How to start writing a PhD dissertation, 4 practical advice

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The problem of stupor before the beginning of the preparation of scientific work is known even to experienced authors and scientists. There are several practical recommendations that help overcome fear and start writing, we have gathered them together for you. So:

1. Where to start and in what sequence to write?

If you are not able to start writing, or, conversely, you are inherent in jumping from one thought to another, a chaotic presentation, you cannot do without using one of the methods described below to combine information into a coherent whole.

Two methods are convenient in use that structure knowledge in the head and on paper: from general to particular and vice versa, from particular to general. In the first case, start by describing the standard structure of the thesis – introduction, review of literature, choice of method, description of the experiment, description of the results, conclusions and conclusions – and move on, splitting the blocks into smaller ones, according to your vision of the work. The result will be a detailed plan, which can be implemented from any point until you fill all the blocks with information.

The second way is diametrically opposite: first, you fix small blocks of a future dissertation on paper (even if you only have names at the beginning – for example, “research novelty” or “prospects for applying the results”), and then distribute them in parts of a future dissertation, in accordance with the logic and construction work.

2. Write your PhD dissertation in electronic form

So you spend less time and can more easily edit blocks of text. There is another psychological trick: the printed text is easier to criticize and correct, you do not associate it with yourself and your work. This way it is easier to identify inconsistencies and errors that you would not have noticed in a handwritten draft.

Also in electronic form, it is easy to adjust the original parameters of the text – for example, to make the fields wider for the first editing of the supervisor and reduce them after all the comments are implemented. The same applies to new sections or paragraphs – they can easily be added to the table of contents without too much difficulty.

3. The recommended length of a PhD dissertation is about 300 pages.

Observe the recommended chapter sizes: 5-8 pages for introduction and conclusion, 50 per literature review and conclusions, the remaining volume – the methods and description of the study. Control the amount of text you have already written so that later you don’t have to cut the work. Bibliographic list and applications are not counted in the volume of the thesis and are not limited to recommendations in size.