You don’t have to be a genius to write a PhD. Of course, it will always involve a lot of hard work and dedication, but the process of writing is a whole lot easier if you understand the basic ground rules.

This book is a guide through the dos and don’ts of writing a PhD. It will be your companion from the point when you decide to do a PhD, providing practical guidance to getting started, all the way through the nuts and bolts of the writing and editing process. It will also help you to get - and stay - in the right mental framework and establish good habits from the beginning, putting you in a commanding position later on. Examples are tailored to the biological sciences, offering a unique reference for PhD students in these disciplines.

Embarking on a PhD doesn’t need to be daunting, even if it’s your first experience working within academia. Each short section focuses on writing - considered by many to be the most difficult aspect of a PhD - and delves into a practical detail of one aspect, from the title to the supplementary material. Whether you’re a student just starting your studies, an early career researcher or a supervisor struggling to cope, the book provides the insider information you need to get ahead.

part I|32 pages

Right from the Very Start

chapter 2Chapter 1|14 pages


chapter Chapter 3|8 pages

The Scientific Project and Scientific Living

chapter Chapter 4|6 pages

Keeping Track of Your Mental Health

part II|140 pages

The Nuts and Bolts of Writing for the Biological Sciences

chapter 34Chapter 5|8 pages

How to Get Started with Writing

chapter Chapter 6|6 pages

Being Aware that You can Get it Wrong

chapter Chapter 7|2 pages

What Happens if You Don't have a Hypothesis?

chapter Chapter 8|4 pages

What's the Big Idea?

chapter Chapter 9|8 pages

Writing a Paragraph

chapter Chapter 10|4 pages

Construct a Logical Argument in Your Writing

chapter Chapter 11|4 pages

Storytelling in Science?

chapter Chapter 12|14 pages

Why Do You Need to Cite?

chapter Chapter 13|8 pages

Literature Databases

chapter Chapter 14|4 pages

Reference Managers

chapter Chapter 15|4 pages

What software should I Use to Write My PhD?

chapter Chapter 16|4 pages

What to Do When Faced With a Paywall?

chapter Chapter 17|8 pages

Scientific Names and Taxonomic Authorities

chapter Chapter 18|4 pages

Writing Style

chapter Chapter 19|2 pages

Retaining Your Own Voice When Writing

chapter Chapter 20|6 pages

Writing Concisely

chapter Chapter 21|4 pages

Writing a PhD if English is not Your First Language

chapter Chapter 22|4 pages

Making Sure that You Don't Plagiarise

chapter Chapter 23|2 pages

Academic Phrasebank

chapter Chapter 25|4 pages

What is Needed for Your Research Proposal?

chapter Chapter 27|6 pages

Starting Out Transparent

chapter Chapter 28|2 pages

Generating Funding for Your PhD Research

chapter Chapter 29|4 pages

Fear of Submitting Written Work

chapter Chapter 30|6 pages

Why Use a Formula to Structure each Chapter or Paper?

chapter Chapter 31|4 pages

Data Management

part III|56 pages

The Sections of Your Chapter

chapter 174Chapter 32|4 pages

Writing the Sections that Make up Your Data Chapter

chapter Chapter 33|4 pages

The abstract

chapter Chapter 34|4 pages

The Introduction

chapter Chapter 35|6 pages

The Materials and Methods

chapter Chapter 36|4 pages

The Results

chapter Chapter 37|8 pages

The Discussion

chapter Chapter 38|2 pages

The Acknowledgements

chapter Chapter 39|6 pages

The References

chapter Chapter 40|2 pages


chapter Chapter 41|8 pages


chapter Chapter 42|2 pages

Who did what?

chapter Chapter 43|4 pages

Supplementary Material

part IV|14 pages

After the Data Chapters

chapter 230Chapter 44|2 pages

Now that you have finished your data chapters

chapter Chapter 45|4 pages

How to Introduce Your PhD Chapters

chapter Chapter 46|2 pages

How to Conclude Your PhD

chapter Chapter 47|4 pages

Formatting Your Thesis