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Part of the PhD Training

PhD... You can come up with many names for this abbreviation. The true name is of course Philosophical Doctor, but most will just say Doctor of Philosophy (which brings me to the question... why not DPh. instead of PhD? Pelik tapi benarrr...). Anywayz, the other names may include: Permanent Head Damage, Pemelihara Hantu Dogol (the PhD is your baby, and it could be a "hantu dogol"), Perantau Hilang Direction, Perawi Himpunan Data, Pomen Hilang Dadu, Piiiigi daH Dey!!!, dan sebagainya.... Ok, most of them I made up myself lah... but I am qualified what to make up all those name becuz I am now experiencing bringing up my hantu dogol :D 

Anywayz, today I'd like to share a small yet useful experience of my PhD training... I started our writing a paper, which I intend to publish in a low impact factor journal. It started out with a topic... which I slowly developed to convey idea A. Then, as I wrote, and as I got feedback from other people (friends, supervisor and other people), the paper started to take on a life of its own... (gulp!). Slowly the title started to make no sense anymore... then the point of view also changed. It went from proposing idea A, to using idea A as a mere strategy to convey idea B! ... Then as I wrote some more, and after a few long months... the idea seemed to make more sense if it were done in a different way (i.e. idea C). Now, idea C was totally different from idea B, resulting in my ditching idea B altogether. But at the same time, idea B came from idea A, but idea A cannot be dismissed altogether as it had the main building block of the work. So now, I faced the challenge of strategic restructuring, where I had to come up with a container which could encapsulate idea C whilst not running away from the main concept of idea A. This resulted in myself having the guts to produce idea D, which was actually already in my mind, but due to the presence of idea B (which was now defunct)... had to be repressed until further notice :) But now since idea B is gone, and I can concentrate on idea C, idea D had the chance to resurface, which coincidentally tallied with idea A :D So alhamdulillaah, idea C is now possible :D

Anywayz, what I want to convey in this post is that, sometimes... when writing academic papers, especially by an experienced person... ideas can change. Hecks, I think now even the title of the paper will become something else. Writing is a process, and it is no wonder that academics take a long time to write papers... Now I understand that it can be very challenging in writing... If I don't have a good plan... it's gonna be really2 messy. Even with this paper, I actually did have a plan... but it proved to be quite weak as the ideas shifted from A to B to C. Now even D is slowly changing... but I think for that one, I can come up with another small paper? Kot2 la. Hehehehe...

Anywayz... just to tell my story. Tq for reading :D Assalaam aleykom...

PS:- Any other pre or post PhDs, who have tips about writing papers, or about getting thru a PhD... your comments are very2 welcome.


Peraih udang dari Zimbabwe said...

Salam Bro,

What u've said is so amazingly true. I had an exprience writing a paper before, it took me a whole 4 months to do it before submitting, from a simple draft paper, then been checked many times by my supervisors, changed new graphs/tables, this process did stress me up along the way.

But one thing for sure, it made me feel how difficult the whole process is, as a PhD qualification is the highest qualification that ones can get.

All the best and good luck Bro, may Allah make ur PhD journey as smooth as possible, Insya-Allah...

PhD candidate,
School of Chemical Engineering,
University of Birmingham, UK

Alfian_Troxion said...

tq tq for dropping by en peraih udang zimbabwe yg juga bakal phd dari birmingham uk :D

wah, sampai 4 months? that must've really stressed you out. but at least ok lepas dah berjaya disubmit and eventually get accepted ye dok? :D

anywayz, tq for sharing the experience. this phd thinggy is a very2 long journey... and i think i need to savor each and every bit along the way...

since phd ni pon macam lagu miley cyrus (betul ke aku eja ni...)... it's the climb (that counts) :D

Good luck to you too bro. InsyaAllaah kita sama berjaya :D

Assalaam aleykom!!!

PS:- aku ingatkan si Nabil UPM. Rupanya Nabil dari UK :D Sudah ada 2 Nabil sekarang dalam senarai2 bakal PHD :D

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