Authoring a PhD Thesis: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish by Patrick Dunleavy

By Patrick Dunleavy

Authoring a PhD includes having artistic principles, figuring out tips on how to order them, writing up from plans, upgrading textual content, and completing it quickly and to an outstanding ordinary. It additionally includes being tested and getting paintings released. This e-book presents a big variety of rules and recommendations to assist PhD applicants take care of either the highbrow matters concerned and the sensible problems of organizing their paintings effectively.

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3 Planning an Integrated Thesis: the Macro-Structure The pattern of the thing precedes the thing. Vladimir Nabokov 1 A ny large text has to be broken up and arranged into a set of chapters. This task may seem unproblematic. First think about how many thousand words you want to write, and then how many chunks of text you need to split up this total effectively. Next settle on what topics to begin with, and where you want to end up. Then fix on some way to get from alpha to omega. So far, so straightforward.

Nothing disrupts the fit between question and answer in a thesis more effectively than a theoretical framework which functions only as a heteronomous cog, a part of the analysis that turns and turns but never engages with anything else. 33 But perhaps he was in an unusual category of persons. Doing genuinely new theory at PhD level is now very difficult in all of the humanities and social science disciplines. Their intellectual apparatuses have grown and extended a great deal in the last half century.

A new theory, even when it appears most unitary and all-embracing, deals with some immediate element of novelty or paradox within the framework of far vaster, unanalysed, unarticulated reserves of knowledge, experience, faith and presupposition … We neither can, nor need, rebuild the house of the mind very rapidly. Robert Oppenheimer 15 32 ◆ AUTHORING A PHD The nature of academic debates is such that complete closure of many controversies is unlikely. More than four centuries ago Blaise Pascal remarked about the incomplete establishment and yet persistence of religious belief: ‘We have an incapacity of proof, insurmountable by all dogmatism.

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