Write my thesis in a week

Luckily, my department allows students to use published papers as dissertation chapters and I had published regularly during my Ph. I chose to put together a brief history of my field. This required tracking down and reading a whole bunch of historical papers. Then I jotted down every thought I had on the subject, producing a bullet list of elements I wanted to cover, logical connections between ideas, references, and even just catchy phrases.

How I Completed My Dissertation in 20-mins a Day

Then I made a first attempt to compile all these thoughts into some structured text, focusing on whether I had sufficient material to support my points and how well they flowed. After that, I focused on honing the phrasing itself, using online resources such as spell checkers and grammar books as English is my second language, followed by a final overall polish.

When it comes to theses, I find that no one is as helpful as former grad students from your group. When I reached out to our lab's alumni for advice, they helped me understand the overall process of thesis writing, estimate the time it would take to complete different parts, and watch out for potential pitfalls. I also downloaded and skimmed through their theses to get a feel for what the final product was supposed to look like. My PI had been heavily involved in writing each of the papers that went into my thesis, so the need for his input was less critical.

Nonetheless, before sitting down to write, I had a conversation with him in which we figured out what the main theme of my thesis should be and which papers to use. Then when the time came to polish my thesis, many of my friends and colleagues, and my wife, who is also a biophysicist, provided invaluable advice. I sent each chapter's methods and results to all my committee members so that we could make sure that the science was complete before I dug into the key scientific messages.

My PI made sure we were in touch and made himself available for questions. He also was an excellent and very thorough editor—having somebody who will rip your writing apart and help you trim and organize is critical. Nearer the end, my fellow graduate students also helped me cut a lot of words. But I still felt totally lost. His adviser clarified the expectations of the graduating commission, gave us some useful suggestions, and reassured us that all would be OK.

Soapbox Stutter: How to write your thesis in a week

That meeting helped me feel less overwhelmed and more confident. A senior colleague of mine, who was an expert adviser for Ph. I would deal with the revisions while he was moving on to the next chapter, which made it much more manageable and saved a lot of time. At that time, I badly needed someone to tell me that I wasn't doing something totally wrong or stupid. I sent my chapters to my PI one by one as I finished writing them. Setting deadlines for myself, and letting my PI know about them, made me more accountable and helped me stick to my schedule.

When I needed concrete tips on specific aspects of the thesis and my PI was really busy, I would just stop by his office.

I also sent individual chapters to people whom I knew had an interest in my research, mainly for proofreading, and I tried to find native English speakers to help me with grammar and spelling. I notified them all ahead of time so that they would have some flexibility on when and how to give me feedback. I was lucky to have a very caring supervisor who literally always had his door open. However, I tried to only request his input when I felt that critical decisions had to be made, for example when I had finished an outline or a chapter.

He provided feedback mainly through track changes added to my drafts, which I found very convenient. When I received his input, I tried to deal with the revisions immediately, leaving the comments that required more work for later. By tackling the quick revisions first, I felt that I was making progress, which helped me stay motivated. To focus on my writing, I had to stop most of my research, though I still performed some minor tasks that did not require significant time and concentration, such as launching computer calculations. Regarding work-life balance, my wife and I have an informal pact that we try not to work after dinner and on weekends.

Without proper rest, productivity just drops and you end up feeling miserable. I can't say that this pact was enforced during the thesis writing period, but even in the most intense times, we did get out of town at least once a week for a walk in nearby parks and nature reserves to decompress. During the entire writing period, I kept some other work-related activities going.

Especially at the beginning, I remained active as a teaching assistant. Working with students was a nice distraction from my thesis, and it was motivating to see that my work was useful and appreciated by others, especially during unrewarding writing times. I also worked on other research projects in parallel and went to several international conferences and a summer school on citizen science.

These activities not only offered a welcome break from the thesis, but also reminded me of how important and interesting my research was. I also made sure to stay active to keep up my positive energy. Going to the gym always brought me back to writing with a clear mind and a healthier feeling. Sometimes I would try to arrange coffee breaks with friends to reward myself with a piece of cake and good company. Other times, planning to visit a museum or try a new restaurant helped me keep going by giving me a nice event to look forward to.

