Timescale for the thesis

The thesis comprises different phases or stages to be completed prior to submitting the manuscript : formulation of the thesis statement, reading and compilation of the bibliography, data collection, data analysis, writing, proofreading and corrections, formatting and printing of the manuscript.

Generally, these different stages overlap and the duration and development of each stage varies according to the field, discipline and approach/school in which the thesis is situated, as well as the nature of the subject.

However, regardless of the specific aspects related to discipline, each doctoral student is confronted with managing the timescale of the thesis, i.e. the need to make progress, despite possible stumbling blocks and discouragement. The longer it takes to write the thesis, the greater the risk of not completing it.

It is during difficult periods when pitfalls and stagnation are encountered that thesis supervisors have an important motivational role to play in helping the doctoral student to fulfil their commitment over the long term and surmount any discouragement.

Today the trend is for theses to be short. Even though concern is being expressed in the human and social sciences concerning what is considered as the imposition of a model specific to the exact sciences, measures intended to shorten theses are being implemented in all disciplines.

Therefore, students must be able to finish their thesis and acknowledge that it is not their life’s work, but a first stage in their career as a researcher.