How to write a PhD thesis
at Ecole polytechnique
Writing a PhD thesis is a colossal task… If you are setting out to write one, then you have no doubt been working on a piece of research for several months if not years. Now it’s time to start putting all your hard work down onto paper, knowing that it will be critiqued and marked by a jury of experts in your subject. No pressure at all! All the more reason to know how to write about your research in its best light.
A PhD dissertation has a page count ranging between 200-300 pages and will take no less than three months of your time to complete. Even the bravest of us are intimated by the idea. Planning, writing, editing, science illustrations, figures, proofreading and supervisor feedback are just a few of the hurdles you will need to face. How do you get started? And what makes a good thesis dissertation?
Last month, one of our science writing coaches trained eight PhD candidates from the prestigious Ecole polytechnique on how to write a thesis dissertation in English. This virtual training course took place over 5 mornings and was packed with techniques and custom-built exercises to help participants write and re-write essential parts of their manuscript. Participants enjoyed a range of different examples and extracts from existing theses to learn how to make their own work better. Now, they have all the skills they need to produce a polished final draft in only several months.
Four additional sessions are scheduled between January and June 2021. In total, around forty PhD students will participate in this training course on how to write a thesis dissertation during this school year.
Writing a PhD thesis might be a daunting task, especially when English is not your native language – but with proper organization and the right method, anything is possible!