend on the country, discipline or university. In the UK, “thesis” is generally used for the work done for a PhD, while a “dissertation” is written for a master’s degree. The US did the same until the 1960s, says Oxbridge Essays, when the convention switched, and references appeared to a “master’s thesis” and “doctoral dissertation”. To complicate matters further, undergraduate long essays are also sometimes referred to as a thesis or dissertation.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “thesis” as “a dissertation, especially by a candidate for a degree” and “dissertation” as “a detailed discourse on a subject, especially one submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of a degree or diploma”.

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The title “doctor of philosophy”, incidentally, comes from the degree’s origins, write Dr Felix, an associate professor at Mahidol University in Thailand, and Dr Smith, retired associate professor of education at the University of Sydney , whose co-authored guide focuses on the social sciences. The PhD was first awarded in the 19th century by the philosophy departments of German universities, which at that time taught science, social science and liberal arts.

How long should a PhD thesis be?

A PhD thesis (or dissertation) is typically 60,000 to 120,000 words ( 100 to 300 pages in length ) organised into chapters, divisions and subdivisions (with roughly 10,000 words per chapter) – from introduction (with clear aims and objectives) to conclusion.

The structure of a dissertation will vary depending on discipline (humanities, social sciences and STEM all have their own conventions), location and institution. Examples and guides to structure proliferate online. The University of Salford , for example, lists: title page, declaration, acknowledgements, abstract, table of contents, lists of figures, tables and abbreviations (where needed), chapters, appendices and references.

A scientific-style thesis will likely need: introduction, literature review, materials and methods, results, discussion, bibliography and references.

As well as checking the overall criteria and expectations of your institution for your research, consult your school handbook for the required length and format (font, layout conventions and so on) for your dissertation.

A PhD takes three to four years to complete; this might extend to six to eight years for a part-time doctorate.

What are the steps for completing a PhD?

Before you get started in earnest , you’ll likely have found a potential supervisor, who will guide your PhD journey, and done a research proposal (which outlines what you plan to research and how) as part of your application, as well as a literature review of existing scholarship in the field, which may form part of your final submission.

In the UK, PhD candidates undertake original research and write the results in a thesis or dissertation, says author and vlogger Simon Clark , who posted videos to YouTube throughout his own PhD journey . Then they submit the thesis in hard copy and attend the viva voce (which is Latin for “living voice” and is also called an oral defence or doctoral defence) to convince the examiners that their work is original, understood and all their own. Afterwards, if necessary, they make changes and resubmit. If the changes are approved, the degree is awarded.

The steps are similar in Australia , although candidates are mostly assessed on their thesis only; some universities may include taught courses, and some use a viva voce. A PhD in Australia usually takes three years full time.

In the US, the PhD process begins with taught classes (similar to a taught master’s) and a comprehensive exam (called a “field exam” or “dissertation qualifying exam”) before the candidate embarks on their original research. The whole journey takes four to six years.

A PhD candidate will need three skills and attitudes to get through their doctoral studies, says Tara Brabazon , professor of cultural studies at Flinders University in Australia who has written extensively about the PhD journey :

  • master the academic foundational skills (research, writing, ability to navigate different modalities)
  • time-management skills and the ability to focus on reading and writing
  • determined motivation to do a PhD.

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How do I choose the topic for my PhD dissertation or thesis?

It’s important to find a topic that will sustain your interest for the years it will take to complete a PhD. “Finding a sustainable topic is the most important thing you [as a PhD student] would do,” says Dr Brabazon in a video for Times Higher Education . “Write down on a big piece of paper all the topics, all the ideas, all the questions that really interest you, and start to cross out all the ones that might just be a passing interest.” Also, she says, impose the “Who cares? Who gives a damn?” question to decide if the topic will be useful in a future academic career.

The availability of funding and scholarships is also often an important factor in this decision, says veteran PhD supervisor Richard Godwin, from Harper Adams University .

Define a gap in knowledge – and one that can be questioned, explored, researched and written about in the time available to you, says Gina Wisker, head of the Centre for Learning and Teaching at the University of Brighton. “Set some boundaries,” she advises. “Don’t try to ask everything related to your topic in every way.”

James Hartley, research professor in psychology at Keele University, says it can also be useful to think about topics that spark general interest. If you do pick something that taps into the zeitgeist, your findings are more likely to be noticed.

You also need to find someone else who is interested in it, too. For STEM candidates , this will probably be a case of joining a team of people working in a similar area where, ideally, scholarship funding is available. A centre for doctoral training (CDT) or doctoral training partnership (DTP) will advertise research projects. For those in the liberal arts and social sciences, it will be a matter of identifying a suitable supervisor .

Avoid topics that are too broad (hunger across a whole country, for example) or too narrow (hunger in a single street) to yield useful solutions of academic significance, write Mark Stephan Felix and Ian Smith. And ensure that you’re not repeating previous research or trying to solve a problem that has already been answered. A PhD thesis must be original.

What is a thesis proposal?

After you have read widely to refine your topic and ensure that it and your research methods are original, and discussed your project with a (potential) supervisor, you’re ready to write a thesis proposal , a document of 1,500 to 3,000 words that sets out the proposed direction of your research. In the UK, a research proposal is usually part of the application process for admission to a research degree. As with the final dissertation itself, format varies among disciplines, institutions and countries but will usually contain title page, aims, literature review, methodology, timetable and bibliography. Examples of research proposals are available online.

How to write an abstract for a dissertation or thesis

The abstract presents your thesis to the wider world – and as such may be its most important element , says the NUI Galway writing guide. It outlines the why, how, what and so what of the thesis . Unlike the introduction, which provides background but not research findings, the abstract summarises all sections of the dissertation in a concise, thorough, focused way and demonstrates how well the writer understands their material. Check word-length limits with your university – and stick to them. About 300 to 500 words is a rough guide ­– but it can be up to 1,000 words.

The abstract is also important for selection and indexing of your thesis, according to the University of Melbourne guide , so be sure to include searchable keywords.

It is the first thing to be read but the last element you should write. However, Pat Thomson , professor of education at the University of Nottingham , advises that it is not something to be tackled at the last minute.

