My top tips for writing a thesis

Charlotte Chivers is a final year PhD researcher within the Centre for Rural Policy Research and is exploring the efficacy of agricultural advice surrounding diffuse water pollution. She is in the final throes of writing her thesis and is starting a position at the University of Gloucestershire in September. 

As part of the new PGR Online Resources (coming soon!), final year PGR Charlotte Chivers has developed her top tips for writing a thesis…from in the midst of finishing writing up hers! Watch this video for her top tips, or read them below.

Top tips for writing your thesis

  1. Start simple and then add detail; don’t run before you can walk! It may work best to draft your thoughts out first before adding detail
  2. Find out what your writing style is (see the academic writing resources in this e-module)
  3. Think about ways in which your research is novel throughout the process
  4. Talk to other PhD researchers at a similar stage to you
  5. Communicate with your supervisors
  6. Don’t be daunted by the scale of a thesis – break it down into ‘bitesize’ chunks
  7. Don’t rush – be systematic or you may have to do things again in the future which may be more time consuming
  8. Find a working schedule which works for YOU – everyone is different – try different things e.g. Pomodoro technique (see infographic within this e-module)
  9. Plan carefully (but don’t ‘over-plan’ – this can easily become procrastination!)
  10. Try to keep up with referencing as you write; writing a bibliography from scratch isn’t fun
  11. Back EVERYTHING up.
  12. Make yourself a schedule to aim for and send it to your supervisors so you’re held accountable
  13. Don’t overwork yourself
  14. Be kind to yourself – sleep, exercise, wash (!), eat healthy!


Written by: Charlotte Chivers