How to… writing a PhD thesis

Courtesy: © Og-vision |
Courtesy: © Og-vision |

This post is not about how conducting research. The best hints I found on that subject come from: Turabian K.L., 2003, A manual for Writers, of Research, Papers, Theses and Dissertations. This post is about the challenge of writing effectively – and it will be completed along my redaction process.

Writing a PhD thesis is hard work, indeed. But what makes it different from other similar tasks?
Working on a report or a story, spending any long-period of labour on a computer… own all common points with the one of writing a PhD thesis. It remains however different, as: it engages yourself, your integrity and identity and therefore, it is oriented toward a specific jury as well as a larger community, it must evidence originality and demonstrate anchoring into shared roots… this activity is closer to building an exhibition for a competition than writing a novel!

Things I’ve learnt (on myself) during the writing process.
Indeed! the most specific part of that activity remains in the fact it is personal. It becomes a path towards knowing self better. This explains why there is no one method, but several redaction hints to try out.

  • Wide and open spaces are good for inspiration, but are distracting
  • Busy places & seing friends is good for stepping back, but opens the way to small talk
  • Tiny and closed spaces are good to focus, but (can) dispirit and dries motivation
  • Meditation is good to break distraction, but should not replace a real break
  • Routine is necessary to avoid starting it all-over again every morning, but does not go well with isolation!