Conducting Research For Your PhD Thesis: Where do You Start?

All doctoral students know that sooner or later they are going to have to write a PhD thesis. This is a project that allows them to demonstrate their grasp of the subject. It also showcases their acquired expertise and grants the opportunity for them to advance knowledge in the field. This is a major project and starting out on the right foot is going to help move things forward. You should be following a few steps as you begin the process.

  • - Discuss Your Idea with Your Advisor and Dissertation Committee. What you are examining has to be original. Your advisor and the committee can tell you whether or not your idea has already been covered. Knowing ahead of time will determine whether or not you should even try to research the topic, and perhaps find new one.
  • - Do a Literature Review. You have to start from somewhere and a body of research from which you can move forward has to be there, even though your topic is unique to your own efforts.
  • - Develop a Research Plan. Academia does not want to have a dissertation done in a haphazard manner. You’re going to be spending a lot of time and effort and it should follow an organized blueprint. Remember that before you do any research, your dissertation has to be approved by the committee.
  • - By All Means Start Early. A doctoral program can take up to five years, but you shouldn’t be waiting to the last year to develop your thesis. The earlier you start putting together the plan for the research, the better off you’ll be.
  • - Many times a postgraduate student will use his or her master’s thesis as the starting point. That is not a problem but do not procrastinate on that doctoral thesis development.
  • - Time flies fast. You will quickly discover that the commitments and obligations you have in your doctoral program will eat up a lot of your spare time. It is why time management when preparing material for your PhD thesis is important. You cannot waste a moment. If you commit yourself to starting the process as soon as you are accepted into the program, you will be well on your way as time marches forward. Having your advisor and the dissertation committee take a look at your ideas can save you an awful lot of time. If your initial plan isn’t going to advance the knowledge, do not worry about it. If you have started the process as early as possible, you have sufficient time to redirect your efforts.

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