Writing a PhD Paper from Scratch: The Principles

It is quite an accomplishment to get to the point when you are writing a PhD paper. There are some important principles to consider as you write the paper from scratch. You want your paper to be the best it can be and this goal is possible!

  • Be unique: you will not be the last or the first person to write a PhD paper in your field. There will be some ideas and concepts that you cannot change. But how you approach those traditional industry ideas can make your paper be unique. Consider all aspects of your field and then review what has been least explored and why. If the material and potential is there for the paper, then go for it.
  • Select your primary sources carefully: when you interview and use primary sources, make sure the sources are relevant to your ideas. It might be great that you can get an upper tier interview, but there has to be a place for that in the paper. Be wary of the smoke and mirror approach, as it will be noticed.
  • No missed deadlines: there are no missed deadlines, they simply are not allowed in the PhD field.
  • Touch it every day: if possible look at or work on your PhD paper every single day. If you constantly touch it, rather than wait until the last minute, you will be less stressed as you work on the paper.
  • Use your advisor: you have an advisor for a reason. Use him or her to guide you through this process. You should have a working relationship with your advisor and he or she should know your face and know your name. He or she is the expert, so be willing to use the knowledge the advisor holds.
  • Read, read, and read; you want to be an expert in your field. You need to be current on the readings that relate to your topic. Either go to the library on a regular basis and read the relative periodicals or subscribe to the industry magazines. Staying current on the subject is important.
  • If you are a poor writer, seek help: not everyone is a natural writer. Do not be afraid to use a tutor or a writing company is writing is not a strength of yours.

Use these principles as you prepare, and as you write your PhD paper in order to stay on track. Good luck!