How to write a stellar conclusion

As well as chapter conclusions, a thesis often has an overall conclusion to draw together the key points covered and to reflect on the unique contribution to knowledge. It can comment on future implications of the research and open up new ideas emanating from the work. It is shorter and more general than the discussion chapter , says online editing site Scribbr, and reiterates how the work answers the main question posed at the beginning of the thesis. The conclusion chapter also often discusses the limitations of the research (time, scope, word limit, access) in a constructive manner.

It can be useful to keep a collection of ideas as you go – in the online forum DoctoralWriting SIG , academic developer Claire Aitchison, of the University of South Australia , suggests using a “conclusions bank” for themes and inspirations, and using free-writing to keep this final section fresh. (Just when you feel you’ve run out of steam.) Avoid aggrandising or exaggerating the impact of your work. It should remind the reader what has been done, and why it matters.

How to format a bibliography (or where to find a reliable model)

Most universities use a preferred style of references , writes THE associate editor Ingrid Curl. Make sure you know what this is and follow it. “One of the most common errors in academic writing is to cite papers in the text that do not then appear in the bibliography. All references in your thesis need to be cross-checked with the bibliography before submission. Using a database during your research can save a great deal of time in the writing-up process.”

A bibliography contains not only works cited explicitly but also those that have informed or contributed to the research – and as such illustrates its scope; works are not limited to written publications but include sources such as film or visual art.

Examiners can start marking from the back of the script, writes Dr Brabazon. “Just as cooks are judged by their ingredients and implements, we judge doctoral students by the calibre of their sources,” she advises. She also says that candidates should be prepared to speak in an oral examination of the PhD about any texts included in their bibliography, especially if there is a disconnect between the thesis and the texts listed.

Can I use informal language in my PhD?

Don’t write like a stereotypical academic , say Kevin Haggerty, professor of sociology at the University of Alberta , and Aaron Doyle, associate professor in sociology at Carleton University , in their tongue-in-cheek guide to the PhD journey. “If you cannot write clearly and persuasively, everything about PhD study becomes harder.” Avoid jargon, exotic words, passive voice and long, convoluted sentences – and work on it consistently. “Writing is like playing guitar; it can improve only through consistent, concerted effort.”

Be deliberate and take care with your writing . “Write your first draft, leave it and then come back to it with a critical eye. Look objectively at the writing and read it closely for style and sense,” advises THE ’s Ms Curl. “Look out for common errors such as dangling modifiers, subject-verb disagreement and inconsistency. If you are too involved with the text to be able to take a step back and do this, then ask a friend or colleague to read it with a critical eye. Remember Hemingway’s advice: ‘Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.’ Clarity is key.”

How often should a PhD candidate meet with their supervisor?

Since the PhD supervisor provides a range of support and advice – including on research techniques, planning and submission – regular formal supervisions are essential, as is establishing a line of contact such as email if the candidate needs help or advice outside arranged times. The frequency varies according to university, discipline and individual scholars.

Once a week is ideal, says Dr Brabazon. She also advocates a two-hour initial meeting to establish the foundations of the candidate-supervisor relationship .

The University of Edinburgh guide to writing a thesis suggests that creating a timetable of supervisor meetings right at the beginning of the research process will allow candidates to ensure that their work stays on track throughout. The meetings are also the place to get regular feedback on draft chapters.

“A clear structure and a solid framework are vital for research,” writes Dr Godwin on THE Campus . Use your supervisor to establish this and provide a realistic view of what can be achieved. “It is vital to help students identify the true scientific merit, the practical significance of their work and its value to society.”

How to proofread your dissertation (what to look for)

Proofreading is the final step before printing and submission. Give yourself time to ensure that your work is the best it can be . Don’t leave proofreading to the last minute; ideally, break it up into a few close-reading sessions. Find a quiet place without distractions. A checklist can help ensure that all aspects are covered.

Proofing is often helped by a change of format – so it can be easier to read a printout rather than working off the screen – or by reading sections out of order. Fresh eyes are better at spotting typographical errors and inconsistencies, so leave time between writing and proofreading. Check with your university’s policies before asking another person to proofread your thesis for you.

As well as close details such as spelling and grammar, check that all sections are complete, all required elements are included , and nothing is repeated or redundant. Don’t forget to check headings and subheadings. Does the text flow from one section to another? Is the structure clear? Is the work a coherent whole with a clear line throughout?

Ensure consistency in, for example, UK v US spellings, capitalisation, format, numbers (digits or words, commas, units of measurement), contractions, italics and hyphenation. Spellchecks and online plagiarism checkers are also your friend.

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How do you manage your time to complete a PhD dissertation?

Treat your PhD like a full-time job, that is, with an eight-hour working day. Within that, you’ll need to plan your time in a way that gives a sense of progress . Setbacks and periods where it feels as if you are treading water are all but inevitable, so keeping track of small wins is important, writes A Happy PhD blogger Luis P. Prieto.

Be specific with your goals – use the SMART acronym (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely).

And it’s never too soon to start writing – even if early drafts are overwritten and discarded.

“ Write little and write often . Many of us make the mistake of taking to writing as one would take to a sprint, in other words, with relatively short bursts of intense activity. Whilst this can prove productive, generally speaking it is not sustainable…In addition to sustaining your activity, writing little bits on a frequent basis ensures that you progress with your thinking. The comfort of remaining in abstract thought is common; writing forces us to concretise our thinking,” says Christian Gilliam, AHSS researcher developer at the University of Cambridge ’s Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Make time to write. “If you are more alert early in the day, find times that suit you in the morning; if you are a ‘night person’, block out some writing sessions in the evenings,” advises NUI Galway’s Dermot Burns, a lecturer in English and creative arts. Set targets, keep daily notes of experiment details that you will need in your thesis, don’t confuse writing with editing or revising – and always back up your work.

What work-life balance tips should I follow to complete my dissertation?

During your PhD programme, you may have opportunities to take part in professional development activities, such as teaching, attending academic conferences and publishing your work. Your research may include residencies, field trips or archive visits. This will require time-management skills as well as prioritising where you devote your energy and factoring in rest and relaxation. Organise your routine to suit your needs , and plan for steady and regular progress.

How to deal with setbacks while writing a thesis or dissertation

Have a contingency plan for delays or roadblocks such as unexpected results.

