10 Tips from PhD Comics for getting your thesis in on time
There are many sources of advice out there for PhD students, the best one however is a comic strip called PhD: Piled higher and Deeper. The comics are amusing, accurate and there is a lot of wisdom in them. Here are the top 10 tips:
Tip 10: Plan ahead. It's all in the outline.
Writing a thesis can be a daunting prospect. 'Divide and conquer' is a great technique to make tasks more manageable. Once you have written your literature review, it's done. It's best to do this early on when you are reading other people's research. This avoids having to read it again later.
Tip 9: Use a proofreader.
That's what your funding is for. If not for yourself, do it for your friends and family. They are there to support you emotionally. Don't subject them to correcting grammar and punctuation mistakes.
Tip 8: Don't be too discouraged by reviewer comments.
It can be heartbreaking to receive bad feedback on a paper you have submitted. Always remember that this process is there to help you improve your work.
Tip 7: Know your work cycle.
Everybody has a different work cycle. Find out when you get most of your work done and dedicate this time to working on your thesis.
Tip 6: Do a bit every day.
A thesis is a big task. If you have years to finish it, it is easy to get distracted and forget about it. If you think about it, you only need to write two sentences a day and you'll be finished on time. (Theoretically speaking).
Tip 5: Understand the student/advisor relationship.
Many PhD students believe that the supervisor is there to take them under his wing because he remembers what it was like to be a PhD student. In fact he remembers that when he was a PhD student, his supervisor used him as a research assistant. Now it's your turn.
Tip 4: Don't over-rely on your supervisor.
When handing in work for your supervisor to read, make sure it's as good as it can be. Perfect spelling and grammar are essential to make it easier to read. Try to make life as easy as possible for him.
Tip 3: Use simple language.
Although your own work makes sense to you, it might be difficult for someone else to understand it. Keep this in mind when writing your papers.
Tip 2: Set goals
When you are left to your own devices, it is easy to reach the end of the day and realise you have not got anything to show for it. Setting goals helps to organise your time and provides you with something to focus on.
Tip 1: Avoid procrastination.
The Internet is a great place for procrastination. Email, Ebay, Facebook and Digg are just a few culprits. Managing the time you spend on these websites is a big step towards getting your thesis done.
I hope you found this article useful. Good luck with your PhD!