Writing and Drafts

Writing Strategy

No matter which style you are comfortable with and whatever the nature of your research, I would strongly recommend that you write whenever you have something to say. There is a threefold advantage to this. Firstly, you are not left with the daunting task at the end to write 100,000 words. Second, writing forces us to consider our thoughts and ideas very carefully, often developing them further and perhaps setting a more concrete foundation for the research that is to follow. Third, if you do not write at relevant stages, you may, as some people do, end up doing research sufficient for two dissertations – spending precious time on material that will not be used for your thesis-and then struggle to fit it into the 100,000 word limit.

If you have a language problem, seek help from the LTU early on, with each chapter. It will be too big a problem to handle with a complete draft.


It is natural, indeed healthy, to go through drafts. You will have more drafts or versions of earlier chapters than later ones.

  • Date your drafts and archive them. It is not unlikely that you will need to refer back to an older draft. Especially when subsequent drafts have been through surgery for fat reduction (word count problems), you will have older drafts that have material that can be reused in publications at a later date.
  • Having drafts also allows you to see a progression of your work from the beginning. It is sometimes good to look at earlier drafts retrospectively. This often allows you to avoid problems in later writing.
  • Clearly label drafts. The physical copy and more importantly the file name. You don’t want to spend 3 hours proof reading an older draft! I usually added the month and year at the end of the filename.


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