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Writing, Submitting and Defending your Thesis. Writing your thesis.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing, Submitting and Defending your Thesis. Writing your thesis."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing, Submitting and Defending your Thesis

2 Writing your thesis

3 What does a thesis look like? Literature review (Chapter 1), empirical chapters (normally 4-ish), conclusions A PhD makes “a novel contribution to understanding” There are huge differences between areas of research (longitudinal, neuroimaging). No such thing as a ‘model’ thesis! – How to ‘package’ your experiments

4 How do I know if I have done enough? Your supervisor/TAP are the best guide Look at other theses in your area You can present all the steps that were required – pilot testing, experiments that didn’t work and led to a change in method Small is beautiful! Please note: there is a word limit of 80,000 words excluding references for a PhD thesis in this department.

5 Collections of theses are available electronically at: – White Rose depository: – British Library: – And there are older ones in the library

6 Planning your writing Work out what is needed (in detail) Have a plan with timings attached Discuss with your supervisor – Your plan must be realistic; revise it as you go – There will be a lot of rewriting and rethinking to do – this can take a lot of time

7 Surviving Writing a thesis can be stressful But tackling small chunks is enough to succeed – Keep going, day after day Find your best time of day; keep it clear of distractions

8 What coping mechanisms do you use?

9 Coping Identify sources of support – practical and emotional Find a writing buddy If you get stressed, take time out – But then come back to the task feeling refreshed; don’t avoid difficult bits Set yourself realistic targets and stop work when you reach them Bullet points  fluent writing  later editing

10 Know your examiners! You will choose an external examiner with your supervisor – Who would you like to know about your work? – Who will you feel comfortable with? – Do this in plenty of time: 6+ months before viva You’ll be asked about your preference for the internal examiner too

11 Know your examiners! Ensure you have referred to all relevant work by your examiners in your thesis Think about possible implications of your work for them and vice versa

12 Submitting your thesis

13 Submission Know your deadline – within 4 years for f/t students – Suspension of registration Notification of intention to submit (2 months before)

14 Submission Check University regulations carefully – e/research-students/theses-dissertations/ e/research-students/theses-dissertations/ – ance/corporate-publications/ordinances-and- regulations/regulation-2/#2.7 ance/corporate-publications/ordinances-and- regulations/regulation-2/#2.7 You can use a proof-reading service (Louise has a list)

15 Responsibilities You must get your supervisor’s approval before you submit The internal examiner will organise the viva: triggered by intention to submit form Viva might not be for several months after submission

16 Your viva

17 What is a viva like? Normally lasts 1½ - 2 hours Often in internal examiner’s office Examiners will have lots of notes and bookmarks in your thesis – don’t be put off You can bring notes too but you probably won’t use them Can be highly enjoyable Examiners should not tell you the outcome during the viva – they will ask you to wait

18 What is a viva for? Opportunity to demonstrate that you know a lot about the topic – Qs about literature Examiners need to be convinced that you have ownership of the thesis – Qs about detailed methods Think on your feet about interpretation – Don’t be defensive

19 What is the most important finding you obtained during your PhD work?

20 If you could change one thing, what would it be?

21 Outcome of viva Pass Pass with minor corrections (2 months) Thesis referred – Revise and resubmit Downgrade to MPhil Fail

22 Referral Internal examiner will provide clear advice about what is required to bring thesis up to standard Supervisor will meet you and help to interpret Resubmit 3-12 months post viva

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