What to Do If the PhD Dissertation Defense Is Only in a Few Month

If you have put off writing your thesis until there is only two or three months before your defense, you are not alone. Many students make the same mistake, and many of them defend their dissertations successfully in the end, so there is no reason to panic. You can do it. Just follow the guidelines below.


  • Make a schedule of your work. Allow at least a month – the last month before defense – for actually writing your thesis. The rest of time you will spend doing research.
  • Draft your outline. Determine the main areas you need to research. Think of where you can find the necessary information.
  • Research each of your main areas. Use both online and offline sources. Note down main points and write out the citations you want to include. Organize your notes by your outline points. Keep focused on your topic and skip irrelevant information.

Writing Your Thesis

  • Day 1: Create your final outline. Decide which sections and subsections your paper should include. Follow your university and course guidelines strictly. Having to modify the structure of your paper when it is already in progress can be extremely time-consuming and jeopardize your timely submission.
  • Day 2: List all your sources. This list does not have to follow a proper citation style – it just has to be understandable for you. You will use it as a quick reference to cite your sources in the course of your work.
  • Days 3-7: Write down your main ideas for each subsection. Include only the most important information. It does not have to be in the form of complete sentences.
  • Days 8-10: Develop full topic sentences from the main ideas you listed.
  • Days 11-15: Write complete paragraphs for each section. Add relevant citations from your sources.
  • Days 15-20: Revise your work. Make sure that your paper has a logical flow and the presentation of your data and research findings is clear.
  • Day 21: Have your paper edited by a third party. It can be your professor or a trustworthy editing service.
  • Day 22: Check your reference page. Make sure that all sources are listed accurately and appropriately. This is vital for your paper to produce a good impression. The committee members will probably not read the whole of it, but they almost surely will have a look at your reference list.
  • Days 23-30: Get your paper back from the editor. Revise according to their comments. Then send your paper to be checked one last time before you submit it.