Academic institutions in the UK are now quite strict on the time frame within which they hope students will submit their dissertation. You will get a lot of advice about this from your supervisor, the LTU and your friends.
The standard PhD student goes through four formal stages:
- Upgrade – by the end of your first year, if you are a full time student, you will
- Write up-
But the PhD process in general, is one of the most unstructured processes. While PhD students all come with a good set of research skills, the most they have done until that time is write a Masters thesis over a few months. The following is what I have learnt through my experience – lessons that I wish I had learnt at the beginning of my research. Although all of us have our own idiosyncratic way of dealing with projects, I am hopeful that at least some of this will be useful information.
The LTU now does actually try and help students organize themselves and there are also more comprehensive guides to PhD research available in bookstores. The following supplements these and focuses on areas that have not received the attention they deserve. (The guidebook that I found most helpful was Authoring a PhD by Patrick Dunleavy)
In this section there are suggestions about,
- Thesis Structure/Outline
- Timeline & Goals
- Writing and Drafts
- Word Limit
- Back Up