How to stay focus writing one's thesis? Part 1

Posted by sazali


I think I saw someone asking for tips how to stay focus writing up his/ her thesis.

Here I am ..just sharing my experience writing my masters' and PhD thesis few years ago.  If my writing is 'good'  use it else you can look for other sources.  He..he..

The steps are :

(i)  you must know which topic to write.  The methodology section is the easiest.  Nobody else knows your method  as well as you.  So just write your method down.

Categorize them as  3.1  ;  3.2  and 3.3.  Why 3?  Because Chapter 3 is the methodology.

3.1   the most important step to declare to the readers -  this is what I used in order to answer my RESEARCH QUESTION 1.

3.1.1  Why was this tool (software), questionaire , survey used?  Explain them as much as possible.  Try to write as much as possible.  You can use somebody's work as a guide.  You just declare like this ' ..this method was adapted from XYZ work in 2010'.  By doing so , you can feel some confidence in explaining this part.

3.1.2  What to expect from this method?  The expected results would be ....

(ii)  Put a time frame when writing.  In my case .. I always say .. I must write 2 sections of this chapter 3.1  and 3.2  within 6 hours.

If you do not put the time frame, you will never complete the writings.  After the end of 6 hours , double check your work.  Tomorrow plan another writing say  3.2.1;  3.2.2  and so on.  Put the time limit.  You can also write Chapter 4 (RESULTS)  too while constructing Chapter 3.

3.1.3  After writing, give your close friends to read your work.  Of course they will give so many comments but don't worry.  It shows to them you are writing Chapter 3 now.

3.1.4   Open all chapters of your thesis in your notebook.  By doing so, you can see many connections between the chapter 3 you are writing with other chapters of your thesis. 

(ii)  once you got the momentum to write keep on writing.  Never stop writing by taking a short break - i.e., holiday in Germany / Italy.  Why?  a holiday takes another planing.  Sometimes you met new intersting friends while on holidaying.  This is quite dangerous because .. new friends mean new adventure etc etc.

So you better stick to your plan.  Everyday plan.  say 6 hours a day .. just writing.  3 hours in the early morning.  2 hours in the evening and 1 more hour ..  after dinner at 0900 pm.  Can?

(iii)  once you have covered Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 ... you can attack Chapter 5/ the discussion section.

You explain why there is a difference in results as compared to previous work.

Organize in RQ1, RQ2, RQ3   manner.

If there is a similarity , discuss why is that so.

Don't worry.  Just explain.

Now you must write a section called Contribution to the Body of Knowledge.

Just write.  Sometimes many of my friends are too afraid to write this sub section in Chapter 5.

Without a piece of writing .. called the contribution .. there won't be any Ph.D for you.  Moreover that is the main question you must prepare to answer to your examiners during the VIVA.

My tips .. is ..don't worry. Just write them down.  Design it to be 2 pages for a start.
Redesign so that you can write more say 4 pages.
Then redesign .. you must write say 8 - 10 pages of that contribution.

Of course , that is too much ..but don't worry.  The more you write .. the more you will see .. that are really contributing to the body of knowledge.

Great authors ///  say Sheakspear .. they started to write something first . the first 3 paragraphs .. they play with so many ideas ..before they realize the moment to go all out to write everything .. worth reading .

Insyallah , you can do it.

If I can do it .. you too can.  For Goodness sake.  Just give that chance to your self.

That's it.  My first attempt to give tips ..

may be after a day or so ..i would try to reconstruct this writing into a different manner. Who knows?
Tawakal tu ala llah.


Wallahu aklam.  (GOD KNOWS BEST)


  1. Anonymous said...

    Good tips,syukran.

  2. Anonymous said...

    sama ke writing kalau buat phd pure engineering?

  3. sazali said...

    50% sama// chapter 1, chapter 2 dan chapter 3/

    then chapter 4 - your experimentation part A dan part B.

    chapter 5, 6 and may be chapter 7. consult SV tuan/puan/ all the best. tq. jgn takut.

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