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Advice on thesis writing - (May/26/2012 )

Im feeling stress and desperance of my PhD . I have to finish this year. I didnt even start to write my thesis since Im still working and learning..I dont have first author article yet , Im repeating some experiments for my article revision.
meanwhile I have to submit thesis by october. I guess that the writhing of PhD requires 3, 4 months.
I m not sure to be in time for that !!!
I want to ask PhD students or PhD according to their experience, the time of writhing and the method to follow to avoid losing time..


From my experience and comments my supervisor made whilst I was writing up. If you are working exclusively on writing and have strong writing and editing skills then 3-4 months is possible. For anyone with average writing skills at least 6 months writing will be required. Also, you will need to factor into your timing how long it takes your supervisor(s) to return draft's and if they have any upcoming leave or work commitments that may add delays.

As for recommendations on how to write:
Don't try to write the perfect document/chapter the first time. It is more important to just get thoughts and ideas onto the page. Once you have a few pages of notes/comments you will feel a lot more motivated to write than staring at a blank page.

Do your referencing as you go, even if you are just putting notes on the page. It will save you heaps of time in the later stages when you are editing. Also, use a reference manager (EndNote, ProCite, etc.)

Start writing NOW even if you experiments are not finished you can write 1/2 to 3/4 of a chapter without results and then just add the rest later.

And finally when the crushing wave of panic comes (and it happens to everyone) just breathe, step away from the computer and listen to your favourite song/ go for a walk (anything to distract you from your thesis for a few minutes, no longer than 1 hour) and then sit back down and start again. You will get there in the end.

Good luck!


Sounds like good advice, Micro. Might be taking some of that myself :)


THanks alot for your interpretation and advice!


I did. Now, I have to look for a postdoc


Congratulation! You done it.