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Saving Yourself from PhD Stress

Saving Yourself from PhD Stress

PhD StressAre you feeling physically or mental exhausted with your daily academic work, or experiencing high levels of stress? You can relax as this is a part and parcel of any PhD course and cannot be avoided. This is not to suggest that PhD stress is not real and damaging to your personal well-being, but to make you aware that you are not the only one experiencing it.

At the same time, you must not ignore the warning signs of stress and try to keep working through it, as this will only worsen the situation.

So, are you experiencing any of the following stress signs?

  • Physical or mental exhaustion on a daily basis
  • Inability to focus on the immediate task
  • A general lack of motivation and drive
  • Constant fear and sense of helplessness
  • Constant tension or fear of the course workload
  • General feeling of not belonging to the high standards of a PhD program.

If you are experiencing most (or still worst, all) of these signs, it is probably a good time to relax and reduce your stress levels, by following the tips below:

Slow down
Remember that your PhD pursuit is a marathon race, and not a sprint. Slow down or take a complete break for a few days. Make a list of things to do and focus on the immediate things that have the highest priority. Breaking down a larger task into multiple subtasks can help you relax and reduce your stress.

Prepare yourself for things to go wrong.
Despite meticulous planning, things can go wrong at any stage of your PhD course. Do not blame this on yourself, as it has and will happen to the best of students. Engaging with the problem in hand and focussing always on the solution will ensure the success of your research project.

Managing the fear factor
Fear factor can be a major cause of stress. Fear can be at different levels. Are you fearing not being able to complete your PhD, or not being able to devote your time and focus on your PhD course? Understanding the level of your fear can help you in overcoming the same.

Live healthy
Doing a PhD course does not mean that you have to make drastic changes to a healthy lifestyle. Do not deprive yourself of your normal sleep, and stick to a healthy diet and plenty of water. You can also seek stress-related help from your family or close friends.

Writing a PhD Thesis Every Guide Wants to Read

Writing a PhD Thesis Every Guide Wants to Read

Most PhD students spend years of hard work in preparing and researching for their selected PhD project. Most of them also fall short when it comes to presenting the project thesis that can convey the depth of their research and their individual contribution to the solution of the original problem.

In addition to its details, the PhD thesis must be able to state the problem with clarity, review the existing solutions to the problem, provide a critical analysis of the same, and finally detail the proposed solution to the problem.

PhD Thesis

Listed below are some tips on writing the ideal PhD thesis that every guide would want to read and publish:

  • Structuring the thesis

Your thesis must have a structure and flow similar to any research paper. Although the exact structure can vary depending on your subject, the outline structure of your thesis can include an introduction, related work, experiments, and conclusions.

  • Is your thesis publishable?

A publishable thesis can be the delight of any guide. To achieve this, you will need to plan for this from the time of subject selection. Question yourself if your conducted experiments are extensive to survive any independent scientific scrutiny, or if the data used for the research is valid.

  • The importance of headings

As an alternative to generic headlines in your thesis, provide headings that provide a glimpse of what your content can be. Regarding use of sub-headings, use appropriate section numbering and do not exceed more than 3 levels.

  • The title of your thesis

In addition to the use of headings, the title of your thesis is vital to convey the extent of your research. Avoid using very short titles (for example, “Music Information Retrieval”), which sounds generic and does not convey much information of your research. Use appropriately long titles that indicate the scope of your research work.

  • Taking help from professionals

When it comes to effective writing, it is best to take the help of academic writing professionals who have the relevant skills and experience in preparing a complete thesis. An academic writer will be able to convey the depth of your research clearly using text and formatting.

  • Preparing for the viva

Review the quality of your thesis, which is likely to be examined by the panel of experts in the viva discussion. These experts will examine your thesis to check for completeness and overall quality, and to determine if presented data and analysis support the final conclusion.

Write Your PhD Thesis In 2 Months

Write Your PhD Thesis In 2 Months

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Thesis writing is no doubt a multi-month ordeal that makes you pull your hair out. But, when you have to submit your thesis work in two months all you have to do is follow a plan, set your deadlines and work steadily, more importantly smart work is required from your end.

After having selected your topic of interest, there are multifarious tasks such as literature review, preparing the questionnaire, data analysis and interpretation reports that you need to cover up efficiently.

This article is devoted to ways that you can get way ahead of the curve from the very beginning to the submission of your thesis

1.Get Started With Literature Review:

The starting point for a PhD thesis writer is to read truckloads of papers relevant to your topic of thesis so that you can develop an understanding of your experimental techniques and learn more about your area of interest. Literature Review develops the understanding of what has been done so far in your field and what questions remain to be answered, where your research will contribute.

