How To Write A Good Ph.D. Thesis In Computer Science: Tips & Tricks
A Ph.D. thesis is almost certainly one of the biggest and most important pieces of academic writing you will ever undertake. This is why it is absolutely essential that you get it right first time. Below are some essential tips and tricks to creating the best possible Ph.D. thesis in computer science.
- Do most of your reading and research first
- Make a clear plan and stick to it
- Reference as you go
The most difficult and time-consuming part of all academic writing is the reading and researching on the chosen subject. Most of this needs to be done before you start writing anything. If you have not yet managed to write your title, your research needs to feed into the creation of this. If you do already have a title, you need to start reading around that subject. Also, the research that you need to refer to throughout your thesis needs to be done before you write anything down. Make notes, of course, so that it will be easier to write it all up at a later date. However, don’t attempt to start the actual thesis until you’ve done all the research and most of the reading.
This sounds like an obvious step, but most people skip it because they feel it is unnecessary or don’t put enough effort into their plan. Don’t make these mistakes! Make sure that you very clearly and logically plan how you are going to complete your work and remember to be realistic about how long everything will take you. With the bulk of the reading over and your notes already made, the actual writing shouldn’t take as long as you might think. But, just to be safe, you might want to give yourself extra time.
The most problematic parts of Ph.D. thesis are definitely the things such as the bibliography, title, and contents pages. These are the tricky little bits that everyone always leaves until last and then regrets not doing earlier. If at all possible, therefore, do these as you go along. Every time you reference a book or article, write down the citation and add it to the bibliography. Then it will be a nice surprise that when you have completed the bulk of the writing, the bibliography will be finished, too. Then you just need to read through it and make sure you’ve followed the format correctly, but this is much less stressful than creating it from scratch!