How To Add Creativity In Your Ph.D. Thesis

How To Add Creativity In Your Ph.D. Thesis


A Ph.D. thesis is one of life’s greater accomplishments, and there is a lot to be said to people who have gotten far enough in their education to be doing their PhD thesis. These people have worked laboriously, day and night, missing vacations and major family time to achieve this. For those of you who don’t know, PhDs are hard and require ten times more effort than you probably ever put into college. There are many reasons why PhDs are so challenging, but one of the major reasons is the thesis. In order to complete your Ph.D. you need to submit a thesis that showcases your research into the field and sheds light on some information that can contribute to the field of your Ph.D. like a new discovery.

When writing a thesis at that level, it can be very difficult to write in a manner that can be understood by laymen, because the work must show academic integrity and the concepts that the work may aim to explain might prove to be too complex. That is why adding a new layer of creativity might seem a very difficult task. In order to make your thesis sound different, and in order to make it stand out you might feel compelled to add some creativity to it but you might also be afraid that you might undermine the actual value of your own work.

What is a Creative Thesis?

It is a common notion that creativity and academia do not belong together, if you believe in this too, then you have no business reading the rest of this article. Because here we will try and explore the various ways in which a Ph.D. thesis can be made creative without undermining the value of its academic contributions. It will be a very difficult task but it is not impossible. A creative thesis is really just you expressing your understanding of your doctoral subject and research through any medium necessary. While 10 years ago creative thesis was not that common, today there are several examples of creative thesis all around. People have submitted their thesis in all forms, some have made an entire thesis on video while others have created a web-based thesis, and others still have been able to submit their thesis in forms of comic books. So there really isn’t any limit to how far you can go, if your supervisor allows it.

What You Should Know

The first thing you want to do is find out your department’s policy on the medium of submission, and how open your supervisor is to the whole idea of bringing something new to the table. If your supervisor isn’t in support of you trying something different, consult other supervisors on the matter. Try and get an idea of just how rigid these rules are.

You should also understand that the more creative a thesis the greater the risk involved. You should be absolutely certain that you can express the ideas of your thesis clearly and articulately. If you can’t be absolutely certain of your expression, then don’t waste your time on it. You have probably worked hard on your thesis and you do not want to lose that knowledge you have gained over time just because you couldn’t express it properly.

You should also know that creating a creative thesis will take time and effort, and it will require planning ahead. This means that if you are already short on time you should not be trying to pull off a creative thesis, because it can do more harm than good. All in all, according to Helen Kara, more and more people are submitting a creative thesis and more and more faculty is supporting the notion of it.

How to Add Creativity

There are literally millions of ways to get creative with your thesis, and it really just depends on you and your creative energies. Remember Minecraft – the game, it too was a thesis submission. Can you imagine the possibilities you might have, here’s what we want you to know:

  1. Deepen understanding of your topic:

In order to express yourself effectively, you need to make sure that you understand completely what you are going to be saying. The panel which will judge your thesis will probably have more experience than you and will criticize your work. In order to be able to defend your expression of it, you need to be sure that you understand what it is that you will be expressing and just how it can affect the subject. You might break new ground, or you might not, but you are going to have to be able to live with the consequences.

  1. Deepen understanding of the form you will be using:

In order to effectively express yourself, you need to make sure you understand the art form you will be using. If you are going to be making a video documentary than you need to make sure that you understand all the elements that go into it. For example lighting, quality of audio and video, how best to capture your defined elements, etc. Understand the art form you will be using to ensure that you can defend your stance. Again, your method is unconventional and will need more defending than usual.

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  1. Go all in:

If you are doing something risky, you might as well do it right. You will have to dedicate yourself completely and entirely. There will be bad times, where you will feel hopeless, but you’ll have to pull through it on your own because no one will be able to help you out. If something like this is going to work, it’s going to work because of your dedication to the idea, You have to believe in it even if no one else does.

  1. Know you might have no one to follow:

Your thesis will probably be one of a kind, and so you might not have guidance that other people have so easily. You might not have someone to answer questions like how long does it take to write a Ph.D. thesis, how many research questions should a Ph.D. thesis have.  You will not know a lot of things while going on this journey, but you will definitely learn a lot from it. Knowing you might be lighting the path for someone else, but you will have to go explore the dark path on your own first.

  1. There are no limits:

There are really no limits on how far you can go or should go. This point is really just is reiterating the going all in, it’s a risk worth taking. You can find examples of people who have done creative thesis online, it’s not only for a specific type of subject, anyone can do a creative thesis. Engineering majors can too; one engineering major wrote their thesis but added comics throughout it to explain key points. So, don’t be afraid, whichever field you come from and whatever art form you might feel like using, you can. The possibilities are endless.


The creative thesis is becoming increasingly accepted in all fields, and If you feel like pulling one off, give it a shot by all means, but do understand the risks involved in it. With a creative thesis, it might difficult to get help by simply saying “write an essay for me” You will have to do better.


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