Accept that writing is messy, first drafts are imperfect, and writer’s block is inevitable, says Dr Burns. His tips for breaking it include relaxation to free your mind from clutter, writing a plan and drawing a mind map of key points for clarity. He also advises feedback, reflection and revision: “Progressing from a rough version of your thoughts to a superior and workable text takes time, effort, different perspectives and some expertise.”

“Academia can be a relentlessly brutal merry-go-round of rejection, rebuttal and failure,” writes Lorraine Hope , professor of applied cognitive psychology at the University of Portsmouth, on THE Campus. Resilience is important. Ensure that you and your supervisor have a relationship that supports open, frank, judgement-free communication.

If you found this interesting and want advice and insight from academics and university staff delivered direct to your inbox each week, sign up for the THE Campus newsletter .

Authoring a PhD Thesis: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Dissertation (2003), by Patrick Dunleavy

Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis (1998), by Joan Balker

Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping with the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles (2015), by Noelle Sterne

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Rule of Three: advice on writing a PhD thesis

PhD students sometimes get the same bad advice on writing their thesis. I call this advice the Rule of Three . Typically, they get told that their thesis:

  • Will take 3 months to write
  • Should have 3 results chapters
  • Should be 300 pages

These bits of advice have one thing in common: they are all wrong.

  • If you have been organised (see below), it should not take 3 months to write a PhD thesis. It certainly shouldn’t involve leaving the lab 3 months before your hand-in date to write up.
  • Theses can have one results chapter or they can have more. How many chapters depends on your project, and your results. Trying to make three results chapters out of one chapter ends up in a weak or overlong thesis.
  • A thesis is like a piece of string and it will be as long as it needs to be. Aim for brevity and not producing a magnus opus (see below).
Disclaimer: what follows is some different advice. As with all “advice”, your mileage will vary. It is written for the people in my lab but likely applies to UK PhD students doing biomedical research.

Rule 1: aim for a thesis that is good enough

Who will read your thesis? Two people. Your examiners. OK, some parts – such as the Methods section – will be useful to future lab members (although with electronic lab notebooks this function is becoming redundant). Maybe your thesis will be downloaded by someone from the repository, but essentially, it will only be read by your examiners.

How long does an examiner spend reading your thesis? A few hours. One day maximum. They simply have no more time. Do you really want to spend three months of your life writing something that will be read for just a few hours by two people?

It’s for these reasons that spending too much effort writing a perfect thesis is a waste of time. It just needs to be good enough.

As well as being just good enough, it only needs to be long enough . A big mistake students make is to produce a really long thesis because they think that that is what theses should be (rule of 3). What happens is the examiner will receive the thesis, look at how many pages there are, subtract the bibliography, and their heart will sink if it is too long.

You might now be wondering: is writing a thesis a waste of time?

No, because you have to do it to get your PhD.

No, because you learn important writing skills. You also learn how to assemble a large document (it’s often how students learn to use Word properly or up their LaTeX game). It’s good training for writing papers and other technical documents down the line. Employers know this when they hire you.

But that is about it. So you just need to write something that is good enough to pass.

Rule 2: prioritise papers and the thesis will follow

Papers are the priority. They are more useful to you and to your PI. But this advice isn’t motivated by self-interest. If you go into the viva and the work in your thesis is already peer reviewed and published, it’s harder for the examiners to criticise it. At least, they will not approach your thesis with the question: is this work publishable? This is one criteria for passing your PhD, so demonstrating that it is publishable means you are (almost) there.

This was the one bit of advice I received when doing my PhD and it is still true today. OK, it is harder these days to get a first author paper published before you submit your thesis. However a preprint on bioRxiv before you begin writing will help you to prepare your thesis and will still tick the publishable box.

How long should it take to write your thesis?

There is tension here because you are at your most useful in the lab as you near the end of your PhD. One week of labwork now is worth one month (or more) earlier in your PhD. You are most valuable to your lab/PI/science/career at this point and keeping working in the lab will yield more rewards. But it won’t get your thesis written.

The first bit of writing is busywork and can be done around lab work. “Deep writing” and reading does need time away for most students.

If you have only collected data in the lab and not analysed it, if you’ve not presented your work very often, if you are disorganised… yes, it will take you a full three months to write your thesis.

All the folks in my lab are encouraged to get figures ready, analyse as they go and they also give regular talks. It should not take anyone in this position three months away from the lab to write their thesis.

Agreeing a timeline with your PI for when you begin writing is really important. Regular deadlines and a commitment to timely feedback from your supervisor make thesis writing easier. The discussion needs to be based on facts though. Often students want to budget a lot of time to writing, because of the rule of 3 or because they believe they are “bad at writing”. It helps to see some evidence. Writing draft chapters earlier in the PhD – which is a requirement at some universities – can reveal difficulties and weaknesses.

Reality check

If you hear the rule of 3 from everyone and your supervisor is giving you different advice. It might be time for a reality check. Have a look at past theses from the lab. How long were they? How many chapters? Information is good.

You can see that all theses are fewer than 300 pages in length, many substantially so. Four have three chapters and two have two. Although looking closer, two of the theses with three chapters use a results chapter as an expanded methods chapter.

Ultimately, the thesis is your work but you will get input from your supervisor. Regardless of what is written here or how many people tell you about the rule of 3, your supervisor will have their own ideas about how your thesis should be. Agreeing a sensible plan with them is the way to get started productively.

Getting started

This is not a comprehensive guide but in order to write a good enough thesis, you first need a plan.

  • Make a figure list. This should be every single figure you can think of. You can cross off ones you don’t need later if they don’t fit or are insignificant.
  • Plan the narrative. There is usually more than one way to put together the figures to make a thesis. Be prepared for this to change after you start writing! Sometimes the writing process reveals ways in which the narrative should be rearranged.
  • How many results chapters? Start with the idea that you will have one. Does it need dividing? If yes, then what are the titles of the two chapters? If you have difficulty titling them you may need to split to a 3rd.

Now you have a plan. It’s time to get going.

Set some goals – but make them small. Having a goal of “I am going to complete my thesis” is too demoralising. You need to feel like you are making progress constantly to stay motivated. Break it down into smaller chunks. “I will finish this chapter by next Friday”. “I will write the cloning section this morning and then go for a walk”.

