Improving your PHD thesis Writing Skills

For some students it is a very straightforward process but for others, basic mistakes can lead to failure. Here are some of the most common mistakes that students make while writing their PHD thesis.

Spelling and grammar mistakes

This sounds like the most obvious mistakes that can happen, but the number of students that have such mistakes in the thesis is mind boggling. Mistakes in language and spelling distract the reader from the subject of the thesis, making it hard to read. The tolerance for spelling mistakes by instructors seems to be on the decline, what with all the tools available in this day and age to check spelling mistakes.

Introductions and conclusions

Another common mistake is when students write their thesis with introductions and conclusions that are too short. The introduction is normally what encourages the reader to delve deeper into the writing. If it is too shallow then it gives the reader the impression that the writing itself is also too shallow. The conclusion, on the other hand, remains in the mind of the reader long after they finish reading the thousands of words in the dissertation body. The conclusion should be a strong one with a convincing tone. It should contain the major points outlined in the thesis, the problems faced and the possible recommendations for future research projects.

Poor research

Students no doubt have a lot on their plate, but conducting poor research is unacceptable. Many students will normally present facts and ideas as new, because they have not done enough research to realize that the work they are quoting was done by someone several years before. This gives the impression that the student is lazy and did not spend as much time on their work as they should have. It gives the instructors the impression that the student does not take the job as seriously as they should.

The reference section

One of the most common mistakes students make is including in their list of references blogs and internet journalism articles. Experts call it the Google effect, referring to the phenomenon where students equate the information they find in blogs to the information available in academic articles. Quoting online sources is not bad, but the online sources one quotes must be trustworthy ones. The bibliography should also be properly formatted according to the citation style that is appropriate for the topic of study.

When writing the PHD thesis, it is the small things that matter and can be the difference between success and failure.