Demystifying the PhD Thesis

Presenter: Dr. Michael Smyth (Edinburgh Napier University);
Organiser: Marwa Salayma (Edinburgh Napier University);
RDF Domain: A1 - Knowledge Base; B2 - Self Management; C1 - Professional Conduct; C2 - Research Management;

Lecture slides will become available here


So you have read the literature, refined your research objectives, carried out a study or two, maybe even indulged in a little light analysis of your data, possibly built something that people/bots have evaluated or tested ..... but whatever you have done, one thing for certain is ...... the thesis.

How do you go about writing a thesis, have you ever looked at a finished thesis or is that just too scary?

In this workshop we will attempt to demystify the thesis by discussing the following and more:

  • How should it be structured?
  • What should it look like?
  • How long should it be?
  • How could I possibly convey the subtlety of my research in a thesis?
  • Will my thesis ever be coherent?
  • Maybe if I did a little more work, then I could write my thesis...

Session Outline

  • Part 1 (40 minutes): Presentation, what is the purpose of the thesis; how can a thesis be structured and who is the audience for the thesis?
  • Part 2 (30 minutes): Discussion, using examples of previous theses.
  • Part 3 (20 minutes): Round up.

Learning Outcomes

  • LO1: Enable critical reflection on the purpose of the thesis.
  • LO2: Present techniques for planning and structuring your thesis.
  • LO3: Provide insight into how a thesis is read and examined.

Additional Information

Feel free to bring any piece of your thesis writing so to discuss it during the session. Dr. Michael will send his presentation slides to all the workshop attendees. If you have further questions regarding writing your thesis please email Dr. Michael Smyth.