Write the materials and methods first . It’s the easiest bit to write because it is all technical writing with little wordcraft required. You can fit it around labwork. In fact, it is easier to write whilst in the lab because you can look up all the stuff you need. Importantly, it gets over the “blank page syndrome”.

Next get your figures together . This should already be done if you have been organised.

Then write the figure legends . You already have the title for each figure from your plan. All you need to do is describe each panel. Again, quite low energy writing required for this task.

Now write the results sections ! This is the same way that we put papers together. The results parts of the thesis are more extended but in principle you will guide the reader though the figures that you’ve made. Remember, you already have the legends written. So you are already partly on your way.

Time to regroup . At this point you can refine your plan for the introduction and check the rest of your plan still makes sense. Now is the time for some deep writing and reading.

The post title comes from “Rule of Three” by The Lemonheads.

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Student on library computer

Finishing your PhD thesis: 15 top tips from those in the know

Trying to complete a PhD thesis in time for the October deadline? We share some advice on getting over that final hurdle

  • The key to a successful PhD thesis? Write in your own voice

Many PhD students are now in the final throes of writing their thesis. Turning years of research into a single, coherent piece of work can be tough, so we asked for tips from supervisors and recent PhD graduates. We were inundated with tweets and emails – and @AcademiaObscura helpfully created a Storify of the tweets. Below is a selection of the best tips.

1) Make sure you meet the PhD requirements for your institution “PhD students and their supervisors often presume things without checking. One supervisor told his student that a PhD was about 300 pages long so he wrote 300 pages. Unfortunately the supervisor had meant double-spaced, and the student had written single-spaced. Getting rid of 40,000 extra words with two weeks to go is not recommended.” ( Hannah Farrimond, lecturer in medical sociology, Exeter University)

2) Keep perspective “Everyone wants their thesis to be amazing, their magnum opus. But your most important work will come later. Think of your PhD as an apprenticeship. Your peers are unlikely to read your thesis and judge you on it. They are more likely to read any papers (articles, chapters, books) that result from it.” ( Dean D’Souza, PhD in cognitive neuroscience, Birkbeck, University of London)

3) Write the introduction last “Writing the introduction and conclusion together will help to tie up the thesis together, so save it for the end.” ( Ashish Jaiswal, PhD in business education, University of Oxford)

4) Use apps “ Trello is a project management tool (available as a smartphone app) which allows you to create ‘boards’ on which to pin all of your outstanding tasks, deadlines, and ideas. It allows you to make checklists too so you know that all of your important stuff is listed and to-hand, meaning you can focus on one thing at a time. It’s satisfying to move notes into the ‘done’ column too.” ( Lucy Irving, PhD in psychology, Middlesex University)

5) Address the unanswered questions “There will always be unanswered questions – don’t try to ignore or, even worse, obfuscate them. On the contrary, actively draw attention to them; identify them in your conclusion as areas for further investigation. Your PhD viva will go badly if you’ve attempted to disregard or evade the unresolved issues that your thesis has inevitably opened up.” ( Michael Perfect, PhD in English literature, University of Cambridge)

6) Buy your own laser printer “A basic monochrome laser printer that can print duplex (two-sided) can be bought online for less than £100, with off-brand replacement toners available for about £30 a pop. Repeatedly reprinting and editing draft thesis chapters has two very helpful functions. Firstly, it takes your work off the screen and onto paper, which is usually easier to proof. Secondly, it gives you a legitimate excuse to get away from your desk.” ( James Brown, PhD in architectural education, Queen’s University Belfast)

7) Checking is important “On days when your brain is too tired to write, check quotations, bibliography etc so you’re still making progress.” ( Julia Wright, professor of English at Dalhousie University, Canada)

8) Get feedback on the whole thesis “We often get feedback on individual chapters but plan to get feedback from your supervisor on the PhD as a whole to make sure it all hangs together nicely.” ( Mel Rohse, PhD in peace studies, University of Bradford)

9) Make sure you know when it will end “Sometimes supervisors use optimistic words such as ‘You are nearly there!’ Ask them to be specific. Are you three months away, or do you have six months’ worth of work? Or is it just a month’s load?” ( Rifat Mahbub, PhD in women’s studies, University of York)

10) Prepare for the viva “Don’t just focus on the thesis – the viva is very important too and examiners’ opinions can change following a successful viva. Remember that you are the expert in your specific field, not the examiners, and ask your supervisor to arrange a mock viva if practically possible.” ( Christine Jones , head of school of Welsh and bilingual studies, University of Wales Trinity St David)

11) Develop your own style “Take into account everything your supervisor has said, attend to their suggestions about revisions to your work but also be true to your own style of writing. What I found constructive was paying attention to the work of novelists I enjoy reading. It may seem that their style has nothing to do with your own field of research, but this does not matter. You can still absorb something of how they write and what makes it effective, compelling and believable.” ( Sarah Skyrme, PhD in sociology, Newcastle University)

12) Remember that more is not always better “A PhD thesis is not a race to the highest page count; don’t waste time padding.” ( Francis Woodhouse, PhD in mathematical biology, University of Cambridge)

13) Get a buddy “Find a colleague, your partner, a friend who is willing to support you. Share with them your milestones and goals, and agree to be accountable to them. This doesn’t mean they get to hassle or nag you, it just means someone else knows what you’re up to, and can help to check if your planning is realistic and achievable.” ( Cassandra Steer, PhD in criminology, University of Amsterdam)

14) Don’t pursue perfectionism “Remember that a PhD doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. Nothing more self-crippling than perfectionism.” ( Nathan Waddell, lecturer in modernist literature, Nottingham University )

15) Look after yourself “Go outside. Work outside if you can. Fresh air, trees and sunshine do wonders for what’s left of your sanity.” ( Helen Coverdale, PhD in law, LSE)

Do you have any tips to add? Share your advice in the comments below.

Join the higher education network for more comment, analysis and job opportunities , direct to your inbox. Follow us on Twitter @gdnhighered.

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Hazel Hall

How long does it take to write a PhD thesis?

My short answer is 68 days, but please read the detail below…

Bold resolutions PhD comic

Bold resolutions: “Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com

As a PhD supervisor I have often been asked ‘How long do you think it will take me to write up my thesis?’ My answer always begins ‘It depends…’ We then continue the conversation with an audit of material already drafted that may contribute (in edited format) to the final thesis. These include the initial literature review from the first year transfer report, and posters, conference papers and journal articles presented and/or published from the on-going work.

