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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.

Does Every PhD Research Require a Conceptual Framework?

Does Every PhD Research Require a Conceptual Framework?

A majority of reports indicates that over 89% of research candidates find it difficult to decide if their research requires a conceptual framework or not.

Are you fighting the same battle?
If yes, then this article will surely help you out!

The conceptual framework is an essential ingredient for your research. It provides a glance on researcher’s synthesis of literature on how to explain a phenomenon.

The requirement of a ‘Conceptual Framework’ depends on the type of research. But before explaining which research requires a conceptual framework, let me first tell you what purpose a conceptual framework fulfils:

  1. It generates proper links from the literature to the questions and research goals.
  2. It serves as a medium to keep research on track.
  3. It provides a clear insight on the variable of a study.
  4. It explains the concepts and proposes the relationships among the concepts.
  5. It provides an organized structure for the research design and methods.
  6. It guides the development & testing.
  7. It represents the relationship of the developed hypothesis with central factors or key concepts.

Now, moving towards the purpose of this article, let’s see, which research requires a conceptual frame:

A conceptual framework is understood as an explanation of how a research candidate sees the different concepts and outcome of the study and its relation with each other. It can be an adoption used in a previous study with modification to suit the inquiry.

framework

A research can be categorised into two types mentioned below:

  • Exploratory Research: It is also known as formative research, its objective is to gather preliminary information that will help define problems and suggest hypothesis. It is conducted for a problem that has not been clearly defined. Exploratory research helps determine the research design, methods of data collection and conceptual framework.
  • Explanatory / Casual Research: Casual research is quantitative in nature. It is pre-planned and structured in design that’s why it is also known as conclusive research. It is different from exploratory research in terms of explaining cause and effect relationship between variables. Explanatory research shows the cause and effect relationship in terms of experiments and doesn’t require a conceptual framework.

There are two research methods for exploring the cause and effect relationship between variables:

  1. Experimentation
  2. Simulation

What if your research requires a conceptual framework?

Well, don’t worry; we have got your back.

But, what all do we require for developing a conceptual framework?

Below are the ingredients required for developing a conceptual framework:

  1. Literature Review
  2. Knowledge of specific research domain
  3. Research Background
  4. Personal Experience
  5. Data

We understand that the conceptual framework is a prominent document for your research. Let’s discuss how to develop a conceptual framework.

Developing a Conceptual Framework:

concepual-framework

  • Identify Concepts:

Identify concepts from the literature review and provide a categorization among them. The concepts can be categorised as abstract or concrete.

An abstract concept is broad and may not be readily observable while the concrete or specific concepts are amenable to measurement.’

  • Define Variable:

Defining variable is the main function of a conceptual framework in a descriptive research. A variable is something that changes. The change in variable depends upon the various factors; some of the variables are like constant only (name of someone) while other change frequently (Value of Stock Exchange)

  • Operationalize Variables:

The operationalization of variables involves strictly defining variables into measurable elements. It defines fuzzy concept and allows them for empirical and quantitative measurement. To improve the robustness of research design and to increase the quality of the result, operationalization of variables sets down the exact definition of each variable.

  • Develop Propositions:

Develop the relational statement or propositions among the concepts. This helps in providing an idea for hypothesis development and testing.

  • Explore the relationship between variables:

Exploring the relationship among variable is an important part of developing a conceptual framework. Some research abstracts contain the variable of research and thus may serve the purpose.

Even though conceptual framework is the heart of a research, not every research requires a conceptual framework.

Do you require assistance in developing a conceptual framework? Then drop a mail at info@phdthesiswriters.com!

How do you communicate with your supervisor?

How do you communicate with your supervisor?

Your relationship with your supervisor can be a deal-breaker in the academic world – that is, it can take your work up to the next level of success or it can prevent even your best work from getting its due credit. But how can that be? Isn’t the work you produce more important than the relationships you maintain?

The truth is, it is just as significant to ensure that you and your supervisor agree to the various aspects of research. Especially if you are looking to complete your PhD in a happy, healthy frame of mind, as opposed to embodying the stereotype of the frantic academic, it will be beneficial to you to nurture your relationship with your supervisor.

The job of your supervisor is to give you feedback on your research and writing. The problem arises when you and your supervisor, or, in some cases, you and a committee of supervisors, are not on the same page.

You may be one of those prolific writers who get a good start at the beginning. You send in pages and pages of work you have already done, and your supervisors respond to your enthusiasm with their own barrage of feedback. Both parties in this case had good intentions to begin with. However, there are high chances of miscommunication here. After your impressive first run, you find yourself faltering and halting. You don’t know what to do next, and the supervisors’ help, instead of helping you, is overwhelming you. Somewhere along the exchange of information and feedback, the main idea got lost. You need to stop sending your new work to supervisors for some time, and instead brainstorm and outline. If you send in pages of writing, you will get feedback on the writing – this includes technicalities that don’t really further your idea.

It is also possible that you may be one of those procrastinators who aren’t that productive in the beginning. You know what you have to do, and you know how to go about doing it as well, but you just can’t get yourself to do it until the pressure is turned up high. There are many people who work like this. If it’s not a problem for you then there is no requirement to change it; but, it can result in miscommunications with your supervisor. Many students feel that before contacting their supervisor, they need to have some work to show. The procrastinators will not have any “work,” and may avoid contact altogether. This is where things go bad. You should always keep in touch with your supervisor. Don’t let more than a week – or maximum, 2 weeks – go by without exchanging at least an email. Even if you don’t have any work to show, tell your supervisors about ideas you have been thinking about, directions you want to take your research – abstract brainstorming that doesn’t fit neatly into a word processor, but is still essential to your thesis. If you stay in touch with your supervisor, it will be easier to get their help when you really do need it.