The most common advice at my university back in Italy was to look at an older thesis and put together something similar.
I had published several papers, so I reorganized them into one coherent and logical story—writing a general background introduction, a chapter introducing my research topic more specifically, a description of the common instrumentation and data analysis, several adapted chapters presenting the original work of my research, and a general conclusion.
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I guess I managed to write it because I had to, the alternative being to fail the Ph. Work that is already published or has been submitted does not need to be rewritten.
I was quite lucky to have published two research papers and a review of my field that served as the introduction, and I was revising another manuscript that I had submitted to a journal.Formed in 1998, we are a network of graduate-level professors, dissertation committee members, research statisticians, dissertation writing consultants, dissertation editors, and APA format experts.Our expertise is in designing, researching, writing, and editing scholarly documents such as dissertations, capstone projects, and theses.It also helped me identify a few gaps that needed to be filled back in the lab.Altogether it took about 1 year, including a couple months of maternity leave in the early stages, to write the whole thing.I first organized my data and results into a storyboard by printing all my graphs and laying them out on a giant table.This strategy helped me see how the pieces fit together, which results would be in or out, the best way to display the data, and where the chapter breaks should be.My thesis was nearly 300 pages, and I almost got concerned about examiners having to read them all.But the “real thesis” was only about 180 pages, with the remainder being appendices, including my two manuscripts under review, references, and lists of figures and tables.I made a lot of notes and flowcharts describing what should go into each chapter to guide me during the writing, which later also helped me provide a quick overview at the beginning of each chapter and crosscheck information at the end of the writing process.As I completed the whole thing, I was quite surprised at how much I had written.