The skills that you will build while writing your dissertation will last you throughout your career. But at the same time writing a dissertation is not a one-shot deal. It is quite unlike the detailed study strategies that you develop so that you can pass your comprehensive exam. Here you will build in the process a set of valuable research techniques. A few of the useful techniques you will learn in the process are thinking analytically, synthesizing complicated information, writing well, and effective time management. These will serve you well regardless of the career you choose. If you are doing doctoral research, bright chances are that you will choose a career in academia, and the skills you nurture while writing your theses will in due course help you to write books, articles, and lectures for many years to come. Not only this, the document may become an important part of your career.
So, should you not ensure that you give your best foot forward in creating a document that is worth the best grades and makes you feel proud all your life?
If you take care of a few things in building your dissertation, you can further develop it into a series of books and keep revising it over the years with the new addition and make a document that serves as a source of information and knowledge for the ones interested.
Let us here look at a few tricks and techniques that can help you to build a great thesis and procure the best grades ever.
1. Ensure to meet the PhD requirements for your institution/University:
A lot of PhD students go by the words of their supervisor and presume things without checking them. Sometimes the supervisor may not give you the complete information and assume that you know and it can put you in a catch-22 situation. Let us look at an example here:
A supervisor told his scholar to create about three hundred pages for the thesis and the scholar followed the instructions without cross-checking about the spacing requirements. The supervisor meant double spacing but did not specify and the scholar complied with the three hundred pages requirement in single spacing, ultimately making the document over four hundred pages. It increased the work of the student to get rid of all the extra words at the last minute, not to mention all the extra effort that went into creating those additional hundred pages.
From this simple example, you should learn to ensure that check the finer lines in the context of the requirements of your university and do not rely only on the words of the supervisor, batch mates, or any other person you think knows it all. Only what is documented is the right and authentic source.
2. Keep your perspective in place:
How many theses have you read of your peers or other colleagues? Well, I am pretty sure if they are not relevant to your topic, your answer would be none. This is going to be applicable in the case of your document as well. Do not expect your peer to go through your thesis and you must not write it to impress anyone in that league. Your perspective is to create a document that aligns well with the research aim you have established with your supervisor along with staying focused with the guidelines set by the university.
Do not try to create an amazing document, your magnum opus only with the purpose of impressing one and all. Remember, no one is interested and is ever going to read that document of yours, so you do not have to lose perspective here.
3. Keep the Introduction for the last:
As per the sequence of your document, the introduction is the first chapter and logically you would write the first chapter right in the beginning. But hey, do apply logic here.
You must write the introduction and conclusion together. Imagine these first and last chapters as threads that would tie your document together into a neat bundle.
Save the introduction for the last and you will thank me for this tip at the end because it will wrap your thesis in a way that is not just neat but also well-aligned. If you still decide to write your introduction in the beginning, let me give you a soft warning that you will have to do it again, in the end, to match with what you do in the conclusion. So please take this as a very relevant tip and do not forget to thank me later when you realize how valuable it is.
4. Make use of Technology:
Your smartphone can become your closest ally when you are trying to do your thesis. Would you wonder, will it do your research for you? Surely not but writing a thesis requires juggling multiple tasks at a point of time along with deadlines to meet, ideas to store, and a lot of other management to do.
There are a lot of useful apps available that can serve as brilliant project management tools that allow you to create boards on which you can pin all your outstanding tasks, deadlines, and ideas.
You can also create checklists so that you have all the important tasks listed and handy as well and you are not worried about forgetting anything but focus on what is on hand. Do try to organize your to-do list and deadlines with the use of these handy apps that can sort out your mental confusion and allow you to stay sorted. Why not?
5. Do not ignore the answered questions:
There will always be unanswered questions and unresolved issues that your thesis would open up inevitably. Do not ignore them or even worse obfuscate them. On the contrary, bring the attention back to the unresolved questions and identify them specifically in your conclusion as areas for further investigation.
Be prepared for a bad PhD VIVA and poor grades if you have evaded the unresolved issues, specifically the ones that have been opened by your thesis.
6. Have your own Printer:
Well, did you ever think about it? Having your own printer before you start writing your thesis?
It is going to be imperative to take multiple prints, editing, and reprinting to be done at multi/blog/15-tricks-polish-dissertation-thesis-highest-grades/?preview_id=386&preview_nonce=941cf67f98&post_format=standard&_thumbnail_id=-1&preview=trueple stages. Doing editing and proofreads on hard prints is easier and many a times valid excuse to get up from your desk.
