In fact, my experiences in the last few months of my PhD was the most enjoyable. It took a lot of planning and hard work. Planning is probably the most important step when it comes to a thesis. The idea is to spread the workload over a prolonged time rather than cram everything into those last few months before the dreaded deadline approaches. I spent ages staring at a blank screen when I started writing my masters dissertation and another big-ish report for PhD transfer.
From previous experiences, I knew that the brain switch to the writing mode comes after a great struggle and ample hours of procrastination and unproductiveness. However, with careful planning, this brain-switching transition process can be smooth, enabling efficient write-up process. Write experimental procedures and make high-quality figures throughout your PhD that could go straight into your thesis. A year before the deadline, I exactly knew what my chapters were going to be, and I had almost all data for two of the three result chapters.
Nine months before the due date, I began to outline the framework of the thesis and listed subheadings of each chapter. Optimistically, even for the one that required more data. Therefore, I could just do it when I was bored or during free moments in between lab experiments. It was a great thing to do because I was already thinking about my writing up while still generating data, and without exhausting myself.
After outlining chapters and their subsections, it was time to start filling in the thesis. I began by working on possibly the hardest and the biggest part of my thesis: figures. The aim was to make roughly one figure for each subheading in the chapter. Planning this bit was relatively straightforward because I used the subheading that I had outlined earlier as a template, i. I then started making the figures while still working full-time in the lab. The best chance to do this is when you report to your supervisor s.
Another handy thing to do, especially for PhD involving experiments, is to write your Materials and, Methods sections as you carry out new procedures throughout your PhD.
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Once I finished making the figures, I stopped working in the lab because I wanted to focus entirely on writing. Wait until you finish the whole chapter or even the entire thesis.
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Once I finished writing the figure legends, I simply wrote a paragraph or two describing each figure, which nearly completed the result chapters. An excerpt from this page:. In Australia : completion requirements vary by school, however all require completion of an original research thesis or dissertation that makes a significant new contribution to the field. Most Australian PhD programs do not have a required coursework component or a formal oral defense as part of the doctoral examination largely due to distances that would need to be traveled by the overseas examiners.
The PhD thesis is sent to three external examiners, experts in the field of research, who have not been involved in the work. Examiners are nominated by the candidate's University often by the Head of Department or Research Office , and their identities are often not officially revealed to the candidate until the examination is complete. Also note there can be significant differences between different universities in the same country and different departments in the same university!
Read here for information specific to the thesis assessment at UQ. Fortunately, you no longer need to print physical copies of your thesis - your school will take care of this for you. I had almost figures, so to get under the required 70 MB limit I had to decrease my pictures to dpi! Note that the assessors are supposed to submit their reports within two months, after which you can ask your postgrad coordinator to sent them a "please hurry up" e-mail. So there you have it! You now have the skeleton for your thesis, and instructions on how to use it. Now you have a this skeleton you will hopefully feel inspired to start writing into it!
Since the correct styles and sections have been set up, it should be easy keep applying the styles as you go, and before printing it will be easy to make any modifications to the styles if you want to jazz it up. It's important to realize that while most universities and institutes claim to have "rules", they are often there to be broken. For example many people get away with merging Results and Discussion, and many people get away with some crazy formatting. My most important advice is this: don't just save regularly At least every week you should copy your "Thesis.
Writing my PhD thesis in LaTeX: my personal experience
The most common thing which happens is the document can just suddenly become corrupt, and no-one can open it. Worst still you entire computer with all your data can die: hence you should also back it to another computer eg: you home computer , or a backup server in another building or better yet a different city. Fires do occur in buildings disgruntled post-grads perhaps and cities are sometimes ravaged by natural disasters and you'd be left screwed.
This is by far the most time-consuming document you'll writing in you life, so if you have one copy you are a fool! Another concern is the file size of your thesis.
My PhD Thesis – Sean Harrison: Blog
If you have an older computer, it will probably choke as the size of your file increases. For this reason, many people opt to split there thesis into several word documents.
While not a bad idea, it can make it tricky to insert reference and so on. The thing which most affects file size however, is pictures, so as I advised before, only include thumbnails till your ready for the final thing. Some people like to keep a separate document with all their figures. Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top.
Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Is Google Docs an appropriate tool to write a PhD thesis? Ask Question.
Give it some style
Asked 4 months ago. Active 4 months ago. Viewed times. Buffy Dave Dave 1 1 bronze badge.
I have used libreoffice to import powerpoint presentations, and it is no end of trouble to maintain the formatting. I can imagine trying to maintain formatting of a large document that is frequently being converted between word and libreoffice being hard work. Do you have a plan for handling references and citations? Actually, if you read a docx into LibreOffice the default save format is the same, so it isn't quite the same as maintaining two versions.
Since you prefer latex I'd think you are already familiar with separating the writing and the formatting. Why bother to strictly maintain formatting until nearly the end?
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