The challenge of doing a Ph.D. thesis is cause for anguish for many because it involves a huge amount of research. Managing the right methods to search, find and organize information is, in most cases, the key to achieving a successful, complete and distinctive Ph.D. thesis. Whether for end-of-degree work, master’s thesis, as well as for doctoral thesis, the research procedure will always be an essential aspect. Between correctly formulating a hypothesis, the techniques used in carrying out an investigation, the approach of the project to the presentation to the public, there is a long stretch of data search and organization that worries many people. In this extensive path is the timely consultation of books and publications that will help to verify a hypothesis rose, which will allow feed valuable and pertinent information to your Ph.D. thesis. What resources to use for the effective consultation of books and publications? What are the most appropriate sources today? Are they all reliable? In this work, we will try to provide all the answers regarding thesis help so that you can write an excellent Ph.D. thesis.
How to write a Ph.D. thesis
Not to be obvious should be overlooked. Before going through this process of constant exploration and discovery that is the research for your doctoral thesis, you must clearly define a topic. Specifying the content of your Ph.D. thesis is one of the most significant decisions in the research process and, without a doubt, one of the advisable ways to select it is that it is a subject not only attractive but one with which you have had some previous contact or previous interest. Likewise, you should not forget that you should relate to a topic as timely as possible. Once you have decided on the discipline of most interest to you, you should explore the environments covered by that discipline and then identify a specific problem or opportunity.
How long is a Ph.D. Thesis?
Regarding the bibliography, the choice of a topic is much more important than is believed. Will you investigate a classic or contemporary theme? Well, it is good that you know that a contemporary author is more difficult to face because the bibliography is almost always reduced, and when it is abundant, it turns out to be sometimes disjointed and ambiguous. Meanwhile, about a classic author, there are tangible interpretations on which an investigation can be initiated. This does not mean, of course, that you should select a classic theme over a contemporary one. It only implies that with the contemporary you should be much more careful and better contrast the available information.
How to start a thesis?
It is essential that you learn to look for bibliographic information on the subject you are investigating, that you stay up to date on everything that is published on the same subject and that you organize all this information. Why is it so important? First of all, because it will help you to really define the topic and know its background. But it will also be helpful to know what methodology you will use to address that issue. If you do not do what we have described, you may find yourself having a hard time investigating and developing a topic that another had already addressed in your Ph.D. thesis. So a tight bibliographic investigation is essential to guarantee the originality of the subject you selected for your Ph.D. thesis.
The inevitable Red
Although physical libraries still exist and are of great help, we know that to investigate you will first go to the Internet for practical reasons. The Network includes documents of various kinds, sorted and displayed in different and attractive ways. From articles in online magazines, documents placed on a web page, books and even manuals. There is a lot of information that you can use and quote from the Internet, as long as you strive to generate a unity of criteria in the presentation of citations from this source. But when doing your doctoral thesis you should emphasize directing your readers towards the information you have cited Ph.D. and of course, provide the exact addresses.
In your Ph.D. thesis, Internet references must present:
- Title or description of the document
- Date (maybe the publication, update or recovery)
- Uniform Resource Locator Address (URL)
- And if possible, identification of the authors.
Clarified these essential points for you to carry out your research, we will mention below some alternatives that you will find in the network to develop a Ph.D. thesis that meets the requirements demanded by most institutions.
Not everything is the Internet
We already know the ease of finding everything on the Internet. It may be a temptation difficult to resist but we advise you not to deprive yourself of the experience of going to a library, no matter what country you decide to go to. There the search is more accurate, more precise and, yes, it requires more time which does not mean that they will be tedious moments. On the contrary, they can be moments of greater knowledge and exploration.
It is good that you know that traditional libraries have reinvented themselves to offer a wide service to different types of users: students, passionate about reading, freelance workers, professionals who prepare a conference and much more. Going to the library is to enter a dynamic context that conveys the taste of knowledge. It is a silent environment that at the same time serves to meet people who seek wisdom or very specific information.
On the other hand, that inevitable charm that the paper book has is a pleasure that you cannot do without. And you can go to a place to consult the book you want without accumulating many titles at home. At the same time, it cannot be ignored that some libraries not only have value for their instructive content but that they are places of tourist interest from an architectural point of view. But otherwise, around the physical libraries, cultural activities are also carried out that improve the social life of the users.
All in one place
Just imagine everything you can find (and touch, and borrow) in a physical library. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, collections of original funds personal files, manuals, highly consulted texts, special collections, archives, theses, microfilms, collections of technical monographs or collections of specialized magazines. If it comes to thorough research, this is a great place. Each library has a catalog as the main information search tool.
The results will be displayed in order of relevance, making the most useful references located at the top of the catalog page. A correct review of references is a fundamental step when researching in a physical library. Now you are ready to face the challenge of preparing the best doctoral thesis. As you already know ‘How to add creativity in your PhD Thesis’ so to achieve your goal for writing a perfect thesis you must use the appropriate methods to recognize, discover and systematize information. And you are aware that with many of the tools we have given you, an Internet search will be quick and effective. But you also know that one or more visits to the closest physical library will be of great use for the investigation of the subject of your Ph.D. thesis and for an optimal final result.
How to write an Effective Ph.D. Thesis?
