As a recent blog indicates, identifying the target size for the thesis allows the writer to map out the number and relative size of chapters, and itemise the jobs ahead.
But still we come back to the question of how long it takes to write a thesis.
But one thing is clear: for most doctoral students, the writing is not going to happen if they are not sitting at the desk.
Just getting them to the desk is part of the challenge.
Assuming five-day weeks and one month for holidays each year, that makes for 720 work days. So why do doctoral writers struggle to get this done? When I meet with doctoral candidates who appear to be busy writing, they often disappointedly say they are still working on the task they were doing last week, and the week before, and the week before that.
Many start out being very optimistic about how quickly they can write certain sections of the thesis.
By Cally Guerin The idea of being able to create a schedule to write a thesis seems pretty obvious, straight forward and achievable.
If there are 80,000 words to be written over three years, where’s the problem?
In thinking about how to respond to this, I came across Helen Sword’s recent article in which she reports on the broad range of writing habits described by all sorts of successful academic writers.
What becomes immediately clear is that there is not just one time of day, amount of time nor place that works best – for each person it’s different and depends entirely on all sorts of other factors in their lives.