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The PhD Knowledge Base 

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This is not a normal blog subscription

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 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.

7 Ways To Beat PhD Writer’s Block

7 Ways To Beat PhD Writer’s Block

Then the deadline grows shorter. You start to worry, “I’m so far behind. Can I ever catch up? I’m a good student. So why haven’t I been more productive?”

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. 

The Methods Chapter – How To Write A PhD

The Methods Chapter – How To Write A PhD

This post is part of a series of guides that explain in the simplest terms possible how to structure each of the major chapters of a typical PhD thesis. If you haven't already, download our free PhD Thesis Writing Template for a simple way of visualising your entire...

The Abstract – How To Write A PhD

The Abstract – How To Write A PhD

Your abstract should be a short summary at the beginning of the thesis that sums up the research, the layout of the thesis and its contribution.

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

During coronavirus, cut yourself some slack

Your new routine won’t look like your old one, so stop comparing them. Instead, accept that it will take you a while to find your new routine and that it will look very different.

Snippets of advice for self-isolating PhD students

One of the participants over in the the virtual PhD co-working community shared an article today that talks specifically to academics facing the reality of self-isolation and lockdown. I want to share it with you.

Focus on things you can control

In life in general, but particularly during times of crisis and national emergency, there are many things outside our circle of influence that we have little control over.  Yet still we worry about them. We worry about things that may or may not happen, or things that we have no say or control over anyway. We often worry about future uncertainty outside our realm of control too. 

How is coronavirus affecting your PhD? Anonymously share your experience

We’re asking PhD students like you from around the world a simple question: How has coronavirus affected your PhD and how have you adapted? We’ve created a dedicated webpage for people to share their accounts. In a short paragraph, students are sharing their unique experiences and providing a rich, detailed account of what effect coronavirus is having.

Worrying about coronavirus is like sitting in a rocking chair

Worrying can be like sitting in a rocking chair; it can give you something to do, but it doesn’t mean really get you anywhere. As best you can, use this time as a gift. Take this rare opportunity to savour the quiet, enjoy the slower pace and use isolation to your advance. Communities are improved when the people in them are creative, focused and inspired, rather than anxious, worried and overwhelmed.

As the dust begins to settle…

As time goes on, this new reality becomes your new normal. You’ll get used to the new routine, the new limitations and the new dynamics that you encounter. You may even start to see positives that come out of your new work and social life. Not every day will be easy, but not every day will be hard either. Each day will get easier, and each day will present new opportunities for growth and development. As the dust settles on this strange new world, we’ll all start to grow the resilience necessary to deal with it.

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.