Top tips for writing your research project

  1. “Sit down, write what come into your head about your research without even consulting your notes” (Becker, 2008). Many of us are afraid of showing our efforts publicly and receiving critics. This fear is narrated by the sociologist Howard Becker in his book “Writing for social scientists: How to start and finish your thesis, book, or article”. PhD writers normally have complex and sophisticate written material as the main reference. The literature on our topic is usually the result of writing, re-writing and reviewing process. This process is not visible and makes many people think that the author wrote it directly, without any preliminary process, as if writing were a question of inspiration. What is more, as suggested by Becker, sometimes, the use of complex (see full of sophisticate vocabulary) writing style is not even the result of any process but just the way certain authors try to distinguish themself in order to sound wiser and “classy”. Be it one or another reason, writing reference often discourage and confuse writers without experience. They ofthen tend to imitate and oversttimate their notes and others authors ideas when writing. For this reason, Becker suggests to sit down, write what come into your head about your research without even consult your notes. Then, once your narrative has a logical structure, you can add certain notes, polish your writing style with certain sophisticate words or connectors, re-write certain parts etc. And again, try to write, then re-write and re-write until it sounds clear.
  2. Do not leave writing until the end. Writing your project report is something that should not be left until every other part of your research has been completed. This has clear benefits. Writing is the only time when we really think (Phillips and Pugh, 2010). Many researchers find it helpful to write since the very beginning, when you are formulating the research problem and objectives or review of literature. We humans have 60.000 thoughts a day. Writing is way of select them and organize your mind. The same occurs when coping with a research project. Writing since the beginning will orientate you through the whole process.
  3. Create time for your writing (Saunders, 2011).
  4. Write when your mind is fresh (Op cit.)
  5. Find a regular writing place.(Op cit.)
  6. Do not procrastinate and set your own deadlines.
  7. “Finish the writing session on a high point” (Saunders, 2011). Do not finish a writing session in the middle of a section, especially the most complex ones. It is very difficult to pick up the threads after a few days of having written the first part.
  8. Get friends to read you work. You may find writing as a creative activity, but checking your work is not. It has more to do with rigor and systematic review. Ask your friends to read your project to check out whether it is first of all understandable. The fact we are very familiar with what we write, sometimes, make us lost a little bit the perspective.

Becker, Howard S. Writing for social scientists: How to start and finish your thesis, book, or article. University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Phillips, E., & Pugh, D. (2010). How to get a PhD: A handbook for students and their supervisors. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Saunders, M. N. (2011). Research methods for business students, 5/e. Pearson Education India.


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