The following points should be in your consideration:

  • How do you find relevant papers without wasting much time?

    As you don’t have much time, so definitely don’t want it to get wasted over browsing unnecessary data, what you can do is go through Google Scholar and Pubmed for advance search or boolean search. Pubmed offers the great facility to set up citation alerts that notify you via email every time these articles are cited.

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Fig : Pubmed Advance Search

  • The software you can use to save your time on literature review is ‘EndNote’. ‘EndNote’ is here to serve you with its incredible capability of managing bibliographies and references. There are several ways to add a reference to a library: manually, exporting, importing, copying from another EndNote library, connecting from EndNote. It enables the user to select multiple citations and saves the user from having to enter manually the citation information and the abstracts.

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Fig: EndNote

2. Preparing The Questionnaire:

After gathering all the information required and understanding the gap between previously carried out research and your findings, the next task is to prepare a questionnaire, which will cover all the possible aspects of your thesis.
There are two types of questionnaire:

  1. Qualitative Questionnaire
  2. Quantitative Questionnaire

Difference between Qualitative & Quantitavie Questionnaire:

Qualitative

Quantitative

Conceptual

  • Concerned with understanding human behaviour from the informant’s perspective

  • Assumes a dynamic & negotiated reality

  • Concerned with discovering facts about social phenomena

  • Assumes a fixed and measurable reality

Methodological

  • Data are collected through participant observation & interviews

  • Data are analysed by themes from descriptions by informants

  • Data are reported in the language of informant

  • Data are collected through measuring things

  • Data are analysed through numerical comparisons & statistical test

  • Data are reported through statistical analyses

Qualitative Questionnaire:

Download the sample ‘Qualitative Questionnaire

Quantitative Questionnaire:

Download the sample ‘Quantitative Questionnaire

3. Research Methodology:

The next chapter of your thesis that will cover the method to carry out the experiments is ‘Research Methodology.’

Research philosophy is the way of explaining your research methods and how that influences your work. It should be incorporated in your dissertation as it solves the issue on which methods to apply in your research. It highly depends upon the individual’s perception of understanding things as it is a belief about a way in which research should be conducted.

Research Philosophy

Research Method

Research Approach

Positivism

Quantitative methods comprising of sampling techniques, questionnaires/ surveys, stuructured interviews, observation etc.

Deductive.

This approach is based on observing and forming hypothesis n an already existing theory.

Interpretivism

Qualitative methods comprising of unstructured interviews, focus group, participant observation, case studies, etc.

Inductive.

This approach is initiated through observation and patterns to form a new theory.

Realism

Quantitative & Qualitative

Now the question is, which research approach to select?

  • It would depend upon how much time you have. The decutive approach is quicker to complete whereas inductive approach requires ample amount of time.

  • It depends on how much risk you can take. Deductive approach has less risk of failure. Inductive research is more risky as it is not necessary for a theory to evolve.

4. Data Analysis:

It’s difficult when you have to find out a result after calculating so many figures. As in this calculative instant of time it’s empirical to participate a number of data and find out the best result possible in any of your research, here what mainly you need are some authentic statistical tools that can simplify your data’s into an upshot without investing much of your time.

There are many tests that are need to apply on the data, and selecting the appropriate test for your data is a tough and time-consuming job, so, here is a flowchart to help you out in this situation:

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There are many tools for the data analysis that you can use and save your time.

  1. SPSS: SPSS Statistics is a package used for data analysis or statistical analysis. SPSS is used by market researchers, health researchers, survey companies, government, education researchers and marketing organizations & data miners.

    SPSS shows two views as per the requirement i.e. Data View & Variable View.

Data View:

1234

Variable View:

123

2. NVivo:

Nvivo is a software package for qualitative data analysis. It is used for working with rich text or multimedia information, where deep levels of analysis on small or large volume of data are required.

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5. Conclusion:

Many candidates find concluding chapter difficult to write for several reasons. As there is no one right way to construct a concluding paragraph, there are some guidelines that can help you to end your thesis on a strong note.

  • Restate your thesis implicitly
  • Emphasize the importance of your subject by placing it in an elaborated context
  • Give Suggestion for the future based on what you have argued.
  • End on a powerful and relevant quote that serves to sum up your work.

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6. Editing & Proofreading:

Once you are done with writing your thesis, the next important task is to edit and proofread your copy of the thesis. As you don’t have much time left, so, don’t go for editing on your own. Hire a professional help who can assist you with the complete process of editing & proofreading and make your thesis a perfect piece of work. Another important aspect of editing is checking for plagiarism. You can check for plagiarism online using en.writecheck.com and for grammar check you can use grammarly.com.