Sometimes, failing a PhD is not the result of making big mistakes, but by making small mistakes that mount up over time. If you’re already a PhD candidate or about to embark on your PhD journey, there are certain elements during the process that you must comprehend. Below are six easy mistakes to avoid when completing your PhD.
Clearing the entrance process and getting enrolled in a PhD program is merely the tip of the iceberg. Thus, becoming complacent and proceeding with a relaxed attitude will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make. With a period of at least 3 – 5 years for a PhD, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you have the time to procrastinate. However, we would suggest that the earlier you start the process, the less arduous will the writing be. Irrespective of the content, you should start early with notes, bullet points, initial research, and so on.
Incorrect formatting and structuring
The structuring and formatting of a thesis is very important, but often overlooked. It can be a difficult and time-consuming exercise to conduct for your thesis. In addition, a majority of candidates leave the formatting and structuring until the end of the project, and thus, the end result is full of mistakes due to hasty, last minute work. Therefore, formatting and structuring of your thesis should be done on consistent basis, so that it isn’t completed in a rush. After all your hard work with research and writing, why would you want your thesis to be let down by simple structuring faults?
In simple terms, a PhD is the exercise of conducting an original research over a period of up to 8 years. This requires a balanced process of both discovery and reflection. In reality, the process can be baffling for candidates. Students want to get it right on the first try, which makes them likely to over emphasise on the research proposal. Due to the concerns of selection and rejection of the proposal, students spend too many resources, time and effort than required on particular sections. Thus, excluding other vital areas of the project. It should be noted that over emphasising on selective sections may be counterproductive for your PhD thesis writing.
Not keeping up to date with changes
A PhD is lengthy, monotonous and sometimes extremely boring, and this can make candidates feel lost. The majority of PhD students make the mistake of not checking with the changes in administration, updates in PhD regulations, among others. Notably, various new scholarships, new information regarding re-enrolling, submission dates, etc. are published on the Universities’ website every now and then. Therefore, PhD candidates should be checking emails, the University’s website, and communicating with the administration on a regular basis.
Not keeping a record of information
The process of writing a PhD thesis entails generation of research ideas, assessment of key empirical studies and new leads. For instance, you went to a research seminar and gathered vital ideas for research during the deliberations. You won’t be able to recall all the great ideas unless you’ve noted them down. Therefore, keeping ideas and relevant information in one place makes it easy for you to recollect and access the information at a time later on. A personal information hub is simply a database of ideas you’ve collected for future assessment.
Lack of Planning
It is pivotal to understand that writing a PhD thesis and the process associated with it, is extremely lengthy and convoluted. The majority of candidates get lost in the process simply due to lack of preparation and planning. With multiple sections and a variety of priorities, setting up different milestones and planning based on different periods can work wonders in making your PhD journey less complicated. Moreover, the technique also works as an opportunity to reflect on your progress.