Survival Tools for Writing a PhD Thesis



In an ideal world, you would have somebody else write your PhD thesis, but if you are going to try it yourself, then you need all the help you can get. These survival tools are not going to do the work for you in the same way that buying a spade will not dig up your garden for you. But, having the tools and using them correctly may be help you get the job done faster, more efficiently and even more accurately.

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Research tools

Get your facts straight and your information ready so that you may get your work done correctly and score a little higher.

Google Scholar

www.scholar.google.co.uk

This is a tool that allows you to search through the essays other people have written. A lot of them are going to want you to pay for access, but some of them do not. They also have a handy citation function. Click the link that says “Cite” and it will produce citations you can copy and paste so you do not have to create them yourself.

Mendeley

www.mendeley.com

This is a great research tool because you can mark up and annotate pieces you are reading. You can also access your files on the Internet and use the tool in multiple devices. You can add sticky notes to things such as PDF files and capture your thoughts in context.

Project Organizing

Become a little more organized and collected and your project will run more smoothly and more efficiently.

Scrivener

www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

This is a tool that allows you to edit a number of different documents at one time without clogging up your processing power. It allows you to split your research and your writing. You can have your notes on one document, your unordered references on another document, the body of your essay on another and so on. You can pull them all together at the end when you are finished.

Smartsheet

www.smartsheet.com

It works via Google Apps to help you research and organize your files and your schedule. It does cost money to work with it in a big and productive way, so try the 30-day trial first. The tool will help you organize your workload, your files and your project as a whole.

Do

www.do.com

This is a productivity tool that allows you to plan events and plan tasks. You can break them into smaller actionable points that are set against a timeline or deadline of your choice. The main dashboard is very easy to use, and you can use it with other people too so you may work on group projects.

Teambox

teambox.com

This is a tool that integrates social media into your working process. You can add people from social media networks to your project and create threaded conversations around your project or assignment. You can work with others without them being in the same room. Your chatter or communications will not be shown on the Internet without your permission. You can work privately with strangers if you wish.

5pm

www.5pmweb.com

With this tool you can log in as a regular user and see a setup of how the system works. You do not have to see a demo first; you can log right in and have a play with it before you buy. You can see how your project would be organized and how you would use the system if you were to subscribe. There are plenty of features and functions for you to enjoy and exploit.

Nimble

nimble.com

This is a project management toll that uses a social media approach. It is mostly about customer relationship management, but a lot of the features may be transferred and used for your academic projects. Obviously, this is not going to suit some students, but may be the tool for you if you are struggling to find a better match/fit for your project or assignment.

Back Up

Back up your files, your tools or even your drives. The work you do is valuable because it takes up a lot of your time. Backing up your files will lower your chances of a complete loss.

AOMEI Backupper

www.aomeitech.com

You can backup and encrypt your files, which is handy if you are taking them out and about. There is a large essay writing industry that has made essays rather valuable. With this tool you can backup and protect them.

Redo Backup and Recovery

redobackup.org

This is a tool that allows you to backup your drives. You download a large file that allows you to boot up tools or undelete tools. You can even undelete your web browser if you wish.

Essay Mama Citation Generator

www.essaymama.com/citation-generator/

This is a very popular citation generator. It allows you to enter the raw data for your citation and pulls it together to create your reference. Not only does it do all the work for you, but it keeps your citations in a standard format. You do not misplace items, you do not miss items, you do not add or miss punctuation or put things in the wrong order. It keeps everything uniform and correct. It is the only citation generator you will ever need.

Cobian Backup

www.cobiansoft.com

This is a file backup tool that has lots of features that allows you to compress your files, schedule backups and pull information from servers. It is highly customizable and configurable so you can bend it to your needs.

Bibliography

Creating your bibliography is tiresome but needed. There are tools out there that can help you get it done with less fuss.

Conclusion

Do not buy a subscription based on what you have read here or what your friends say. Try out the tools, try out a few free subscriptions and see how much you can use them before you try them. Sometimes a tool can help you streamline your working process, and other times they are simply adding more steps to your already overloaded working system.

By the time you reach PhD level you should be fairly experienced when it comes to writing your thesis paper’s, essays and such. You should know which areas are your strongest and which are your weakest. Try to use the tools mentioned to make your process more efficient and a little less tiresome or boring. For example, you may hate writing references and therefore drag you heels when writing them. A referencing tool may help make the process a little less cumbersome and therefore help you get it done a little faster.

Jessica Millis, a freelance writer and editor. She works at JMU as a writing professor assistant.


Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nenyaki/2430528033

Author: SmartStudent

SmartStudent is an educational portal that provides information & advice to aspiring students. regarding applying to university, choosing a course, what to take to university, finding student accommodation and much more.

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