Michael Steele, a professor in the department of statistics at the Wharton School, attached to the University of Pennsylvania, has written a series of tips to his Ph.D. students who, in particular, have given me a lot of encouragement and lifted my spirit after a Small academic and emotional debacle. These comments have great significance because they come from an experienced person who has dedicated his entire life to the teaching of this beautiful branch of knowledge. Below is my personal summary of the advice of this wise character.
Process versus Product
A doctoral student takes four, five or (sadly) six years to obtain a Doctor’s degree. This is an important fraction of adult life and, surely, we all hope this period is fun. For some people, the time of study in the doctorate is one of the happiest, free and creative periods of their lives. Therefore, there should be no conflict between having fun and obtaining a doctoral degree. In fact, if the process is not fun, the student should consider a Plan B.
The life of a teacher is very similar to the life of a person who does twenty or thirty doctorates (if he dedicates himself exclusively to teaching). If the first doctorate is not fun, it is unlikely that the rest will be.
Any doctoral program has requirements that may seem stupid (or really are). There will always be some challenges to go through before joining the doctors’ guild. However, these barriers have been falling over the years. In the 1970s, at Stanford University, qualification exams were conducted without the help of notes, three hours in the morning, and three hours in the afternoon – one day for each subject of study. Half of the students did not pass the exam, which only had two possible results: passed or not. In some universities, no qualification exam is required, but one or two articles published in indexed journals
Writing the Thesis
There is a consensus that has evolved in the last twenty years: The most effective way to write a Ph.D. thesis is not to write a Ph.D. thesis, or at least not to write a Ph.D. thesis in a classical way. The strategy is to focus efforts on the publication of articles and submit them to indexed journals as soon as possible. It is expected that during the third and fourth year, the student can create several works that can be published. In this way, the Ph.D. thesis concluded will only require stapling all the articles. This practice should become a custom, to be a teacher it is necessary to publish, so you need to show at least a couple of articles from day one.
How to start?
Here begins the good news; there is a whole department made up of people who:
- They will help you take the first step towards identifying a problem,
- They will train you in creating the first result,
- They will suggest how this could be generalized to continue working,
- They will tell you when it will be enough to start writing a Ph.D. thesis
- They will work close to you to put the first article in a way that meets the standards of scientific publication and
- They will examine this first article through the publishing process
During almost all their life, the professors of the department go through this process two or three times a year. By definition, this task should be very fun for every student and teacher. Therefore, you should not worry about:
Find a problem: This kind of thing must come incorporated with the ties of the professors of the department. Now it is the teacher’s responsibility to identify an area of study to deepen and work with you on the concrete development of this area
However, you will need to bring the following items to the party:
- Three hours a day of genuine research (pencil in hand)
- Two hours a day of genuine reading
You have never heard of a student who has worked like this for five days a week for two or three years who has not been able to complete his Ph.D. thesis.
Searching for problems
There is no problem selection strategy that is guaranteed. As Frank Spitzer, a professor at Cornell University said: “The important thing is not the theorem but the phenomenon that originates the theorem.” In practical terms the plan is as follows:
- Consider almost every problem of interest
- Become familiar with the key results. If there are demonstrations, learn them. If there are computational calculations, replicate them.
- Find and fix the wrong definitions. This is a real problem in applied work. Take the classic story and ask yourself if it really fits the state of nature.
- Identify the central problem of the study area. Express the problem in your own words and you will find distinctions that were not noticed in previous work.
- Remember it, focus on the problem, then the same problem will take you along routes that have not been considered.
- Once you find concrete or empirical theoretical results, even if they are modest, write them down.
- Relax a little. Do not worry about how to fit the small pieces of the puzzle. Eventually, these will fit.
- Talk to others about what you are doing. We learn too much when we try to explain our work to others.
- That first article will take a good time, usually much larger than the second article takes.
You must be honest with yourself and your teachers about your expectations in the medium term. Once things are going well, you will be publishing two or three articles a year. But meanwhile:
- If you are attending your Ph.D. thesis, you must be the best in your community. It is essential that you do an honorable job in teaching the courses you have in charge.
- Publish a blog where you can put something about your concerns and personality. However, the main purpose of an academic website is to publish academic achievements. Specifically, publish your articles on the WEB as soon as they are ready to be submitted to an international magazine. Make sure the format (Word or PDF) is as indicated.
- Win prizes. In your department, faculty or university. But, don’t feel that you should win a prize. Only hard work guarantees your success.
- Give great talks. In this matter, a lot of practice is never enough. Remember that talk should have a beginning and an end that you should identify the key concepts and results that you should end just in time and that you should thank the audience for applauding you in time.
Remember that the optimal strategy is to publish as fast as possible. Here are some principles that will help you in the editorial process. If your article was published once, it is simply worth publishing twice. Deepen this concept. Find TOP examples. It’s not about playing everything with a Xerox machine. An article needs technical and historical content. If an editor advises you to change something, the optimal strategy will be to change it and send the document again as soon as possible, say in a day or maximum in a week. If you write an article that is rejected, do not worry. Remember that life is random. Take into account the comments of the referees, read them carefully, make the relevant changes and send it back to another magazine. Again, this process does it fast. Close the cycle in a maximum week.