1.4 An Action Plan for a Successful PhD
A PhD is at the top of the academic ladder of achievement, so, in order to take that last step toward academic prestige, you will have to undertake an intensive PhD writing project, which can take anywhere from one year to many years, depending on your research topic and plan.
In order to fulfill your PhD goals, it is important to first develop an action plan to shape and organize your efforts and illustrate to your advisory team that you are committed to the effort required to attain to PhD status.
While you have obviously already tackled dissertations, thesis assignments, research papers and other intensive writing projects, nothing quite prepares you for the required level of research, analysis, presentation and length that a PhD writing project must involve. The level of complexity and the number of references take this writing project to a whole new level of work. That’s why you might appreciate the tips provided here on how to create an action plan for a successful PhD dissertation.
Getting Started on a PhD Action Plan
Here are some guidelines on creating your successful PhD action plan:
- Reflect on past work: If you are at the PhD level of study, you more than likely had to write a Master’s level dissertation or thesis to get there. Usually, you will simply continue further and deeper research into a problem you had previously explored. You may take it in a new direction, but your past work should be a good starting point for your PhD action plan.
- Research the topic: Before you present anything to your advisors, it is best to do some preliminary, but detailed, research on the PhD topic that you are proposing. As you did with other research papers, you should carefully compile strong academic sources, such as books, articles, and even Internet sources that can illustrate the real-world problem in action. Begin to sort the research so that you can put some of the information into your PhD proposal.
- Prepare a presentation: Different colleges and advisors will have different expectations about the level of presentation that they want to see in regards to your PhD action plan. Some may only require an outline whilst others will want a detailed proposal upfront. Be sure to ask your advisors what they prefer and get their guidelines upfront so you can prepare the most effective presentation.
- Practice and rehearse: You will have to present before your advisors, so be prepared with answers to questions they may ask and have a rehearsed speech as to why you believe this would make a good PhD research topic.
- Begin your PhD project: The last step in your PhD action plan is to begin researching and writing your PhD project. And, this is no small feat to accomplish. This will take many months of commitment and effort on your part, including careful thought, methodical research, numerous revisions and regular meetings with your advisors. However, the PhD dissertation will be a summary of all the hard work you’ve put into your academic career over the years and add to your credibility in the field of your choice.
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