7 Summary Starters

Writing a summary of your research, or some part of it, is useful for viva prep because it gets you making abstract ideas more concrete. It can be tricky to get started when faced with a blank page or a new text document. Sometimes the simplest way to start writing a summary is to answer a question:

  1. What got you started with your research topic?
  2. What was the paper or book that really hooked your interest?
  3. How would you describe your thesis contribution?
  4. What’s important about your thesis/research?
  5. What papers have been most helpful for your research?
  6. What has surprised you about your research?
  7. How has your research changed during your PhD?

If you use these questions, don’t just think about them, write down some thoughts. You don’t have to write perfect paragraphs, but capturing your ideas will help your thinking in the long term.