True facts about doctoral thesis


Fact #1:

It will take a very long time. You might want to believe in false idols like the one who tells you that you can get this project done in a matter of weeks, but do not give in to that belief. This project is just as long as any other thesis you have composed.

Fact #2:

You need to create a meeting schedule with your review committee or advisor. If you have an advisor or review committee who is assigned to helping you throughout this process, you need to make your working schedule with them early on. They are just as busy, if not more so, than you are and they are doing you a favor by meeting with you regularly. So of course you want to take advantage of this opportunity, but you should do so respectfully. Ask them what days of the week are best for submitting drafts of your chapters and which days in the subsequent week are good for meeting to discuss previously submitted chapters. They might prefer you submit each chapter on a Thursday for review and meet the following Tuesday. They might prefer to handle everything during the week. You will never know until you ask.

Fact #3:


You need to create a personalized working schedule. You are going to be quite busy, and since this is a long endeavor, you will likely need to set aside a great deal of efforts on a regular basis to get some progress made on the project. You should set personal goals for yourself which are contingent upon the total number of pages or word count you must meet, and your final due date. For example, if you have three months left and only need to, at minimum, write 500 words per day once you begin the writing phase, then make that your absolute minimum. By having this goal, you can not only meet your goal but on some days you may find that your brain is much more creative, you may have slept better, and you churn out 2000 words. This is great because it means that if you get sick one day the following week or you are just exhausted and scheduling conflicts prevented your work time, then you do not have to worry about falling behind. If your goal is 500 words per day, and one week you do just 600 words per day, it may not seem like much more, but it will amount to one full days’ worth of work that you earned yourself for free. This extra day can be taken at the end of the writing phase, in the middle, or whenever you need a break.

Fact #4:


You will need to take care of yourself throughout this endeavor. It can become all too easy to forget about caring for yourself and to only focus on the work. But if you fail to sleep adequately, give up eating or showers for some extra study hours on a regular basis, or anything else, it will seriously detract from your work. While pushing yourself is a great motivator, there are times when you might push too much. Remember that if you are exhausted, and yet you continue to push, you might churn out only 200 words after two hours of mental struggle, whereas if you simply went to bed and allowed your mind to think it over, you might wake up refreshed and finish all 500 words in just 30 minutes, with two extra hours of sleep.