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The PhD Knowledge Base 

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Each day we send a short, thought-provoking email that will make you think differently about what it means to be a PhD student. They’re designed to be read in thirty seconds and thought about all day.

Become a better writer

Writing a PhD is hard. Here we present advice and insight that can guide you through every step of the process.

What to do if you lack motivation in your PhD

What to do if you lack motivation in your PhD

Motivation is elusive. Some days you have it and others you don’t. Well, having fluctuations in your motivation is normal and to be expected. If you took ten PhD students, how many do you think would say they’re highly motivated all the time? Not many, I imagine.

What you should know if you are self-isolating during your PhD

What you should know if you are self-isolating during your PhD

This post has been published in direct response to recent calls by governments around the world to encourage more people to work from home. We wanted to create a resource that talked specifically to PhD students in order to advise them on steps they could take to ease the transition to home-working. Towards the end of these guidelines are specifically tips for those who currently teach as part of their PhD workload.

6 Things New PhD Students Should Know

6 Things New PhD Students Should Know

Noting can ever fully prepare you for the intellectual, physical and emotional assault that comes with doing a PhD. Everyone does a PhD for very personal reasons, and everyone finds them challenging in unique and varied ways. What for one person may seem like a death-blow may to others be nothing more than a minor inconvenience. However, in this post I want to discuss the six things that every new PhD student should know. They’re things that I learnt the hard way during my PhD, and which I’ve seen time and time again in my career as an academic, PhD thesis proofreader and PhD coach.

6 ways to overcome PhD loneliness

6 ways to overcome PhD loneliness

PhDs can be the loneliest places in the world. You may be part of a bigger cohort of students in your department, but ultimately it’s down to you to power on through, turn up every day, make decisions and deal with problems. It’s you that has to carry around the weight and anxiety that accompany your PhD, and it’s you who has to constantly find a way over what seem like insurmountable hurdles, problems and sticking points.

The 9 most effective ways to achieve PhD success

The 9 most effective ways to achieve PhD success

  Writing a PhD is physically, intellectually and emotionally daunting. You may spend each day doubting yourself, not sure if you’re making the right choices and unsure whether you’ve got what it takes. During the course of my life I’ve helped thousands of PhD...

Infographic: Strategies for ESL PhD Students

Infographic: Strategies for ESL PhD Students

Writing a PhD when English is your second language is a challenge. We’ve put together an infographic that will help you to improve the way you understand the PhD writing process.

Structuring your thesis

Our guides can show you the best way to structure every element of your thesis and give you the confidence to shine. 

How To Structure A PhD Thesis

How To Structure A PhD Thesis

Struggling to understand what goes where? Let us walk you through a non-nonsense guide that’ll teach you how to structure a PhD thesis.

Five tips to improve your PhD thesis

Five tips to improve your PhD thesis

Regardless of what stage of the writing process you are at, there are five overarching tips you need to keep in mind if you want to improve your PhD thesis.

Submit with confidence

There’s lots to do before you are able to submit your thesis. In this section, we make sure you’ve thought of everything.

How to deal with post-viva PhD thesis corrections

How to deal with post-viva PhD thesis corrections

We like to think that the viva is the end of the doctoral process; the final step in the long journey to a PhD. But, for most, it isn’t the final hurdle. The outcome of the viva in most cases is another three to sixth months work to deal with corrections.

There’s no place for struggle-porn in academia

There’s no place for struggle-porn in academia

Ever slept under your desk? I have. I was proud of it. It was something to boast about the next day. People admired me because of the amount of work I was putting into my PhD. Awful, right?

How attached to your PhD thesis are you?

How attached to your PhD thesis are you?

If you’re anything like I was, your PhD thesis is like your baby. You’ve bought it into the world and you’ll die for it. It’s tested you, pushed you harder than you ever thought possible and bought your to tears many, many times.

Ten Reasons Why You Need Your PhD Proofread

Ten Reasons Why You Need Your PhD Proofread

Deciding whether or not to hire a proofreader for you PhD is a big commitment. Whichever way you look at it, it’s expensive. Plus, you may think that your English language skills are good enough. So why bother? Read our ten reasons why.

A Handy PhD Submission Checklist

A Handy PhD Submission Checklist

Your work isn’t finished when you’ve written your thesis and had it proofread. There is still a surprising amount of administrative work to do before you are ready to submit. Don’t underestimate the amount of time it will take to turn your finished text into a final, bound copy.

Five Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Grammarly To Proofread A PhD

Five Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Grammarly To Proofread A PhD

Grammarly, the free online grammar and spelling checker, claims to ‘make sure everything you type is clear, effective, and mistake-free’ and that ‘everything you write clear and effective all the time’. If that’s the case, then why spend money on a proofreader when Grammarly can do it for free? Put simply, Grammarly is terrible at proofreading academic texts.

A Daily Dose of PhD Motivation

Each day we send out a short, motivational email to over 1,500 students. You can find an archive below, but if you’d like to get yours delivered straight to your inbox click here

Recognise your own brilliance

Spend a moment right now reminding yourself that life is not about how inventive or creative you are, but about noticing what you’re already a part of. Reflect on the incredible journey you’re on and on all of your positive attributes. If you struggle to think of any, think harder – they’re there, I promise you.A PhD is a cruel, unforgiving exercise. Don’t let it colour your worldview such that you stop noticing the incredible gifts you have and the incredible trajectory you are on.

What is it you are trying to say?

A common complaint I hear from PhD students is that they find it hard to structure chapters and to ensure that their writing flows.Can you relate?If you struggle to find the thread in your chapters or your thesis as a whole, here’s some advice: think hard about the key argument you are trying to make in each chapter/the thesis. Then, don’t over-complicate things.

It will all be worth it in the end…

It may not feel like it sometimes, but one day you’ll be done with your PhD and it will all be worth it.All the hard work, the uncertainty, the perseverance, the never quite knowing. It’ll all come to fruition and you’ll look back on it all in years to come with a sense of wonder and awe.

You can be dedicated and struggling

You can be passionate about your PhD and dedicated to your research but still struggle with productivity and struggle to stay motivated. You’ll have days where you procrastinate or where you question the path you’re on, but that doesn’t mean your passion or dedication has disappeared. It’s just harder to access, that’s all. 

Keep steady on your path

During your PhD, you’ll have days where nothing seems to make sense.You may question why you’re doing your PhD at all, or you may look towards the future with anxiety and doubt as you wonder whether you’ll ever be ‘good enough’ or whether you’ll ever ‘make it’.You’ll have days where you wonder how the hell you got here and where you go next.

Some Things Are Worth Fighting For.

What are you fighting for?Underpinning every PhD (and PhD student) is a personal struggle. Something worth fighting for.On the dark days where nothing seems to be going right or you can’t escape the PhD-blues, it is helpful to remind yourself what this fight is, and of why you’re here and why you decided to start your PhD in the first place.

Your one page PhD thesis

Visualise every element of your thesis on one page with our free thesis template.

Whether you’re writing up or starting out, use it to present your research in the most compelling way possible.