Doctoral theses - What is expected from a PhD thesis?
Doctoral theses - PhD thesis
The PhD thesis must be an original and unpublished work that reflects the skills developed throughout the graduate course, in the sense that it is a previously un-worked subject, or a known topic on which a new interpretation is offered. This work should be based on solid research based on relevant sources and bibliography, equipped with the appropriate critical apparatus and with methodological rigor.
What is expected from a PhD thesis?
Beyond the different academic contexts and the legal frameworks of each country, the doctorate is defined, in a general way, as one of the postgraduate university levels, which has the highest academic hierarchy. In this manner, the doctorate level aims to train for the research and development of new knowledge in a field of specific knowledge that represents significant and original contributions to it. As the formative process culminates, it is accredited from the elaboration of a doctoral thesis. The same account of a research work that a graduate performs is possible under the direction of a tutor, responsible for guiding and accompanying his/her unique training process. From this presentation, the doctoral thesis includes three central features, respectively:
- It displays the story of an investigation and exposes a subject-graduate who becomes author of his production, from the creation of new knowledge.
- It gives account of the construction of a formative relation with a tutor who is guiding the temporal logic of the investigation and the logic of the thesis writing.
- It requires an instance of publication and evaluation. In this respect, the thesis is a written production that contains the condition of being examined.
In this regard, a thesis can be seen as a written test that testifies the ability of the subject-graduate to perform an investigation and account for it. In other words, the thesis consecrates the aptitude to research: that work of intellectual craftsman who, from writings, archives, books, statistics, work field, surveys, observations and interviews, produces an academic paper. Some first approximations can help to circumscribe the definition:
- The relationship with knowledge seems to suggest a disposition of someone towards knowledge. This provision implies intimacy of one's knowledge and intimacy with knowledge. The same would represent the pleasure and suffering that each feels in relation to knowledge.
- The relationship with knowledge is not a feature of the subject or a feature of his character. One does not have a relationship with knowledge. In this sense, it would be better to say that your relationship with knowledge is unique. Having a unique relationship with knowledge means that your actions and your behaviours testify and transcribe what you want, what you know and what you do not know; they give an account of your acquired knowledge and of which you have been impregnated. It also means what you do with your knowledge, whatever it may be, of different degrees and nature; but also, it refers to what speaks of your ignorance and your shortcomings.
- It is a process common to all subjects. However, the relationship with the knowledge of each one is conditioned by the process of socialization.
- To understand the relationship with knowledge of a subject that happens in principle, to understand their own relationship with learning. Then, it implies understanding how different subject metabolizes his varied, growing and successive learning. Integrating and refining these first reflections, the relationship with knowledge is defined as the process by which a subject, from acquired knowledge, produces new, unique knowledge, allowing him to think, transform and feel the natural and social world.
Doing research involves an intricate set of knowledge. Knowledge about the questioned reality, the theory already enunciated by others (specialists, theoreticians, professors), knowledge about the most appropriate way of approaching said reality (the complexity of the methodology) and knowledge about oneself. The latter invite to initiate and maintain a successful dialogue with one's own relationship with knowledge. For this, it is necessary patience, rigor, perseverance, curiosity and above all, humility.
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