How To Write Your PhD Thesis

Make the process as enjoyable, or at least as tolerable, as possible

Dr. Furaha Asani
6 min readFeb 8, 2020
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

The advice given below is based on my own experience of writing my PhD thesis. The caveats are that: 1. I love writing anyway. However, getting nearly 50 000 words and accruing many, many representative images of my data was still daunting for me. And; 2. This is written from the perspective of the biological sciences. I however believe it is adaptable for other fields.

Before you start writing

  • Think about whether you’re going to start writing during your PhD, or after data collection. While the latter isn’t ideal, it isn’t the end of the world. It’s also what I experienced (and many other PhD’s I’ve spoken to, too). That being said, I’d advise you not to put off writing and start as soon as you can.
  • Yes, you have (or will have) ‘enough’ for your thesis. A PhD project is supposed to be a novel piece of work, but is not, in and of itself, a closed book. It is absolutely OK to write even when going through feelings of self-doubt. Don’t wait for those feelings to fade before starting to write.
  • Have a look at theses in your subject area. There are many available online and you can probably access many more through your university library. Just browsing through these…



Dr. Furaha Asani

Migrant. Postdoctoral researcher. Teacher. Mental Health Advocate. Writer. Professional in the streets, loud on the sheets of paper.