For example third year PhD student John Mowbray , who is currently based within the Centre for Social Informatics (CSI) at Edinburgh Napier University , has a strong basis for his literature review chapter in the form of a conference paper delivered at CoLIS 2016 , which is due to be published in full in Information Research later this year. Similarly John’s fellow student Frances Ryan has already published an account of research design for her study. This paper will underpin the writing of her methods chapter.

Then we consider less formal sources, such as any discussions or debates that the student has documented publicly elsewhere, for example in blog posts. See, for instance Lyndsey Jenkins ‘ recent thoughts about the importance of research domain at http://lyndseyjenkins.org. These may well contribute to a section of Lyndsey’s methods chapter when she comes to write up her work in 2018.

The students also have ‘non-public’ material about their work that will be adapted for their theses. These include interim reports for their supervisors and/or other stakeholders. For example, last semester CSI PhD student Iris Buunk wrote a report on some of the empirical work that she has conducted for the body that gave her access to survey respondents. Handwritten ideas and remarks kept in notebooks over the course of PhD registration are also very valuable ‘private’ resources.

Once we have completed this audit, the challenge of transforming all the work completed to date into an 80,000 word thesis appears not to be so great – but of course, it still all needs to be done!

Records from writing up my own PhD have also recently served as another source for answering questions about preparing the main output of the doctoral study. I undertook my PhD part-time over a period of just over four years while working full-time. Throughout this period there were weeks when I could not progress my work at all. This was largely due to other commitments in intensive periods related to teaching such as the marking season towards the end of each semester. There were other times when it was much easier to devote myself to my PhD. For example, I took annual leave in University vacation time for this purpose (rather than went away on holiday). To guard against losing track of my PhD at times when I was too busy to devote any time to it I kept detailed notes of my progress. As a result of this, I know exactly how much time I spent writing up each chapter for the final version of the thesis. Although all PhD theses are different, the proportion of time on each type of chapter may be helpful to those who have resolved to submit their theses in 2017.

In total it took me 68 days to write up my thesis (NB 68 to write up the work, not 68 days to complete the PhD!) This is the equivalent of approximately 14 working weeks, assuming a five day week. It needs to be borne in mind, however, that I was a part-time student. In practice the writing up was done over the last seven months of the four and half years in which I worked on the entire doctoral study.

The largest portion of the writing-up time – around three quarters – was spent on the two chapters that related the findings of my research, and about a fifth on the discussion chapter. My literature review took very little time to write up (just 5 days) because I had already presented much of it in published form. The methods and conclusions chapters did not take very long either (3.5 and 2.5 days respectively) largely because their content was straightforward. My introductory chapter was very short at a page and a half and was thus drafted in just a couple of hours.

As might be deduced from the time allocations given above, I found the results and discussion chapters most heavy-going. The former was due to the quantity of empirical data to convert into a fluent account of the findings, and the latter because of the intellectual challenge of expressing the meaning of the findings and how the outcomes of my study represented an original contribution to the domain. However, once these two elements were ‘cracked’ it was a relatively easy task to pull all the other chapters together.

If you are reading this blog post as a PhD student in the later stages of your work, I would advise you to be prepared for the long haul of writing up your results and the discussion chapters, and ensure that you allocate a high proportion of your write-up time to these accordingly. It is also worth noting that I found that the closer I came to the target of completing my write-up, the more important it was for me to avoid other distractions. You cannot control for all of them (for example, illness), but I would caution against getting actively involved in anything that will take you away from your PhD at this intensive stage, such as planning a big event (for example, a major holiday, a house move, or a family wedding) or starting a new job.

If you are still in the early stages of your doctoral study, my first piece of advice is to plan your conference participation and journal paper publishing activity with the final thesis in mind. Be selective and strategic so that you prioritise engagement in external events that are valuable to the completion of your thesis and/or your future career. Each piece of work that you present externally should progress your study by encouraging you to write-up as you go along (for example in the form of a poster, a set of slides, a full paper), defend your ideas in person within your academic community, seek feedback on work completed to date, and solicit advice on the later stages. You should also be documenting any thoughts or ideas that may be valuable to writing up in a format that make sense to you, whether this be in a set of handwritten notes or in a more public format such as a series of structured blog posts.

Good luck to all those who will submit their theses in 2017!

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Academia Insider

How to write a masters thesis in 2 months [Easy steps to start writing]

Writing a master’s thesis is completely possible to write a thesis within two months as long as you stay completely focused on your writing and you do a little bit every single day. I was able to write my thesis (master’s and PhD) in approximately two months – but I did have some of the sections already prepared.

To complete your master’s thesis in two months you should start by creating an outline of the sections and headings of your thesis. Then, worked diligently to fill in the gaps with data and analysis.

It would help if you create a schedule of how many sections you need to complete a day to write up in two months.

Also, it is important that you get your supervisor on board from the earliest opportunity so that they understand the urgency and their responsibility of getting any drafts back to you in a timely fashion.

How long does it take to write a master’s or graduate thesis?

Writing a graduate thesis can be a long and arduous process that can take anywhere from one month to many years.

It is essential to start writing your thesis early in your final year of graduate school, as it requires extensive research, data collection and analysis, in addition to the actual writing.

It is important that you go into the thesis writing portion of your degree with as much of the data analysis done as possible.

When you are writing you want to focus 100% on the production of words on a page.

Depending on the topic and depth of study, it can take anywhere from six weeks to two or three months just to complete the first draft.

This is followed by further revisions and edits before finalizing the dissertation.

My 8 tips on how to write a thesis or dissertation in two months

Writing a thesis or dissertation in two months can be a daunting task, but it is certainly possible. This assumes that you have all of the data analysis done and you are literally just writing up what you have found.

