8.2 Writing Regular Reports on Your PhD Thesis

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During the course of writing your thesis, you will be required to write regular reports on your thesis and the progress you are making in your research.

Obviously, the requirements of the individual college or university at which you are studying will vary and you will need to consult with your supervisor as to precisely how much information is required.

It can be as simple as completing a form with a number of questions which you answer and then the research, on the recommendation of your supervisor and the academic board, will simply be moved forward.

Again, how long there will be between reports will vary according to the academic institution concerned. However, there will be at least an annual report to be completed by both yourself and your appointed academic supervisor until the time when your research is complete.

When the research period is officially over, then you will move into ‘writing-up time’ as the transitional period is informally known. This is largely discretionary and you may or may not require it depending on how much you accomplish during the initial time zone for your Ph.D. thesis.

The time allotted will also differ according to whether you are studying part-time or full-time and this may even alter itself if you decide that the work-load is too exacting full-time, especially if your circumstances change for one reason or another. It should be remarked, however, that colleges and universities are much stricter on time allowed for the research and completion of a Ph.D. thesis than they once were.

Bearing all this in mind, the completion of regular reports can be seen to be extremely important and is useful for you, too, as you are called upon constantly to meet deadlines and reassess your research progress thus far.

As has been said, the completion of a simple form may be all that is required but it might be necessary for you to do more than this. You might have to write about your research and/or writing in detail, giving a literary review of your research up to date.

It is a good idea to discuss these reports on your thesis with your supervisor well in advance of when they are due so that you both know precisely what is expected and how best to supply it.

"It is essential that you complete these reports comprehensively and on time to ensure that the research board is happy with your progress."

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