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This paper is based on my dissertation

Read more How-Tos I wasn't given any specific guidelines on the format or content. Altogether, my dissertation was approximately 150 pages. The actual writing took 2 months—the time I had before the final submission deadline. I guess I managed to write it because I had to, the alternative being to fail the Ph. Work that is already published or has been submitted does not need to be rewritten.

I was quite lucky to have published two research papers and a review of my field that served as the introduction, and I was revising another manuscript that I had submitted to a journal.

This paper is based on my dissertation meant that I only had to write one more research chapter and the summarizing discussion, which made the total time and effort to complete my thesis manageable. I started by making a very general outline with all my chapter titles. After getting approval from my supervisor, I made a more detailed outline for the two chapters I had left to write. This was especially helpful for the research manuscript. At the time, my co-author another Ph.

The outline helped us with our figures, although some of them started as mock figures that were completed later. Altogether my thesis was 135 pages, which is quite average for a Ph. I had a hard time keeping the chapters short enough for manuscript submissions, so at the time of defense my thesis—which consisted of three chapters plus an overall abstract for introduction—was 125 pages, but it ended up being trimmed after that. I focused on producing several manuscript-ready chapters rather than trying to include all the research work that I did.

I first organized my data and results into a storyboard by printing all my graphs and laying them out on a giant table. This strategy helped me see how the pieces fit together, which results would be in or out, the best way to display the data, and where the chapter this paper is based on my dissertation should be.

It also helped me identify a few gaps that needed to be filled back in the lab. Altogether it took about 1 year, including a couple months of maternity leave in the early stages, to write the whole thing.

I was already working on two manuscripts for journal submission, but both were collaborations, so it made more sense, and it was also easier, to tell the story of my Ph. I wrote up my scientific results in four different chapters, with additional chapters for the introduction, materials and methods, and conclusion.

For each of the results chapters, I went back to my original experiments and computational results to verify the findings and regenerated the figures and tables as required. I made a lot of notes and flowcharts describing what should go into each chapter to guide me during the writing, which later also helped me provide a quick overview at the beginning of each chapter and crosscheck information at the end of the writing process.

  • Nonetheless, before sitting down to write, I had a conversation with him in which we figured out what the main theme of my thesis should be and which papers to use;
  • Writing can feel like a very long, lonely tunnel, but the more you practice, the easier it gets.

As I completed the whole thing, I was quite surprised at how much I had written. My thesis was nearly 300 pages, and I almost got concerned about examiners having to read them all. I spent about 6 months putting it all together, using the 4-year duration of my stipend as a hard deadline to push myself to finish.

Heilresearch associate in computational neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom My writing got squeezed into a two-and-a-half-week gap between the end of a major research project and my defense date, which had been chosen 6 months earlier.

Luckily, my department allows students to use published papers as dissertation chapters and I had published regularly during my Ph. I chose to put together a brief history of my field. This required tracking down and reading a whole bunch of historical papers. Then I jotted down every thought I had on the subject, producing a bullet list of elements I wanted to cover, logical connections between ideas, references, and even just catchy phrases.

Then I made a first attempt to compile all these thoughts into some structured text, focusing on whether I had sufficient material to support my points and how well they flowed. After that, I focused on honing the phrasing itself, using online resources such as spell checkers and grammar books as English is my second language, followed by a final overall polish.

How involved this paper is based on my dissertation your principal investigator PI? When it comes to theses, I find that no one is as helpful as former grad students from your group. When I reached out to our lab's alumni for advice, they helped me understand the overall process of thesis writing, estimate the time it would take to complete different parts, and watch out for potential pitfalls.

I also downloaded and skimmed through their theses to get a feel for what the final product was supposed to look like. My PI had been heavily involved in writing each of the papers that went into my thesis, so the need for his input was less critical. Nonetheless, before sitting down to write, I had a conversation with him in which we figured out what the main theme of my thesis should be and which papers to use.

Then when the time came to polish my thesis, many of my friends and colleagues, and my wife, who is also a biophysicist, provided invaluable advice. My PI made sure we were in touch and made himself available for questions. He also was an excellent and very thorough editor—having somebody who will rip your writing apart this paper is based on my dissertation help you trim and organize is critical.

Nearer the end, my fellow graduate students also helped me cut a lot of words. But I still felt totally lost. His adviser clarified the expectations of the graduating commission, gave us some useful suggestions, and reassured us that all would be OK.

That meeting helped me feel less overwhelmed and more confident.

  • Heil , research associate in computational neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom My writing got squeezed into a two-and-a-half-week gap between the end of a major research project and my defense date, which had been chosen 6 months earlier;
  • Working with students was a nice distraction from my thesis, and it was motivating to see that my work was useful and appreciated by others, especially during unrewarding writing times;
  • I saw it as my best chance to sum up the nonscientific part of my Ph;
  • A senior colleague of mine, who was an expert adviser for Ph.