Here are eight tips that can help you finish writing your thesis in 30 days:

  • Start by breaking up the task into manageable chunks and set deadlines for each stage of the process. This will make it easier to stay on track and not become overwhelmed by the whole project.
  • Make sure to give yourself enough time to do a thorough literature review, as this is an important part of any thesis or dissertation. Many people have already completed the literature review in the early stages of their graduate degree. Revisit and use as much of this literature review is possible and add the research from recent years.
  • Write your first draft as quickly as possible; don’t worry too much about grammar and spelling right now, that comes later. It is all about getting the words out onto the page as quickly as possible.
  • Set aside some time every day for writing your thesis; even if it’s only an hour or two, this will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the entire writing process. I used to work in two hour blocks. I was able to squeeze three of these in a day which meant I got a lot of writing done.
  • Don’t forget to use helpful tools like Grammarly to ensure the quality of your work is at its highest level before submitting it for review.
  • Take regular breaks during your writing sessions; this will help you stay fresh and focused on what needs to be done next. I used to take a break every two hours away from my screen and ensure that I refuelled with good food and caffeine.
  • Seek feedback from other PhD students or experts in your field; getting constructive criticism can help you improve the quality of your thesis significantly before submitting. However, do not allow people to sit on the draft for ages. We need a quick turnaround if we are going to complete your thesis in two months.
  • Finally, plan ahead and stick to deadlines; this will help keep you on track with completing your thesis in a month’s time!

If you want to know more about how to finish a masters thesis in two months check out my other video where I show you the unglamorous trues about writing a thesis.

Understanding what you are going into and what is likely to happen is half the battle.

If you want to know more about how long a Masters’s thesis and PhD dissertation is you can check out my other articles:

  • How Long is a Masters Thesis? [Your writing guide]
  • How long is a PhD dissertation? [Data by field]
  • Is writing a masters thesis hard? Tips on how to write a thesis

What are the common structures of a Masters’s thesis?

The common structure of a thesis or dissertation usually includes:

  • the main text,
  • literature review,
  • methodology,
  • results and discussions
  • conclusions

Depending on the school and field of study, there may be additional elements such as appendices.

Generally speaking, the first step in writing a thesis or dissertation is to create a literature review that assesses relevant academic sources related to the topic at hand. This is typically done in the early stages of your research project so you can reuse many parts of your literature review in your thesis. Just make sure you update it with new information.

Then, the methodology section outlines how research was conducted and what methods were used.

The main text presents your findings and conclusions based on your research and the final part of the thesis is to summarise everything you have just written in an abstract.

Each section must be written with clarity and accuracy in order to be accepted by graduate school. However, initially you only have to worry about getting your ideas out onto the page – you can refine them for clarity and accuracy in the editing stage.

Here are all of the sections of a typical master’s thesis and how to write them quickly.

Introduction/literature review

The introduction and literature review are an important part of any academic paper. It outlines the topic, provides background information, and introduces the research question.

The introduction is typically the first section of a paper and should explain the general context and importance of the research being undertaken.

The literature review follows the introduction and provides an overview of relevant previous studies, theories, or debates related to the paper’s research question.

This section may include summaries of key articles or books that have been published on the topic, as well as alternative perspectives and arguments.

A strong literature review will provide a comprehensive summary of prior work while also identifying gaps in knowledge that can be addressed by the current study.

Reuse your literature review from the early stages of your project and update it with more recent publications.

Methodology in a thesis

this is the part of the thesis which details the methods used in researching and writing the paper.

The methodology should include information on how data was collected, analyzed, and interpreted.

I quite often like to start with the methodology because it feels like I am making a lot of progress whilst it being a relatively easy to write.

Feel free to look at other people’s theses that have used the same techniques and follow a similar format that they used. It is common for research groups to share their methodology sections with each other including any schematics required to describe your research process.

You can republish these as long as you reference the appropriate studies and people.

It can also explain why certain methods were chosen over others and provide justification for any assumptions made during the research process.

Results and discussion

Results and discussion provide a platform to present the findings of a research study.

They are essential components of any research paper as they provide an opportunity to analyze and interpret the data collected during the study.

Results typically include descriptive statistics, tables, figures, or graphs that display the main outcomes of the research.

These are what you should place under the headings first.

Create a story with the figures and tables you have already created throughout your research. If you haven’t done them already, create the figures and tables that display your data before writing.

The discussion section should explain how these results relate to prior studies and answer the original research question posed in the introduction.

It should also discuss any limitations or unexpected findings that emerged from the study, as well as potential implications for future research.

Conclusions in a thesis

Conclusions in a thesis are important because they provide readers with a final summary of the main points and themes discussed throughout the thesis.

The conclusion should not introduce any new information, but rather draw on existing evidence to summarize the overall argument presented in the thesis.

It should also reiterate the main points of the paper and include implications for further study or action that could be taken based on the findings.

Conclusions should be written in clear language, using strong arguments and evidence to support their claims.

It is really important to avoid making broad generalizations or unsubstantiated statements in one’s conclusions as this could weaken an otherwise sound argument.

The abstract of a thesis

The abstract of a thesis is a concise summary of the contents of the entire thesis.

And it should be written as one of the last parts of your thesis.

It should give an overview of all the major aspects discussed in the thesis, such as the research question, methodology, findings and conclusions.

The aim of an abstract is to give potential readers a clear idea of what the full dissertation contains without having to read it word for word.

An effective abstract should be concise and self-contained; it should be able to stand alone without needing any explanation or clarification from outside sources.

It should provide enough detail so that readers can determine whether they have an interest in reading the full dissertation.

Writing motivation

If you want to know more about how to increase your writing motivation check out my other video below.

Wrapping up

this article has been through everything you need to know about if you can write a Masters thesis in two months.

It is completely doable as long as you have all of the appropriate data and figures ready and you are committed to writing consistently throughout the two months.

Another really important part of completing your master’s thesis on time is getting buy in from your supervisors so that they return any drafts as quickly as possible.

Work diligently and consistently and in no doubt that you will be able to finish your master’s thesis in two months.

writing phd thesis in 2 months

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.

Thank you for visiting Academia Insider.

We are here to help you navigate Academia as painlessly as possible. We are supported by our readers and by visiting you are helping us earn a small amount through ads and affiliate revenue - Thank you!

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  • 12 March 2024

Bring PhD assessment into the twenty-first century

You have full access to this article via your institution.

