Can Writing a PhD Thesis, Dissertation, Essay, or Research Paper Change Student's Life?We have all heard that a number of events and incidents can change our life. Sometimes our experiences, whether professional or social can also change our life. But can writing a thesis or essay change our life in a fundamental way? Thesis writing for PhD is a long term process and can sometimes take a year or three years or even in some cases, 6-8 years. If you have written a thesis in the past or writing a thesis now, what are your experiences of thesis writing? Did the thesis writing process change your life? How did the thesis writing or the PhD change your life? What were the problems or issues your were trying to solve through your thesis that affected your worldview or the way you lead your life? These are some of the questions I asked students whose degrees, research projects, theses and writing experiences had a major impact on their life and career.
One PhD student who worked on her biochemistry thesis suggested that writing a thesis and the other shorter essays during her coursework, helped her to become not just a real scientist but also a real writer. The student acknowledged that she developed an interest in writing and especially science writing after she started working on her thesis and since then she has written her own pieces on science and biochemistry. Writing has provided her new insights in her research area and she has also started writing a book based on her research findings. Now these are very positive developments for a researcher and shows that a research process can trigger many changes in your life and career.
One of the changes that you could possibly experience is in your levels of expanse of knowledge as your knowledge levels dramatically increase and you seem to grasp concepts and issues better than when you were not writing your thesis. This is because while writing a thesis, you do a lot of study in different topics and subject areas, not just in your area of research, as sometimes you would need a broader perspective to understand the background of your research. While you do your study on a range of research issues related to your subject and interdisciplinary approaches, you will learn about different issues and can relate them faster and more effectively, and this will change the way you think and ultimately change your life in a major way.
Thesis writing can change your life in a direct or indirect manner. For example, after your thesis is done, you are most likely to get a job and join academic or other career and this will change your life and lifestyle either from a financial perspective or social and lifestyle perspective. This is of course the direct effect of writing a thesis or a doing a PhD or getting other research degrees. This will fast track your career so that impact on the quality of life will be substantial and pretty much evident. Now, let us move on to the indirect effects of thesis writing. How does academic writing, essays or thesis or the writing process as involved in the PhD change your life indirectly by helping you to become more knowledgeable, involved in the research and writing process, and aiding your personal, professional and literary or scientific development? I asked a PhD student in literature as to what she felt about having to work on her thesis for four years. She was pretty emphatic that without the thesis writing she would have learned nothing as the writing practice is not just about writing, but overall personal and professional development. You write a thesis and learn so much, and this directly or indirectly changes your life. The professional and personal development happens alongside the writing process as while you write, you also read and gain knowledge and develop insights that change your life in a dramatic manner.
The impact of a thesis in your life is likely to be substantial, of these PhD students are to be believed. So, if you haven't enrolled in a PhD yet, be careful about how you handle your PhD schedule because it is going to be demanding, it will take a lot of time, it is a commitment to knowledge and learning and finally, as we have already seen and judged, a PhD and all the writing involved, the thesis and the essays or the data collection might just change your life in a major and unpredictable or predictable manner.
Writing a thesis is not an end in itself. It is a beginning of a new life as a new person because a thesis literally changes you and you prepare for these changes as you develop your intellectual side. Thesis writing is more about personal develop that helps or supports the process of professional development, so you write a thesis primarily for your own benefit and there are a range of benefits.
I asked a student of medicine how he developed his ideas and chose his topic for the thesis. He suggested that in medicine the emphasis is on practical reports and case studies, so the doctoral degree is based on an empirical understanding of patient treatment and application of treatment, or clinical approaches to the study of medicine. The student pointed out that in medicine, the emphasis is on patient care ,and research on whether certain medications are more effective in treatment than certain others. This is what he tried to elaborate in his thesis which involved case studies on patient care, treatment approaches and new medicinal usage as well as studying of certain medicines and their properties. In this case, the student seemed to have developed an empirical understanding through his research study and during the writing process, developed insights on new medicines, their uses and their applications or effects on patients and patient care. Thesis writing in medicine not only changed the life of the medical student but also that of others and patients received new types of treatment approaches as a result of the research study by the student. So, thesis writing does have long term and substantial impact on researchers and others involved. To get a deeper understanding of PhD thesis writing consult an established writing agency or a freelance writer.