A senior colleague of mine, who was an expert adviser for Ph. I would deal with the revisions while he was moving on to the next chapter, which made it much more manageable and saved a lot of time. At that time, I badly needed someone to tell me that I wasn't doing something totally wrong or stupid. Setting deadlines for myself, and letting my PI know about them, made me more accountable and helped me stick to my schedule. When I needed concrete tips on specific aspects of the thesis and my PI was really busy, I would just stop by his office.

I also sent individual chapters to people whom I knew had an interest in my research, mainly for proofreading, and I tried to find native English speakers to help me with grammar and spelling.

I notified them all ahead of time so this paper is based on my dissertation they would have some flexibility on when and how to give me feedback.

However, I tried to only request his input when I felt that critical decisions had to be made, for example when I had finished an outline or a chapter. He provided feedback mainly through track changes added to my drafts, which I found very convenient. When I received his input, I tried to deal with the revisions immediately, leaving the comments that required more work for later.

Help Me Write My Dissertation

By tackling the quick revisions first, I felt that I was making progress, which helped me stay motivated. To focus on my writing, I had to stop most of my research, though I still performed some minor tasks that did not require significant time and concentration, such as launching computer calculations.

Regarding work-life balance, my wife and I have an informal pact that we try not to work after dinner and on weekends. Without proper rest, productivity just drops and you end up feeling miserable. I can't say that this pact was enforced during the thesis writing period, but even in the most intense times, we did get out of town at least once a week for a walk in nearby parks and nature reserves to decompress.

Especially at the beginning, I remained active as a teaching assistant. Working with this paper is based on my dissertation was a nice distraction from my thesis, and it was motivating to see that my work was useful and appreciated by others, especially during unrewarding writing times. I also worked on other research projects in parallel and went to several international conferences and a summer school on citizen science. These activities not only offered a welcome break from the thesis, but also reminded me of how important and interesting my research was.

I also made sure to stay active to keep up my positive energy. Going to the gym always brought me back to writing with a clear mind and a healthier feeling. Sometimes I would try to arrange coffee breaks with friends to reward myself with a piece of cake and good company.

Other times, planning to visit a museum or try a new restaurant helped me keep going by giving me a nice event to look forward to.

After my maternity leave, I spent 6 to 8 hours a day writing from home, with my baby on my lap or sleeping next to me. Once he was in day care at 7 months old, I went to coffee shops nearby so that I could pop over and nurse him at lunchtime. Several times a day, I practiced the Pomodoro Technique where I'd set the timer for 45 minutes and not do anything but write—no emails, no social media, no other tasks.

If I thought of something I needed to do, I wrote it down for later. In addition to combining writing with motherhood, other aspects of work-life balance were also extremely important to me. I didn't work most weekends, and I made sure I got outside and exercised or had some fun every day.

Letting go of guilt about not working was key. Feeling bad doesn't get you anywhere, and it just makes the experience unenjoyable for you and the people you love or live with. I took advantage of the fact that my parents were on holiday and spent a week in their house. I set realistic daily deadlines, and if I met those I treated myself with a little reward, like a short run through the forest or an evening picnic with an old friend.

That week proved very productive, and I came back motivated to get the rest of my writing and experiments done. After I returned, I made sure to continue doing some fun activities without necessarily having to achieve something first, as I realized that I should not be too hard on myself.

Thesis as a series of papers

Going for a run between writing spells, for example, allowed me to get some distance from my thesis and helped me to maintain perspective and generate new ideas. It was really hard, but I did enjoy it. Writing can feel like a very long, lonely tunnel, but the more you practice, the easier it gets. I had a harder time with my thesis introduction, though I really enjoyed digging through the history of my field. Almost until the very end, I felt like the task was overly ambitious. To reduce stress at that stage, I kept reminding myself that it was a unique chance to focus on the history of research instead of the research itself.

This was the moment when I was finally putting together all my work of the last 5 years, and I was proud of it. All I could feel was panic.

How to write your Ph.D. thesis

For 2 months, I basically did nothing besides writing my thesis and applying for jobs. This was one of the most miserable times of my academic career. Luckily, at the end I got the postdoc I wanted, which made me forget all the stress and frustration.

It wasn't always easy, but remembering that every little effort brings you closer to your final goal is crucial to just keep going and survive emotionally. And while writing was daunting at times, I also found it motivating to see just how much research I had done.

It was also very helpful that in the first few years of my Ph.

Can You Write My Dissertation Cheap?

I had written dozens of grant proposals, which gave me an early opportunity to think about how to present the big picture, as well as some text that I could use as a starting point. I saw it as my best chance to sum up the nonscientific part of my Ph. I chose to leave it until after my defense, when I could write at a much more relaxed pace during the few weeks I had to edit my thesis. In my case, a non-negotiable deadline provided an effective remedy.