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  • Get geared to face the challenges of doing a PhD: your preparation should be…..

    PhD is full of technical hurdles, sometimes financial bottlenecks that you may not have imagined in the preliminary stages. What is intangible but a big bottleneck are the psychological factors. You may have one the thorough preparation to put all he tangible aspects in place when you start your PhD but it is important to introspect and find out if you are also equally prepared mentally to deal with the stresses that are associated with a PhD.  This is because, it is for sure that as a researcher if you do not have the right attitude, perseverance, patience  then  you may not even be able to handle the technical problems efficiently for which you have prepared yourself so well. Having better and more organised work habits is imperative. You may wonder why that is so.

    PhD requires   you to many tasks of different nature and in different capacity. Sometimes you are required to do many things at the same time. Researchers if are not having a systematic approach to follow will fail to prioritize their tasks and handle them gracefully, all at the same time. In addition to that, when you have deadlines to meet, being systematic and organised in work habits is very important. You would have to train yourself to develop the right attitude and with that develop the habit of getting consistency in work in such a way that in a step by step manner you are able to accomplish the goals you have set for yourself and in an attempt to accomplish the smaller goals you don’t lose the vision for the bigger goal. Getting organised and systematic in the way you work is the key to success. In addition to that, you must get disciplined and determined with the tasks you are required to do. After you have systematised your life, you need to train yourself to lead a disciplined life. Remember that whatever you r goals be and how much good your   planning be, finally it is the execution style that determines the success. For effective execution, especially in a program like a  PhD, which has the characteristics of being  long terms and challenging at every stage being habitual and having disciplined work habits is very significant for success.  It isn’t easy to stick to a plan unless you are habituated to work hard in consistency

    Getting organised and systematic in the way you work is the key to success. In addition to that, you must get disciplined and determined with the tasks you are required to do. After you have systematised your life, you need to train yourself to lead a disciplined life. Remember that whatever you r goals be and how much good your   planning be, finally it is the execution style that determines the success. For effective execution, especially in a program like a  PhD, which has the characteristics of being  long terms and challenging at every stage being habitual and having disciplined work habits is very significant for success.  It isn’t easy to stick to a plan unless you are habituated to work hard in consistency.

    If you wish to prepare yourself mentally for the PhD journey, and you are struggling with organised habits and consistent hard work, make yourself answerable to a responsible person, initially at least and see it helping you train yourself into a tougher person psychologically.

     

     

    The mental preparation you need before starting your PhD

    There are technical hurdles when writing a PhD, but there are more psychological hurdles actually. You may have all the tangibles in place when you start writing your thesis. You may also ensure that your topic, supervisor, methodology, equipment, reading material etc., all is perfectly placed but if you haven’t worked around your attitude, there are chances you may not succeed. It is something to ponder over, there can be all solutions found for technical concerns but as a researcher, psychologically if you lack the right attitude, perseverance, patience to actually find the solutions to the technical problems, it won’t be of any use. To get into the right frame of mind for thesis writing, you must ensure:

    Become systematized:  you would have a lot of things to do in the process of doing your PhD and many a times a lot of things to do simultaneously, there would be a lot of individual tasks to accomplish and often researchers are seen getting trapped in those individual tasks that they lose sight of their broader plans and deadlines that they got to meet. Researchers need to be organised and systematic in their planning. It is essential for them as they have to get into a lot of things and it is difficult to accomplish targets and deadlines unless things are better planned.  You would have to develop in yourself the right attitude and along with that the consistency in effort and perseverance to be able to stick onto your plan and the goals that you have set for yourself. For the larger goal of completing your thesis on time, you may have to accomplish several smaller goals. It is a good idea to pen them down in chronological order and put them at a place  that they remain a constant  reminder to help you to not give and remember that you  have to be organised to be successful.

    Get habitual:  All your plans and goals, big or small aren’t of much use if you do not have a discipline that you follow in your life. You need to make work your daily habit and stick to it. You can do this b y first explaining your mind that your thesis is nothing different or less than a full time job. Whatever time span that you set for yourself to do your thesis work on everyday basis, stick to it like how you would go to your full time job on everyday basis. Being answerable to only yourself makes it difficult here and people tend to give convincing excuses to themselves but don’t get into that trap and ensure that you have trained your mind to be disciplined in your work habits.

     

     

    How to design the process for writing your research document?

    Writing the research paper requires you to have a certain process to follow. The way you design and follow the process is important as that determines the time span you would take to complete the document and helps you to identify the route you would take for the completion of your document.  Make sure that before you start to write the paper, you must develop a process so that you have the guidelines and the route map. What are the basic tips to follow while you develop your research process are:

    Keep the focus on the present: When you are developing your process, try to keep the focus on the present and the resources and constraints that are present in that time frame. You need to design the process in a step wise fashion to make sure that all the milestones are hit and also completed in a proper manner. When you are in the process development stage, keep in mind you past accomplishments in context to research paper writing so that you precisely know what works for you and what the problem areas are for you.  You may need to brainstorm on the problem areas to come out with anticipated solutions that will work for you.  This stage has the element of subjectivity for all as it isn’t necessary that the same thing or situation may be a strength for all. It may also be a deterrent for some.  Doing an in-depth analysis of your past experiences would for instance tell you that are you at ease writing the paper straight away or  unless you have the outline  drafted for you , you feel stuck mid-way.  Take your own call here.

    Make it as detailed as possible: Try to keep your process as detailed as possible so that after each stage you know what has to follow. Know that when you have the clarity and know what has to come next, automatically your anxiety level is lesser and you are able to concentrate more on what you have to do now because mentally you are prepared and relaxed about the next level.

    You may feel that developing the process is a time involving job and it is unnecessary as it may add to the time the task is going to take, but always remember that some quality time spent in the process creation makes the pace of the entire task pick up significantly and reduces the bottlenecks to a great extent.

    Things you must never include in an abstract

    You abstract is a summary of your research and it has to be created effectively in the specified word limit. It is a challenge that you have to combine all important elements of your research into one paragraph which would be approximately 250 words or perhaps even less, can be very challenging. You must be knowing what all are the important components of an abstract, but here we tell you the important things you must NOT include in your abstract:

    1. The abstract should not contain detailed background information as it is the learning ground for your own research and not the work of other researchers
    2. It must not include citations for reason mentioned above, as you must only and only talk of your research in your abstract
    3. Do not give details of complicated and lengthy laboratory procedures as they should be made a part of the main document and not the abstract
    4. If it isn’t the focus of the study, you must not give the details in  the abstract about the statistical methods and software used
    5. Most of the journals do not allow the use of abbreviations and acronyms in abstract else they give a list of common abbreviations and acronyms that can be included and do not need definition. So do keep that in mind.
    6. If you have any results or interpretations that you have not discussed in the  document then you must not give any mention of it in the abstract

    Once the abstract has been completed, check thoroughly and tally that all that you have included in the abstract matches well with the information that you have included in the main text. It is understandable that when you have worked on a document for a very long time it can be a challenge to give an objective evaluation regarding the clarity of the content as by then you have a strong understanding and familiarity with the concept and what you may find simple may not be simple for s novice reader in your area of research. The best way to judge this is to give it someone from another discipline and see if it becomes as clear to them as you expect. If you are able to determine areas which need revision or enhancement, do work on them after that to complete the abstract.