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Programs Quality of your PHD thesis

  1. Mar 31, 2012 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I feel that I can complete a thesis within a year but its quality would not be as great if I spend two years in it. However, I would like to complete my thesis so that I can begin during research on my own and enjoy the privileges of having a PHD whatever they might be. The rush to complete it is because I am a full-time instructor and a PHD student which has to perform lots additional administrative tasks. I figure that I can gain more from my current situation if I have my degree.

    My overall question and concern is does the quality of my PHD thesis matter?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2012 #2


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    All kidding aside about the ability of graduate students to estimate the time it takes to complete a thesis you really have to consider that your supervisor, supervisory committee and external examiners are going to have a say in the quality that your thesis needs to be. You can't just jot something down overnight and expect it to be acceptable.

    It's also worth keepng in mind that your thesis is most-likely your biggest completed project to date. Future employers, particularly if you go on in academia, are going to care about what you did and how well you did it. Arguably, not many of them will actually read it, but their opinions are likely to be influenced strongly by your supervisor's opinions.

    That being said, you also don't need to make the thesis "perfect" either. It would be a shame to waste a year of your live adding little to no scientific value to your thesis and just "polishing."
  4. Mar 31, 2012 #3


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    My advisor in grad school advised me not to spend a lot of time trying to write a really great dissertation. Obviously, you want to get your ideas across clearly, but don't think of it as something that needs to be your masterpiece. As he noted, it's likely no one will ever read it so all that effort would be going to waste.
  5. Apr 1, 2012 #4
    If you plan to stay in academia, then the thesis is just a step on the way. Much more emphasis will be given to the number and quality of your publications - you point out full-time teaching and administrative tasks, this experience will count.

    Most people underestimate the time it takes to get their thesis written up and completed. My advice for you is to go ahead and start writing with the goal to finish within a year. If along the way you find that you are not satisfied with the quality, you will still have time to improve, (partially) rewrite or obtain additional data. It is much easier to improve an existing text than to write something good from scratch.
  6. Apr 3, 2012 #5
    These sorts of things are outside of your control.

    1) you are doing research on your own.
    2) I wouldn't be in such a rush to get out. It's not as if there are a ton of professorships out there

    And if you stay in academia, it will get worse.

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