[…] How to write a PhD thesis your committee will NOT approve […]
How to write a PhD Thesis - University of Toronto
This tutorial is divided into three parts. The first part covers how to manage literature. The second part covers how to draft a PhD thesis. The final part covers how to write a PhD thesis and how to manage references. But before you begin, you might want to have a look at this video of Docear, a great solution to manage academic literature.
How to write a good PhD thesis and survive the viva
To write a good PhD thesis it is key to keep track of related work in your field. That includes that you know all the relevant studies, results, facts, ideas and so on in your field. Keep in mind, by the end of your literature review you will have read or at least skipped through hundreds of books and papers. You must be a genius to remember every interesting fact and idea you have read in a paper without any tools. Before the computer-age, academics could only rely on index cards, (post it) notes, highlighting pens, indices, etc. With computers, and especially mind mapping software, new possibilities evolved. In this part of the tutorial we explain how to search for literature with academic search engines. Then we show how you create summaries of your PDFs with bookmarks and keep on overview of all important information in our mind map. By the end, your mind map will contain literally all information that you have considered to be important. Whenever you want to know something, you can look it up in your mind map, and read in more detail about it by clicking on the link to the PDF.
Without realizing it, Jesse (like many other graduate students) was practically following portions of a recipe to write a PhD thesis that a committee would NOT approve. Perhaps you will recognize some of these patterns in your own workflow.Motivated by the companies that were trying to hire her, Jesse became laser-focused on how to write a PhD thesis. She had several heated meetings with her supervisor to get off collaborations that were not supporting her thesis, and she also asked for clarification on what she had to do in order to be allowed to defend.