by Amanda Wilson
In the chaos and rat-race of our lives, we often forget the actual purpose behind why we do certain things. As correctly pointed out by certain critics, education has taken a backseat and been replaced by ruthless competition amongst students for more marks and good grades. In this effort, students often take the easy way out, without even focusing on the aim of their research or what they have discovered and learnt in the process.
Research is an excellent way to make your learning easier and more hands-on. In a way, you are discovering the facts on a certain topic in your own way and on your own time. The mission of research should be two-fold:
- help the students learn and grasp the nuances of a certain topic
- allow the student to raise his own questions on the topic, so as to make a contribution of his own
Where to study a PhD
First of all, let’s tell you the most popular destinations for PhD students around the world. These are:
- PhDs in Spain
- PhDs in the United States
- PhDs in Hungary
- PhDs in the United Kingdom
- PhDs in Switzerland
Contrary to what students think, writing a thesis is not just an exercise in futility or testing your patience. If done correctly, it can be a journey of self-actualization for you, and that is not a hyperbole. It is not really about the resources that are used in the process of thesis writing or the tools at your disposal, but about the mental processes and trajectories to follow that will lead you to the thesis statement and its answer.
The build-up to the core of the project should be natural; start by educating yourself about the basics, each concept, the categorisations, and slowly enter into the trickier territories of the subject. Once the reading and research material has been duly covered, list your questions and sequentially follow through with each to find your hypothesis. A flowchart would be really helpful here.
The first thing that most professors and PhD supervisors advise is that your entire thesis writing experience depends on the topic that you choose. It should be one that can hold your full attention in the long run.
A few such topics are:
- “The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature” by Karl Marx (1841): What he did was make keen observations regarding the social order around him, and how it had existed and evolved, noticing a pattern and documenting it;
- “Non-Cooperative Games” by John Nash (1950): One of the most notable developments in the field of Economics in recent times; the Nash Equilibrium is a concept that is considered one of the most important in the subject till date.
- “The Principle of Least Action in Quantum Mechanics” by Richard Feynman (1942): An integral piece of work in the field of Quantum Mechanics, it is widely read by students even today.
Essential things to note
Despite all the advice and well-meaning people around you, we understand that research and thesis writing can actually be an extremely hectic process that tests your nerves and your mental endurance. This is why it is essential to strategize not only your academic activities during this period, but also your psychological performance.
Make sure that you have sufficient positive reinforcements around you, as there will be obstacles coming your way, such as your supervisor being hard on you, your drafts not getting approved, or plain old writer’s block.
The thing to remember is to never lose sight of your goal and accept criticisms, because it is reflective of how the target audience will perceive your work and how it can benefit them.
However, you must learn to distinguish between constructive criticism and rude remarks that are not helpful at all. Learn to brush off all that and make sure that you have predetermined stress-busters to help you out, like yoga, good music, and wholesome movies that give your mind a break.
Go with the plan
In a nutshell, organized planning and keeping your eye on the prize are the two things that will get you through the process. Some other things you must take care of are:
- Making sure that you have a good supervisor, who will help you out as and when required.
- Following the professors’ advice, and incorporate it into your thesis, if you can.
- Being patient and organic regarding the development of your thesis. Do not rush the process, and make sure that you explore as many avenues of the topic as possible. This is because the more you read, the more material you have to offer a new perspective on.
The thesis that you put out into the world should always strive to change the conventional notion of a particular topic. This is why you should never be afraid to experiment and use your personal opinions and suggestions in your thesis, albeit judiciously. This will truly ensure the relevance of your research.
About the author
Amanda Wilson studied Creative Writing and Digital Media at Columbia University in the US. This experience led her to professional writing career at writing service PaperWritten. Amanda is still providing students help and actionable tips as the Academic Coach. Having found the purpose she can't stop spreading an inspiration. Connect Amanda on twitter @AmyWilson913