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Writing A Strong Psychology Doctoral Thesis: Useful Guidelines

Writing a great psychology doctoral thesis depends relies on a number of factors. A student needs to pick an original topic that is interesting and furthers the research on a particular topic. A student also needs to make sure the content is well-written and presented in a format that meets all department and institution requirements. Most say that a doctoral thesis is the pinnacle of one’s academic work. We’ve put together some helpful guidelines for writing a strong psychology doctoral thesis:

  • Develop and Stick to a Plan:
  • When working on a project of this scope it’s vital you first develop a plan that includes all of the steps required in completing it and a schedule to spread those steps over a period of several months. There are a number of different approaches and tools for setting up a good plan. Our advice is that you be as detailed as possible to ensure there is no confusion.

  • Use the Correct Definitions and Terminology:
  • Every discipline will have a set of widely-understood definitions and terminology. And even though you are writing your dissertation for your advising committee, you can’t assume that they will know all the specific terms fitting a topic. If in your research you come upon a term that may need some explanation then do so early in your document. This is considered professional and in no way insults the reader’s intelligence.

  • Avoid Certain Terms or Phrases:
  • On the flip side there are a number of terms and phrases you should avoid at all costs. Don’t use adverbs unless they are necessary. They are considered superfluous and are often viewed as lazy on the part of academics. Stay away from words that are vague in nature. For instance, “many,” “very,” and the like are words that could mean a number of things. Stay away from them.

  • Use the Correct Voice and Tense:
  • Nothing will annoy your reader more than not knowing the basic rules of voice and tense. Your academic dissertation should be written in the third person. The committee knows this is your opinion so you don’t need to state this in the first person. Also try to speak in the active voice instead of the past inactive for greater effect.

  • Check Your Logic and Grammar:
  • Lastly, you’ll want to ensure that your psychology doctoral thesis makes sense. You’ll be working through a number of drafts so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to ensure that your grammar is correct and that your sentence construction makes sense. If you are in doubt let someone you trust provide some feedback. The person shouldn’t have any trouble understanding your work if you have succeeded in presenting it logically.