Getting Down To It

I stopped doing most of my fieldwork about a year and a half before my thesis was due, which was about the same time my son was born. After my maternity leave, I spent 6 to 8 hours a day writing from home, with my baby on my lap or sleeping next to me. Once he was in day care at 7 months old, I went to coffee shops nearby so that I could pop over and nurse him at lunchtime.

Several times a day, I practiced the Pomodoro Technique where I'd set the timer for 45 minutes and not do anything but write—no emails, no social media, no other tasks. By selling part of my soul I negotiated almost complete freedom for the next six weeks and I want to use them to make massive progress with writing the thesis.

I already have about 40, words written and I am hoping to write another 40, over the next 6 weeks. The challenge is to stick to the daily quota of 1, words, as some days it is possible, even fun, other days it is very very hard. My question is what can I do to maximize my chances of finishing a rough draft in the next 6 weeks by doing 1, words a day? How do I keep motivated, energized, not giving in to "I'll never get there" kind of thoughts and not wasting too much time while at the same time not loosing the will to live.

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I need advise regarding tricks that keep one motivated, food supplements or anything else that helped you with a similar task. I do a bit of mindfulness meditation now and then to manage stress. So any help, and particularly personal experience of finishing something like this is very welcome. Thank you everyone. I wrote this on someone else's similar post earlier this year. You just have to fucking do it.

Every day, I just have to fucking do it. I gotta write. Try to eat well and make a little time for exercise. I know people that take adderall to make this sort of thing work for them. Just sit and type, don't edit. There will be time for that later. If you find you're in the zone, roll with it. Get up and move around periodically. Give yourself a little treat when you accomplish your goal. Here's what I would do. You've got to schedule yourself. I would wake up, exercise, eat a good breakfast, get coffee and then immediately get to work, with the goal of having my words done by That means you get to look forward to a work free evening of cooking dinner and taking a mental break.

If your daily deadline is just 'before I go to bed,' you'll still be staring at words at 10 PM. Plus the later in the day it gets, the more anxious you'll get, and the harder it will be to get it done.


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You'll think you can 'make up for it tomorrow,' but you won't. Get ahead whenever you can, because some days you will get behind. Sartre had a similar sort of routine, but he substituted coke and other uppers for coffee during the day and dancing and drinking for mental down time in the evening. Other than that, just stay hydrated and eat protein. In your situation, I'd use the Jerry Seinfeld method.

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Write Your PhD Thesis In One Month Or Less

Put a calendar up on the wall. The first day you hit words, put an X over that day. The next day, another X. The goal is to not break the chain. I would also reward myself after I put that X up there with something nice. A piece of chocolate or a beer or going outside for a quick walk. My personal rule was that I was not allowed to get up out of the chair -- for any reason -- until I was done my quota. A rule specifically like that may or may not help you, but any personal rule goes far to ensure that your daily quota is met.

Plan your work and work your plan. Whatever you do, do not skip a day.

When Writing a Good Thesis Statement Gets Tough, Ask for Help

Write your daily quota, and if you can squeeze an extra hundred or two words out there, it's only going to make it easier. FWIW, I found that writing the damn thing was the least part of it, compared to all the research and organization. Actually shitting it out wasn't too bad at all. Renault at AM on July 31, For a while I used Words. I stopped once I was in the headspace of writing regularly every day, which was also when I got to the part of the dissertation that involved writing up my data analysis and results a lot of graphs, charts, and tables.


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As someone who just finished his philosophy Ph. Butt in chair, hands on keyboard, internet off. I do my best work in mornings, so am was typing time. At 9am, I could take a break. I would then think of chunks of work to do—maybe an explanation of a specific quote, maybe polishing the transition between two sections of a chapter, etc. When the timer went off I could stop if I wanted to, or I could continue and finish that little chunk.