A woman holding a cup and saucer stands in front of posters presenting medical research

Innovation in PhD education has not reached how doctoral degrees are assessed. Credit: Dan Dunkley/Science Photo Library

Research and teaching in today’s universities are unrecognizable compared with what they were in the early nineteenth century, when Germany and later France gave the world the modern research doctorate. And yet significant aspects of the process of acquiring and assessing a doctorate have remained remarkably constant. A minimum of three years of independent study mentored by a single individual culminates in the production of the doctoral thesis — often a magisterial, book-length piece of work that is assessed in an oral examination by a few senior academic researchers. In an age in which there is much research-informed innovation in teaching and learning, the assessment of the doctoral thesis represents a curious throwback that is seemingly impervious to meaningful reform.

But reform is needed. Some doctoral candidates perceive the current assessment system to lack transparency, and examiners report concerns of falling standards ( G. Houston A Study of the PhD Examination: Process, Attributes and Outcomes . PhD thesis, Oxford Univ.; 2018 ). Making the qualification more structured would help — and, equally importantly, would bring the assessment of PhD education in line with education across the board. PhD candidates with experience of modern assessment methods will become better researchers, wherever they work. Indeed, most will not be working in universities: the majority of PhD holders find employment outside academia.

writing phd thesis in 2 months

Collection: Career resources for PhD students

It’s not that PhD training is completely stuck in the nineteenth century. Today’s doctoral candidates can choose from a range of pathways. Professional doctorates, often used in engineering, are jointly supervised by an employer and an academic, and are aimed at solving industry-based problems. Another innovation is PhD by publication, in which, instead of a final thesis on one or more research questions, the criterion for an award is a minimum number of papers published or accepted for publication. In some countries, doctoral students are increasingly being trained in cohorts, with the aim of providing a less isolating experience than that offered by the conventional supervisor–student relationship. PhD candidates are also encouraged to acquire transferable skills — for example, in data analysis, public engagement, project management or business, economics and finance. The value of such training would be even greater if these skills were to be formally assessed alongside a dissertation rather than seen as optional.

And yet, most PhDs are still assessed after the production of a final dissertation, according to a format that, at its core, has not changed for at least half a century, as speakers and delegates noted at an event in London last month on PhD assessment, organized by the Society for Research in Higher Educatio n. Innovations in assessment that are common at other levels of education are struggling to find their way into the conventional doctoral programme.

Take the concept of learning objectives. Intended to aid consistency, fairness and transparency, learning objectives are a summary of what a student is expected to know and how they will be assessed, and are given at the start of a course of study. Part of the ambition is also to help tutors to keep track of their students’ learning and take remedial action before it is too late.

writing phd thesis in 2 months

PhD training is no longer fit for purpose — it needs reform now

Formative assessment is another practice that has yet to find its way into PhD assessment consistently. Here, a tutor evaluates a student’s progress at the mid-point of a course and gives feedback or guidance on what students need to do to improve ahead of their final, or summative, assessment. It is not that these methods are absent from modern PhDs; a conscientious supervisor will not leave candidates to sink or swim until the last day. But at many institutions, such approaches are not required of PhD supervisors.

Part of the difficulty is that PhD training is carried out in research departments by people who do not need to have teaching qualifications or awareness of innovations based on education research. Supervisors shouldn’t just be experts in their field, they should also know how best to convey that subject knowledge — along with knowledge of research methods — to their students.

It is probably not possible for universities to require all doctoral supervisors to have teaching qualifications. But there are smaller changes that can be made. At a minimum, doctoral supervisors should take the time to engage with the research that exists in the field of PhD education, and how it can apply to their interactions with students.

There can be no one-size-fits-all solution to improving how a PhD is assessed, because different subjects often have bespoke needs and practices ( P. Denicolo Qual. Assur. Educ. 11 , 84–91; 2003 ). But supervisors and representatives of individual subject communities must continue to discuss what is most appropriate for their disciplines.

All things considered, there is benefit to adopting a more structured approach to PhD assessment. It is high time that PhD education caught up with changes that are now mainstream at most other levels of education. That must start with a closer partnership between education researchers, PhD supervisors and organizers of doctoral-training programmes in universities. This partnership will benefit everyone — PhD supervisors and doctoral students coming into the research workforce, whether in universities or elsewhere.

Education and training in research has entered many secondary schools, along with undergraduate teaching, which is a good thing. In the spirit of mutual learning, research doctoral supervisors, too, will benefit by going back to school.

Nature 627 , 244 (2024)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-024-00718-0

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  1. How to write a masters thesis in 2 months [Easy steps to start writing

    writing phd thesis in 2 months

  2. How To Write a Better PhD Thesis/Dissertation?

    writing phd thesis in 2 months

  3. Write PhD thesis in 2 months: 9 Easy Strategy Tips

    writing phd thesis in 2 months

  4. How to finish a PhD thesis quickly

    writing phd thesis in 2 months

  5. Guide to Write a PhD Thesis

    writing phd thesis in 2 months

  6. HOW TO WRITE A THESIS: Steps by step guide

    writing phd thesis in 2 months


  1. Writing That PhD Thesis

  2. Expert Tips for WRITING an EXCELLENT Research Methodology

  3. PhD Thesis: Background Writing for Chapter 1 By Dr Thava

  4. Mastering the Thesis: A Six-Month Journey

  5. PhD Thesis Writing Advice

  6. Decoding the PhD Journey: Why Your Thesis Is Important


  1. How I wrote a PhD thesis in 3 months

    Targets and consistency. I set myself a target of 3 months, broken down into targets for each chapter. This would give me about 3 months in reserve before the final absolute deadline. I had a daily minimum target of 500 words, which I knew I could meet even on the least productive days.

  2. Write PhD thesis in 2 months: 9 Easy Strategy Tips

    Key strategy tips:1) How long is a PhD thesis? You've written annual reports, literature reviews, and methods. Recycle them and use software like Mendeley an...

  3. Write Your PhD Thesis In One Month Or Less

    Write Your PhD Thesis In One Month Or Less. Thesis/dissertation writing need not be a multi-month ordeal that makes you pull your hair out and roll up into a fetal position. The trick is to get a head start, set goals and deadlines, and work steadily—not feverishly—toward that ultimate satisfaction of handing your magnum opus to the ...

  4. Insider's Guide: Writing A Thesis When You're Short On Time

    Instead of inserting "work on thesis" into your calendar, insert measurable goals like "finish Figure 1" or "write two pages of Chapter 2.". 7. Write In Very Short Bursts. Writing in several short bursts is more efficient than writing in a few, long extended periods of time. If you ever tried to write for several hours in a row, you ...

