A PhD is the ultimate degree. Getting a doctorate is a matter of honour, as it reflects your knowledge, perseverance and hard work. While there is glory to a PhD, the road to it takes work. The long years of research and writing take a lot of determination to overcome all the challenges.
At Siliconchips Services, we’ve copyedited, proofread and typeset over a thousand theses on every topic imaginable. Here are five tips to keep in mind when writing your PhD thesis.
1. Have a solid plan to complete your PhD thesis
It takes years to assemble a PhD thesis, and you can quickly lose track without a proper plan. Although your plan can change over the years, having one helps you focus on the job at hand and prevents procrastination, as you can see the steps to reach your final goal.
2. Make a note of references and sources as you go
While researching for your thesis, you’re likely to read many reference books and journals. It is imperative to ensure that you note the references and sources you found helpful for your thesis. Even if you don’t use them, noting them down saves you a lot of time and effort at the end. The bibliography is an integral part of every PhD thesis, and without providing accurate information on your reference sources (as per the house style), your thesis will not be accepted. If you borrowed an idea from another book, you also need to mention the name of the writer, the book's name and the date of publication.
3. Have a support group
Thesis writing can be lonely, but you don’t need to isolate yourself. If you’re lucky enough to have a good supervisor or mentor, they will help ensure your thesis is on track. However, creating a support team for yourself is a good idea to bolster motivation and be a shoulder to lean on if your supervisor or mentor is busy. Get in touch with peers and recent graduates who have gone through the process of writing their thesis, guide you through the practical details of writing one, and help you when you get stuck.
4. Be prepared to write and rewrite
Writing a PhD thesis is complex. You’ll probably end up writing and rewriting your thesis many times until it is perfect. Experts suggest writing as you go instead of leaving all the writing to the end of your research. Your write-up does not need to be in the correct order; you can rearrange and bring together all the parts at the end. Remember, rewriting is inevitable for your PhD thesis, so don’t beat yourself up about not getting it right the first or fifth time!
5. Grammar and spelling matter
Your research's content and results are the focus of any PhD thesis. However, this doesn’t mean you can ignore grammar and spelling errors. Grammatical and spelling mistakes can ruin the flow of the content, making it unreadable. Spending a good amount of time editing and proofreading your content is crucial. Look for subject-verb disagreements, dangling modifiers, passive voice, repetitive phrases or words, etc. When it comes to spelling, you should either follow British English or American English, as per your house style. You can use AI tools like Grammarly, but remember these don’t always pick up everything, so manual proofreads and spell checking is still required.
Get help from experienced editors and proofreaders
If you’ve run out of time or motivation to get your PhD thesis across the grammar and proofreading line, contact us today. Our team of professional and experienced native language editors and proofreaders can ensure that your thesis is error-free.