So, without thinking too much, invest in a good printer and make your PhD journey not just easier but also upscale the quality of your thesis.
7. Keep doing intermittent checks:
If you feel that you will do all the proofreading and checks in your thesis in the end and make a flawless job of it. Well, do not rely too much on this idea.
There are two reasons for this. One is that your brain is going to get tired of continuously writing and doing analysis. To break the monotony, allocate days on which you will do checking of what you have writte/blog/15-tricks-polish-dissertation-thesis-highest-grades/?preview_id=386&preview_nonce=941cf67f98&post_format=standard&_thumbnail_id=-1&preview=truen, bibliography, and quotations. Second, if you sit through proofreading and checking in one go. Even if you make your document error free you may not enrich it better on quality. For this, you will have to keep working, re-reading, and checking from time to time to upscale the quality.
8. Look for Feedback:
You might take feedback as you write chapters. Your supervisor will approve chapters as you keep doing them. But do make sure you take expert feedback not just from your supervisor but other authorities accessible to you in your field on the compiled document. Their feedback will give you the assurance that it all hangs out together or not.
This is because ultimately your thesis is not individual chapters but how the chapters connect with each other and graduate seamlessly from one to another. You can even opt for professional feedback services in case you feel short of expert opinions. This is going to bring your thesis to the next level.
9. Make sure you predict the timeline well:
Your supervisor might give you tentative and vague statements such as “You are nearly there!!” or “It’s a matter of time.”
But because it is your thesis, you must know precisely how much time it will take. Whether nearly there means three months or six months, that clarity should be there with you to be able to plan things meticulously and keep yourself geared up for the next stage.
10. Prepare well for the VIVA:
The VIVA is as important as the thesis as the opinion of the panel or the examiners can change the outcome of the entire effort, even if according to you, your thesis is perfect and up to the mark. How do you ensure a positive and approved opinion of the examiners and the grades that you aspire to?
You need to be prepared well with what you have created and have answers to all the questions you have handled in your thesis and the ones that have erupted in the process of your research. It is going to be better to have a mock viva and you can request your supervisor to do it for you.
I am sure if your supervisor is your well-wisher, then he will comply to give you one or more dry runs to be able to give a perfect show in front of the panel of examiners.
11. Build your own style of presentation:
Absorb from whatever you hear from your supervisor or read from existing literature but ultimately your thesis is only yours to be claimed for life. How you write and how you present your ideas and speak them out should be your innovative style.
Attend to the suggestions that your supervisor gives regarding the revision of your work but at the same time retain your own style of writing.
Pay attention to the innovative writing style of the novelists that you admire and create a style that matches your work and makes it not just effective but also compelling and believable. Know that being yourself and innovative in your own style is the best way to stand out. Imitating what others do will surely make your work lose its novelty and originality.
12. Do not waste time padding:
What does that mean? Well, your research is not a race of a greater number of page counts you can have.
The principle here is, more is not always better. So do not focus on increasing the page count and so do not waste your time padding and unnecessarily increasing the number of pages.
Write only as much is sufficient to incorporate all that is necessary for your research and repeating or adding adjectives or beating around the bust is going to bring down the quality of your work to a great extent.
13. Find yourself a work buddy:
Build chemistry with a colleague, partner or a friend who is willing to support you. Bring up your milestones, goals, fears, and apprehensions with them and agree to be honestly accountable to them.
Make sure the person you rely on is there for you and aligns with your work goals in terms of them being realistic and achievable.
If the person you are counting on is nagging or is a hassle in your journey, withdraw. You need a support system and not someone who further triggers your stress levels.
14. Do not run for Perfectionism:
Nothing in this world is more crippling than running after being perfect. Go for excellence in your job but do not strive to create a masterpiece without any scope for improvement.
That is a utopian concept and will build upon your stress levels to another level. Bring excellence to your work and perfection in your input. The output you get will always reflect your effort but will always have the scope of enrichment and improvement, let that remain and that is something that will make your thesis have its own place and originality. Own the flaws and limitations of your work.
15. Do not ignore yourself:
Fresh air, coffee breaks, working out, sunshine, fresh air, catching up with friends, and taking intermittent breaks. all of this and more is mandatory for survival.
Focus on that and know that you do not have to lose yourself in the process of creating a document. You are much more than your thesis and look after yourself.