  5. How to Write a PhD Thesis: 13 Tips For PhD Thesis Writing

    Strive to be understood and avoid unnecessary words. Be persistent and eager - Writing a doctoral thesis becomes easier if you are consistent and dedicated. All other things being equal, your attitude will ultimately determine your success. Have patience and work hard. Create work you will be proud of for a lifetime.

  6. A Guide to Writing a PhD Thesis

    A PhD thesis is a work of original research all students are requiured to submit in order to succesfully complete their PhD. The thesis details the research that you carried out during the course of your doctoral degree and highlights the outcomes and conclusions reached. The PhD thesis is the most important part of a doctoral research degree ...

  7. 12 Steps to plan, draft, write and finish a PhD thesis or dissertation

    1. Selecting a Research Title to Write a PhD thesis. Choose a specific, relevant, and feasible research title aligned with your interests and the existing literature. 2. Creating a Structured Plan: Develop a detailed plan with milestones, deadlines, and tasks to serve as a roadmap throughout the research process. 3.

  8. How to Write a Doctoral Dissertation in Two Months

    Step 2: On a sheet of lined paper, write time slots down the left column. Next, fill in the blanks for each time slot with a task that you will accomplish that day. Think of it as a tiny check list. You do one thing from 9:00-10:00. Take a 15-minute break. Then from 10:15-11:00, complete the next task. If you can work six hours in one day, then ...

  9. 10 tips for writing a PhD thesis

    Think carefully about your writing. Write your first draft, leave it and then come back to it with a critical eye. Look objectively at the writing and read it closely for style and sense. Look out for common errors such as dangling modifiers, subject-verb disagreement and inconsistency.

  10. Tips for writing a PhD dissertation: FAQs answered

    A PhD thesis (or dissertation) is typically 60,000 to 120,000 words ( 100 to 300 pages in length) organised into chapters, divisions and subdivisions (with roughly 10,000 words per chapter) - from introduction (with clear aims and objectives) to conclusion. The structure of a dissertation will vary depending on discipline (humanities, social ...

  11. How Long Does It Take to Write a PhD Dissertation: A ...

    An average timeline for writing a Best PhD dissertation is generally 12-18 months, but this is just the writing part. The complete process, including research, can take 3-4 years.

  12. How to finish a PhD thesis quickly

    How do you finish a Ph.D. quickly? Well, it takes a lot of dedication and ruthlessness towards how you spend your time. Follow these 5 tips and you'll be abl...

  13. PhD Thesis First Draft: 8 Practical Writing Tips for PhD Students

    Set a target deadline for completion: Another top writing tip for PhD students is to set a delivery date and stay committed to it. You can also share this goal with a broader set of people (peers, supervisor, friends, etc.), who will act as catalysts on the journey of writing your PhD thesis first draft and in the time you've set for yourself.

  14. Rule of Three: advice on writing a PhD thesis

    Rule 2: prioritise papers and the thesis will follow. Papers are the priority. They are more useful to you and to your PI. But this advice isn't motivated by self-interest. If you go into the viva and the work in your thesis is already peer reviewed and published, it's harder for the examiners to criticise it.

  15. Procrastinated and now I have 1 month to write my thesis

    I procrastinated 3 months away and did 90% of the research and writing in about one month for my 40 page minimum master's thesis. You can see a flurry of activity on my github in the 1-1.5 weeks of writing. I'm now doing a PhD straight out of my master's. You'll be okay.

  16. Finishing your PhD thesis: 15 top tips from those in the know

    8) Get feedback on the whole thesis. "We often get feedback on individual chapters but plan to get feedback from your supervisor on the PhD as a whole to make sure it all hangs together nicely ...

  17. My thesis is due in two months. If I do not submit in this ...

    Update us in 2 months when you have your PhD, please, [future] Doctor. ... Write one paragraph a day, edit one sentence, make one image. I had to write 60% of my thesis in 2 months to graduate on time, and if I took it as a whole it would have drowned me. I just took little steps and ignored the pile, just digging a little bit out every day.

  18. Is it possible to draft a thesis in 3 months? : r/PhD

    So, if you've done with the research, and is just outstanding around 50-60 percent of the write-up, I believe 3 months is totally doable. For context, I'm in the humanities field so if you're in a profoundly different field, things may be different. 5.

  19. How to write a PhD thesis in three months? [closed]

    Sorted by: 15. Make an outline and a schedule, then follow the schedule. Include time for revision and feedback in your schedule. If you know all the content already, the writing can be done much faster than that. In my field, it is only necessary to write about 90 generously spaced pages, so three months is less than a page a day.

  20. How long does it take to write a PhD thesis?

    In total it took me 68 days to write up my thesis (NB 68 to write up the work, not 68 days to complete the PhD!) This is the equivalent of approximately 14 working weeks, assuming a five day week. It needs to be borne in mind, however, that I was a part-time student. In practice the writing up was done over the last seven months of the four and ...

  21. How to write a masters thesis in 2 months [Easy steps to start writing

    Actions. Week 1. Collect all of the data into one place and create a structure with all of the chapters and sections you want to write. Finish up any experiments quickly and make your data as presentable and "thesis ready" as possible. Start putting bullet points under each section so you understand what you want to write in each. Week 2.

  22. I have 2 months to write on my thesis. Please share with me ...

    I would write for about 2-4 hours each day, take a break for lunch, to run errands, do chores, etc. Then after dinner, I'd go back and reread/edit what I had written. That usually took about an hour. This whole routine was repeated almost every day, allowing me to produce about 10-15 pages/day. Took me about 2.5 months to finish the writing.

  23. Writing Phd Thesis in 2 Months

    Writing Phd Thesis in 2 Months - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. Scribd is the world's largest social reading and publishing site.

  24. Bring PhD assessment into the twenty-first century

    PhD thesis, Oxford Univ.; 2018). Making the qualification more structured would help — and, equally importantly, would bring the assessment of PhD education in line with education across the board.

  25. Ph.D. students shouldn't focus only on dissertation (opinion)

    In the humanities and social sciences, many people believe that completing a Ph.D. involves spending years conducting research to write a dissertation that "extends the boundary of human knowledge.". But the real story is quite different from that. Although key, fulfilling your research project is the least important aspect of your Ph.D.