PhD: How to write a great research paper

author Microsoft Research   2 year ago

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Things about a PhD nobody told you about | Laura Valadez-Martinez | TEDxLoughboroughU

This talk guides postgraduate students and those thinking of doing a PhD through the vicissitudes of the doctoral process. In a friendly and down-to-earth way, the speaker illustrates issues that many doctoral students face. The talk covers seven challenges that may emerge during a PhD: I’m stuck!, There’s more!, I have no motivation!, I forgot what I did!, I am not sure this is relevant!, I feel lonely! and I don’t know what is next! For each one of these challenges, the speaker provides recommendations on how to tackle them, which draw both on empirical studies and anecdotal evidence. The suggestions go from having “thinking time” to let ideas mature to keeping a research diary, from sticking to a few research questions to saving multiple copies of the thesis manuscript files. The talk recognises that doing a PhD could be more difficult than one may initially expect but that there are ways to overcome the obstacles and enjoy the learning process. Dr. Laura Valadez-Martinez is a Research Associate at the Center for Research in Social Policy of Loughborough University, specialising in income adequacy, poverty measurement, and childhood poverty and well-being. Born and raised in Mexico, she became aware of social inequalities from a young age, and volunteered in various non-governmental organisations. Volunteering activities helped Laura realise that social development requires coherent combined action between the government, civil society, and the private sector. This led her to pursue higher education in the areas of public administration and social policy, under the premise that a sound understanding of social problems is crucial to promote well-being. Consequently, Laura studied the Masters in Public Policy at Monterrey Tech in Mexico. She also holds an MSc in Public Policy in Latin America and the PhD in Social Policy from Oxford University. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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Writing papers and giving talks are key skills for any researcher, but they arenΓÇÖt easy. In this pair of presentations, IΓÇÖll describe simple guidelines that I follow for writing papers and giving talks, which I think may be useful to you too. I donΓÇÖt have all the answersΓÇöfar from itΓÇöand I hope that the presentation will evolve into a discussion in which you share your own insights, rather than a lecture.

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