Dr Jenna Price Profile picture
Sep 19, 2018 34 tweets 31 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
How to write a PhD in six months, a twitter thread from remarks by @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps at our writing sprints #phdchat #academicwriting
You must be openminded, optimistic and realistic. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
If I want this to be done, let's have a "come to Jesus" moment. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
You must map out how you get to the end. Often you have the deadline in your head but you let it hang there as loosely as possible (so it's not scary) but that's not a great strategy. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Pull that moon in (that loose balloon). Most books are written in six months. In addition to the literature review, the reading, the thinking, the faffing around. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Every project has a first "OMG" I've never going to finish and if I don't finish I'm going to die" moment, where you think I can't remember the beginning and I don't see an end. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Everyone has that. Don't panic. Everything that comes after that moment is good. then you think, this is real and I need to sit down and finish. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
No one can do everything in six months but it's the end of the faffing, the daily existential crisis, it's time to sit down and just effing write. That's what we are talking about right now. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
When is the day you want to submit? Write that down right now. You have agency in this process. Yes you do. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
subtweeting myself (my d day and when I have to submit are different) so different. a year apart.
That day is an important day to fix in your head. Commit. That is when you are doing to submit. Change your password to be that due date to make it tangible. Highlight in calendar. Then count back from that date. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Count back from that date, number of days, weeks and months. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
A lot of people in my class have 36 weeks, some have 12 weeks, some have three months and ten days (these last ones make me squeak), some have three years and three months @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Now, think about time frame. Are there periods of time when you know you won't be working: holidays, family time, conference. BE REALISTIC. Include the absence of your supervisor or when you KNOW IN YOUR 💚 you can't write. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Subtract all that time and give us your new total. That is the moment @MeganhMackenzie often freaks out. "That can be scary." @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Then write down how many chapters you have in your PhD. List the names of your chapters. Next to each of them write a percentage of how close they are to being done. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
So, if a chapter doesn't exist at all, put zero per cent next to that chapter. If you have already framed it out and have the idea of the structure, then you are close to 20 per cent. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
What I recommend then is to get all of your chapters to 75 per cent before you finalise any of them. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
You never finish a chapter to 100 per cent before the end. The goal should be to get them to 75%/80% where you would be happy to have someone read them. THEN ..... @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Really that means, substract six week from your total time you have left before submission. Right, back to the planning part of this thread. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
So, what's left for you to do. Once you have what you have left to do, it helps organise you. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Look at your list of chapters. Look at how much you have left to do. What will it take you to get to 75% @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Do the sums, if you have eight chapters and you need a certain amount of time. Divide the weeks needed for each chapter against the time available. "Add two weeks for the bibliograph"y😂 MEGAN did not say this, this is me) @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Then set the calendar with reminders. Give yourself real deadlines. You set yourself up for failure if you don't give yourself deadlines. Be realistic but also set yourself a solid time frame. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
When you keep to your deadlines, remind yourself that you have succeeded even if you haven't yet completed. "This week, I'm on schedule." @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
And give yourself a reward, even if it is just a positive comment to yourself. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Another reminder to give yourself time to get feedback, particularly at the end when supervisors may want to see chapters again - or the whole thing again. (feeling very grateful for @ariadne_syd right now, queen of speed) @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
People get into the six months desperado mode - they are looking for easy answers and try for easier feedback. Don't be so ridiculous. All answers are: sit down and do it. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Stop running to others in the hope they will give you an easy answer. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Have a daily goal. If you don't have a daily goal, how will you know whether you are doing this work on time and in a good way? Celebrate reaching those goals. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Set a daily word goal. (This works for me but I know it doesn't work for everyone). @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
So you are nearly there - remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place. It doesn't have to be 'earth-shattering' or an 'opus'. You just have to finish. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
Once you are done, let go. The best thesis is a finished thesis. Stay positive. You have enough time. @MeganhMackenzie @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting
And that's the end of, how to write your PhD in six months, a thread from the seminar by @MeganhMackenzie at @Usyd_ssps #phdchat #academicwriting

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Dr Jenna Price

Dr Jenna Price Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!