Turning a chapter into the whole thesis (whilst half-way through PhD?)

posted
20-Nov-18, 11:26
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for camparisoda
posted about 3 weeks ago
Hi everyone!

I'm a second-year PhD student in the UK. I'm funded for three years in total.

My question is more or less what I've said in the title - I'm in the process of redrafting the first chapter of my PhD and I'm starting to think that it would actually make a good thesis in and of itself!

I've had good feedback on what I've already written so far, with the main criticism levelled at introducing my source material more thoroughly. I'm doing that right now and the introductory material to my work (I'm working on some shrines in early modern Spain) is long enough for a chapter of its own.

My question would be thus: has this happened to any of you before - turning material from one chapter into the entire thesis? And has it happened at this stage of the thesis (almost halfway through)? Any advice? Thanks. :)
posted
20-Nov-18, 12:16
edited about 23 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 3 weeks ago
Hi Camparisoda,

This very much happened to me, actually - and I don't think it's all that uncommon.

In my case it became apparent that there was simply far too much to cover in my first chapter and that the argument I was constructing there was sufficiently detailed and significant for a PhD. This was about two years into a part-time PhD, so a little earlier than the point you're at.

However, if you've got sufficient material and feel confident that you can write it up as a thesis, I don't see that you'd necessarily have a problem making this switch. I'd definitely discuss with your supervisor though; they should be able to say whether the new plan for your thesis works as a PhD and advise on how much (if any) additional research is now required to expand the chapter material.

I'm sure others here will also share their own advice and experiences.

Mark
posted
21-Nov-18, 17:21
edited about 11 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 weeks ago
Wow.
I am very surprised to hear anyone talking about having enough material for a PhD after just 1 or 2 years but congratulations to all those who do. If I recall, 2 years was the historic duration for a PhD in the UK so it shouldn't surprise me too much).

Pretty impressive.
posted
22-Nov-18, 12:07
edited about 20 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 3 weeks ago
Thanks pm133,

Really though, it's the scope of the argument and projected outline of the project that's being identified as (potentially) sufficient here, not the total amount of material researched. In my case there was plenty of further research required before the thesis itself was ready.

3-4 years is typical for a full-time UK PhD. I'm aware of one person who managed it in 2, but they were fairly exceptional.
posted
22-Nov-18, 16:15
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Ah OK. That makes me feel slightly less inadequate :-D

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2018
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, 77 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG, UK. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766